Dual Education for Higher Employment


Dual education or connecting the labour market with the education sector considerably reduces youth unemployment, however, even though Croatia has been talking about the advantages of that system and despite the government incorporating dual education in its platform, it is still not known when this educational system might be introduced in Croatia, which schools it will involve and how many students, it was said at a conference on Monday organised by the Croatian Chamber of Economy (CCE) as well as by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Croatian Statehood Foundation.

"I cannot specify time frames for the introduction of dual education in Croatia, having in mind the fact that it requires fulfilment of many preconditions such as amending legislation and changing the vocational curriculum," state secretary in the Ministry of Science and Education, Hrvoje Šlezak said at the conference.

Slezak underscored that the dual education system needed to be introduced gradually but should first be preceded by a pilot project. He added, however, that the number of schools to be involved in the pilot project has still not been defined nor the cost, nor the number of students to be covered by the new system. It is still not defined which employers would be prepared to introduce that model.

"Introducing a dual education system will be gradual considering that currently we do not have a sufficient number of employers prepared to take on the responsibility of teaching students," Šlezak said.

CCE President Luka Burilović said that Croatia's youth unemployment rate had exceeded 40% and the reason for that among else, was that the education system was not adjusted to the labour market's needs.

In Austria and Germany where the dual education system has been implemented for years, the youth unemployment rate is 5% to 10%, Burilović said, underscoring that the application of such a system would significantly contribute to reducing overall unemployment.

CCE vice president, Želimir Kramarić underscored that the the Croatian government's programme has incorporated a dual education programme earmarked for secondary vocational education and that the HGK in cooperation with the Chamber of Trades and Crafts would endeavour for a pilot project to be introduced at the start of the new school year and that over the next five to seven years that programme would be gradually introduced into the Croatian education system."

Economy Minister Martina Dalić underscored the importance of better communication between entrepreneurs and institutions defining enrolment quotas. Dalić considers that even though it will take some time to introduce dual education, the government is resolute to do so and that she has delegated her state secretary to establish better communication between the ministry, entrepreneurs, that is, the labour market.