The existing educational profiles of the Braća Selić mixed secondary school (SMŠ) in Kolasin are only partially aligned with the planned development directions of the municipality, according to the evaluation of that educational institution. Hundreds of jobs have been announced in the hotels that are currently being built in Kolašin.
According to promises received from investors, the unemployment rate in Kolašin will be significantly reduced when the hotel starts operating.
However, there were no more precise explanations of which jobs will be “covered” by unemployed men and women from Kolašin and whether the structure of the unemployed will meet the criteria of employers in hotels, mostly of the high category.
According to what is heard from the owners of catering facilities that currently exist in Kolašin, until now those who have been educated for catering professions in Kolašin have not had an advantage in employment in that sector. Seasonally, as they say, high school students or students perform these jobs more often, and often with better quality.
On the other hand, those who completed the courses of cook and waiter have been appealing to the relevant Ministry for years to allow them to complete the IV degree of these educational profiles in their hometown. They explain that in this way they would be more competitive in the labor market, or they would get the opportunity to continue their education.
At the Labor Bureau, there are currently close to 100 men and women from Kolasin with hospitality and tourism occupations.
– As the best waiters and waitresses, during the summer season, so far, the “luchas” of the Kolašin high school have shown themselves the best. Unfortunately, the young people who completed the hospitality courses did not show any greater skills, compared to other high school students. It is, in my opinion, more a matter of personal motivation than a lack of opportunity to learn. Something has to change, and cooks and waiters need to be further trained, so that they can readily meet the more demanding employers in that area – says the owner of one of Kolašin’s cafes.
At Braća Selić Junior High School, it is currently possible to complete only the third level of cooking and waiter courses. This is because of the rules prescribed by the Ministry of Education. Students with worse results from elementary school cannot cross the prescribed threshold, which is necessary for enrollment in the IV level of qualification. The chef and waiter courses in Kolašin are traditionally mostly enrolled by those who had poor grades in elementary school. So far, there have been no serious campaigns that would have made these professions more attractive to young people, so, at least in Kolašin, only those who, based on grades from primary school, have no chance of enrolling in something else, are educated for them.
– Our school currently offers the III degree for waiters and cooks, and the students subsequently acquire the IV degree by taking part-time exams within the legal deadlines. The educational programs in this institution are partly aligned with the touristic and other directions of development of Kolašin. For two years in a row, we have been enrolling in the hotel tourism technician course (IV degree), which aims to train staff to work in hotel and tourist facilities. Apart from this, the school offers the educational profile of high school, general major, economic technician and waiter and cook – says director Ana Šćepanović Golubović.
According to her, the biggest problem is the fact that this year the school has only 181 students, which is the lowest since the institution was established.
The number of students in the hotel and tourism technician course is about 15 per class, so, says Šćepanović Golubović, they are also dissatisfied with the number of children interested in those courses.
The director believes that the Planinar Cook and Waiter Training Center can fully provide quality education “to those children who want to work, acquire knowledge and skills in those areas”.
She explains that there is no lack of teaching staff or technical conditions.
However, only five students have the opportunity to attend dual education in some of the prestigious tourist facilities in the city.
– The attitude of the students towards the school itself, the obligations and the practical teaching they do in this facility is crucial. In addition to the Planinar Training Center, five students from the waiter/cook major also attend dual education at the Bjanka Hotel, who are our long-term partners in this project… I hope that the number of students enrolling in our school will increase over time and that we will have the opportunity for students who finish elementary school and have the required number of points for the IV degree to enroll in the gastronomy and restaurateur courses (IV degree) in the following years – expects the director of SMŠ Braća Selić.
Of the 836 unemployed people in that city, close to a third are people without a profession or professional qualification, and almost 56% have completed the third or fourth level of secondary school. Thus, 73 traders, 60 high school graduates, 41 cooks, 30 economic technicians, 27 waiters are waiting for work…
– The very substitution of occupations within the same occupational group or education level indicates to us that the needs of employers from the tourism and catering industry in the municipality of Kolašin will be largely satisfied by the supply of labor from Kolašin and the surrounding municipalities. This will greatly affect the significant growth in the number of employment – ZZZCG are optimistic.
For now, unfortunately, that is not the case. For example, from the beginning of the year until now, employers in Kolašin reported the need for employment of 27 people – one doctor of medicine, a graduate economist, a waiter, a receptionist, a construction and mechanical technician, as well as teachers of English, psychology, mathematics, physics and computer science. Groups of subjects. For 11 vacancies, the employers did not specify the position, but were looking for any occupation.
In the past ten years, the Ministry of Education and Culture of Montenegro has been publishing the document Analysis of supply, demand and employment in the labor market in the country. In this year’s document, they state that “a significant number of employers’ comments are directed at the absence of practical skills and the insufficient qualification of job seekers to perform specific tasks”.
This, they explain, is a consequence of insufficient appreciation, neglect and even formalization of professional practice and practical teaching in the system of regular formal education. As they stated in the Analysis, this is especially the case with certain educational profiles, which makes it difficult for them to be more successfully included in the work process immediately after completing their education.
Hiring foreigners limits the engagement of domestic labor
The “investment boom” in Kolašin has so far not had a significant impact on the reduction of the unemployment rate. Despite the fact that the city is famous for being one of the largest construction sites in Montenegro, the structure and number of those looking for work have not changed significantly. Contractors bring organized groups of workers, mostly foreign nationals, to construction sites.
As ZZZCG told the News about 10 months ago, “there is not a sufficient number of unemployed people who worked on large construction projects, especially for jobs that require specific professional knowledge, on the records in Kolašin”.
The employment of foreigners on a significant scale is one of the characteristics of the labor market in Montenegro as well, which limits the employment of domestic labor, it was stated in the Analysis.
In that document, it is written that in 2022, 42.46% more permits for temporary residence and work of foreigners were issued, compared to the previous year.