Social & Economic rights

Friday, 2 October 2020

The Second Motivational Workshop for Empowering Roma Men and Women for Active Participation in the Labour Market in Kraljevo

On 24 September 2020, the second motivational workshop was held as part of the project "Improving the Position of Roma Men and Women in the Labour Market in the City of Kraljevo”, implemented by the City of Kraljevo, in partnership with the non-governmental organisation Praxis. This project is implemented as part of a grant scheme under the programme "EU Support to Roma Inclusion - Empowering Local Communities for Roma Inclusion", funded by the European Union and implemented by the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities. The goal of the workshops is to contribute to improving the social and economic status of the Roma population in Kraljevo by improving employment conditions through the enhancement of professional competences and competitiveness in the labour market and combating discrimination in the employment of Roma men and women.

The workshop was attended by 20 unemployed persons of Roma ethnicity who were given the opportunity to get information about the rights in the field of labour and employment, including the measures of active employment policy that apply to certain vulnerable social groups. Thanks to the cooperation with key actors at the local level, a representative of the National Employment Service (NES) took part in the workshop and presented their activities aimed at improving the position of the Roma national minority in the labour market.

At the very beginning, the attendees were acquainted with the goal of the workshop, as well as the goals and activities of the project. The participants received basic information on the right to work and the importance of the active role of individuals in the process of job search, the opportunities and available resources in terms of enhancing and improving professional competences, knowledge and skills. The introduction focused especially on the concept of discrimination in the field of labour and employment as well as protection mechanisms. It was stressed that discrimination was prohibited and that the participants, if they felt discriminated against, could address the competent institutions in order to seek protection of the right to equality. The introductory part of the workshop was mainly dedicated to the participants’ experiences regarding discrimination. The participants believed that discrimination in the field of employment was very present and most often based on belonging to the Roma national minority. In addition, the participants stated that they did not believe in institutional protection, and that they were not aware of the existence of independent institutions, such as the Commissioner for Protection of Equality or the Protector of Citizens, or their mandate and role.

Then, the representative of the National Employment Service presented the measures implemented to encourage the employment of vulnerable groups, such as subsidies for employment and self-employment, as well as retraining and additional training programmes. Public works programmes were also presented, as well as the programme of functional primary education, which is a condition for acquiring additional qualifications and improving competitiveness at the labour market. The importance and/or necessity of registering in the register of unemployed persons was also emphasized.

In addition, the NES representative invited the participants to first learn to write a CV (resume), showing an example of a CV and explaining what it should contain. She also mentioned the fact that having a CV increased the participants’ chances of employment. The unemployed persons could get support from their employment counsellor in the NES, among other things, in the process of writing a CV.

During the workshop, the participants pointed to the phenomenon of "employment through string-pulling", especially in connection with participation in the public works programme. They pointed out that it was the reason why they would often lose hope of finding a job. One participant stated that she had applied for a job several times and never received any response. "There is discrimination related to employment everywhere," she added.

The participants were told that they could turn to their counsellor in the NES for any kind of support in the job searching process, and that it was especially important to be in constant contact with the counsellor. In addition, the importance of the participants’ active role in improving their own position in the labour market, including participation in the programmes designed to encourage employment, was reiterated. The participants who felt that they were the victims of discrimination or felt discriminated against were invited to lodge a complaint to the Commissioner for Protection of Equality, and if they needed support in that process, they could always address Praxis.

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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action