How Can Croatia Better Link Students to Potential Employers?

By 24 February 2019

As Goran Jungvirth/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 24th of February, 2019, just like in the case of many other industries and categories of workers across the Republic of Croatia, the student population also poses a major challenge to employers when it comes to hiring employees, which is why new web portals and applications are being launched with a view to better connecting the supply and demand markets.

At the end of October 2018, a new law on Student Affairs was finally adopted in Croatian Parliament, with the aim of introducing changes that should provide more ease and significantly better conditions for the country's many students.

The move foresaw that the payment of a contractual fee be guaranteed within fifteen days, the introduction of a digital system was introduced, minimum times and their various accompanying payments were introduced, with an increase for working on Sundays, as well as for working at night and during holidays, as well as some other more than welcome student benefits.

Legislators made the changes justified by the desire to put an end to the exploitation of Croatia's students as little more than cheap labour for greedy employers in numerous different sectors.

Out of about 160,000 students in the Republic of Croatia, about thirty percent are extraordinary students, therefore it is expected that they will also work on student contracts, further strengthen the market for the country's potential student workforce, and more easily meet the needs of the demand market and of their respective employers.

However, it seems that such ''high-quality'' students are hard to come by and all but unavailable, because they're either simply not interested or they're already engaged in some sort of other work.

Labour market agents only noted the initial higher response of these so-called extraordinary students after they too were permitted to work through student contracts, but that situation, like many others, soon became a ''lethargic'' one.

"The problem is also a student's time and availability is limited to their university commitments, and employers of course want the same commitment as full-time employees, but students naturally don't want to lose their often beneficial student rights," stated Saša Jurković of Jazavac's management, an application which seeks to better connect students and their would-be employers.

"Jazavac was created to allow students to find work faster and for employers to reach students as quickly as possible through matching and merge apps," said Jurković when speaking about the project which has been co-financed by the European Union via the European Regional Development Fund.

In addition to increasing immigration and the concerning and accelerated departure of young people from Croatia seeking (among other things) better economic conditions elsewhere, statistics also show a worrying and fairly intensive decrease in the total number of people studying in Croatia at all.

Despite the increasing number of private faculties, polytechnics and colleges across the country, in the last five years alone, the number of students has decreased by more than fifteen percent. Additionally, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics for the academic year 2012/2013, there were 188,285 students actively studying in a facility in the Republic of Croatia, which is nearly 30,000 more than there are currently.

In order to maintain the dynamics of the market between students and employers, it's necessary for them to not only be better connected, but to be more informed in general.

"For now, we have over 900 undergraduate students and over 100 employers who use the search engine and periodically publish their ads. We're growing quickly but we need more students and companies and want to connect with the Student Center (SC) to help them be even more successful. As the oldest source of student affairs, SC has not achieved satisfactory results for a long time for those students who require employers, so employers are forced to use different social networks, portals and pages to find students,'' Jurković described the issue, giving an example of how to create a much better connection between students and their potential employers.

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Click here for the original article by Goran Jungvirth for Poslovni Dnevnik