Businesses to foster skills development in the Western Balkans

The Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum (WB6 CIF) and the European Training Foundation new commitment to working together to support skills development in countries aiming at joining the EU through a boost to skills development in cooperation with education and the world of work. Both organisations signed in Trieste, 12 September 2019, a new agreement to reinforce a long-lasting cooperation and pave the way for mutually supportive regional endeavours on skills development.
“A joint regional voice for the Western Balkans is essential to ensuring countries’ common concerns and challenges for human capital development in the European integration process receive the attention required so that the skills agenda is propelled forward”, said ETF Director, Cesare Onestini.
”WB6 CIF is focused on development of regionally-based occupational standards to enhance employability of young people in the region, increase harmonization of national regulations in order to facilitate regional apprenticeships and labour mobility within the region and enhance cooperation between the private and public sector in VET. ETF will be our valuable partner in this matter“, added Chamber Investment Forum Secretary General, Safet Gërxhaliu.
The idea for a new agreement was conceived at the Western Balkans Summit in Poznan, July 2019, where Ministers of Economy were discussing the implementation of the Berlin Process. The purpose is for both organisations to act in synergy and maximise the impact of human capital development in the Western Balkans region.

Background
The European Training Foundation is the EU agency supporting countries surrounding the European Union to reform their education, training and labour market systems in line with the EU’s external relations policy. By supporting human capital development, the ETF contributes to social and economic progress and to long-term stability in countries in and around the EU neighbourhood. The ETF is based in Turin, Italy, and employs 130 staff.