Foreign Investors Council in BiH (FIC) and the Labour and Employment Agency of BiH organized an expert discussion on the topic of employment and education in Bosnia and Herzegovina

23. April 2024by ficba

Foreign Investors Council in BiH and the Labour and Employment Agency of BiH organized today in Sarajevo an expert discussion on the current state of the labor market in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a focus on the education system and the necessity of adapting it to the needs of the real sector and investors.

Bearing in mind the ever-present problem of the departure of qualified workforce and the lack of professional skilled staff, the organizers recognized the interest and need for organizing such a meeting on the topic of the current state of the labor market in BiH, legal regulations in the field of work and employment, and the problem of the mismatch of the education system with the needs real sector.

Acknowledging the fact that the labor market and qualified workforce, i.e. human resources, are one of the key elements for investors’ decision in which country to establish or expand their business, the aim of the held expert discussions was to initiate a public-private dialogue and create better synergy between departments ministries, relevant partners, scientific and educational institutions with the business environment and the real sector, regarding the labor market and workforce. In the first part of the discussion moderated by Dina Duraković, team leader of the FIC working group for education and employment, and partner in the DMB Partners law firm, the participants were Indira Semanić, senior HR business partner at Nelt, Naida Duvnjak-Šehović, member of the board and human resources director at Aptha Corp, Minela Kurtović, secretary of Aptha Corp, Sanja Praštalo, commercial director at Mikroelektronika, and Siniša Veselinović, head of the Domestic Labor Market Department from the BiH Labor and Employment Agency. 

The participants referred to the challenges that currently exist in terms of labor availability, with an emphasis on the necessity of introducing more flexible forms of employment, the challenges of temporary and occasional employment in BiH, and the necessity of facilitating the process of hiring foreigners. The participants also touched on some other current open issues that companies face during the practical application of labor legislation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is divided into three labor-legal regimes that are not harmonized in many areas, which represents a big problem for companies that operate on all political-territorial units in Bosnia and Herzegovina



In the second part of the discussion, moderated by Sanja Miovčić, executive director of the Foreign Investors Council in BiH, we discussed the educational system in BiH, preparations for work and the labor market, jobs of the future, and ways in which the educational system can be adapted to the needs of the real sector, where to mention some of the very successful examples of the education of the existing and future workforce as well as the development of corporate culture in companies that are key to attracting and retaining employees. Participants in this part of the expert discussion were Ronald Sudić, member of the board for human resources and corporate culture at UniCredit Bank d.d. Mostar, Hajdi Mostić, member of the board of the Telemach company and president of the Board of Directors of the Telemach Foundation, Marija Sinanović, director of the Yellow Brick educational center, Zoran Vuković, director of the adult vocational education institution WMTA Banja Luka, and Luka Glibo, advisor to the director for active employment policy measures from JU Institute for Employment of the Republika Srpska



At the end of the conference, the participants jointly defined the conclusions that need to be urgently addressed to the competent institutions with the aim of implementing the reform of the labor law legislation as successfully as possible with the ultimate goal of reducing unemployment and preventing the departure of young educated people abroad, as well as meeting the needs of employers for qualified labor and solving practical problems of employers when it comes to labor relations.

What needs to be concretely implemented through public policy measures are the following recommendations that would solve the main problem of the labor market in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is the challenge of retaining the domestic workforce, on the one hand, and importing foreign workers, on the other hand, and through:

  • Introduction of more flexible forms of employment
  • Final reduction of contributions and labor taxes
  • Simplification of procedures and digitization
  • Harmonize the regulations of cantons in FBiH, as well as entities and BD in order to avoid discriminatory treatment of employees who come from different political-territorial units and facilitate business for employers
  • Enabling the acquisition of professional and practical knowledge during studies
  • Establishing a better system for professional and supplementary training of workers



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