Sarajevo, 16 June 2017 – Coca‑Cola HBC B-H Sarajevo presented its Coca‑Cola Youth Empowerment Program that 200 young women and men from the Sarajevo and Banja Luka region will take part in this autumn.

The Coca‑Cola Youth Empowerment project is a national program implemented by the Coca‑Cola HBC B-H Sarajevo company, offering its participants the opportunity to develop fundamental life and business skills and acquire the high level of competence required in the labour market.

''The lack of work experience and skills gained through work has been recognised as one of the obstacles preventing youth from getting jobs. This has motivated us to create and initiate a specially designed program that will enable its participants to improve their skills and to develop their self-confidence, which will in turn ensure easier access to employment. We are all guided by a common vision – to respond to the real needs of the youth in the most efficient manner, to empower them in the right way and to provide them with the possibility to successfully embark on their careers. We are very proud of our employees who will, alongside the certified lecturers and partners of the project, volunteer for the program's four-week duration and share their expertise and experience through 10 half-day modules, which will additionally help the young people to develop their skills and gain new knowledge'', said Adnan Topić, the Sales and Franchise Manager of Coca‑Cola HBC B-H Sarajevo.

The Coca‑Cola Youth Support project has been created to recognise, develop, empower and motivate the success of its participants by making them more competitive in the labor market.

''The Labour and Employment Agency of BiH supports all initiatives that lead to improvement of conditions on the labour market, with particular emphasis on youth employment. Therefore, we openly and gladly support the activities of Coca‑Cola, an employer that is globally present but still invests its know-how, time and other resources in the development and sustainability of local communities. All aspects of such thinking and activity in Coca‑Cola are of utmost importance, and here we are specifically referring to the Coca‑Cola Youth Empowerment program”, pointed out Sanela Zeljković, Expert Associate for realisation of interstate agreements in the Labour and Employment Agency of BiH.

''The Coca‑Cola Youth Empowerment Program in BiH, and all other projects that in any way support the unemployed, i.e. any kind of intervention on the labor market are desirable and welcome. The Employment Bureau of Republika Srpska accepts initiatives that benefit the unemployed, particularly when such initiatives target vulnerable groups'', said Jovana Janković, Senior Expert Associate in the Employment Bureau of Republika Srpska.

''Actual and concrete initiatives taken by employers, such as this one, address and contribute to resolving the issue of labor force adjustment and meeting the real needs of the labor market, which ultimately benefits both employers and job seekers. In addition, the importance of life-long learning and investment in new knowledge and skills is asserted'', pointed out Haris Huskić, Head of the Labor Market Department at the Federal Employment Bureau.

Online applications are open from 16 June to 21 July at http://coca-colinapodrskamladima.ba. Interested candidates may also apply by filling out an application form in their employment bureau and partner NGO organisations.

The project is aimed at young people aged 18-30, focusing on those who are not in education, employment or training and who will benefit from the program by acquiring and further developing their knowledge and skills, thus equipping them with better skills for the labor market. The program will be attended by 100 participants from the Banja Luka region and another 100 participants from the Sarajevo region.

Sponsors and partners of the projects are: Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH, the Labor and Employment Agency of BiH, the Federal Bureau of Employment, the Employment Bureau of Republika Srpska, the Employment Bureau of the Sarajevo Canton, the YEP Project, the University of Sarajevo, the City of Banja Luka, the Entrepreneurship Centre Networks, the Social-Educational Centre – SEC, Kali Sara – the Gypsy Informative Centre, Životni atelje, HR ProSolutions, Munja – Social Innovations Incubator, SFF, BHRT, EuroBlic, Nezavisne novine, Metromedia, the web portals hocu.ba, Mondo and banjaluka.com, and the PRIME Communications Agency.