SELECTIO in “Partnership for Scholarship”

In July 2008 the “Partnership for Scholarship” project was successfully finished. SELECTIO participated in the project as a partner of the Karlovac County Entrepreneurship Centre. The project objective was to develop a new scholarship model for the Karlovac County region with equal participation of the public and private sectors.

“Partnership for Scholarship” was funded by the EU deed of donation through the CARDS 2004 Pre-Accession Programme “Local Partnerships for Employment – Phase 2”. The project was additionally co-funded by other project partners – The Croatian Employment Service (Karlovac Regional Office), the Karlovac County and the Town of Karlovac, and the SELECTIO Company itself. Our participation in the project was to provide professional support to the project, which we consider an extremely innovative approach to having all key actors engaged in resolution of labour force deficit on the local labour markets. Our participation in the project is also a reflection of the principle of socially responsible business activities advocated and promoted by SELECTIO.

The “Partnership for Scholarships” project objective is to develop new scholarship model for the Karlovac County region with equal participation of public and private sectors in scholarship funds for each pupil and student. The new scholarship model would provide a strong foundation for further communication development among employers, the Karlovac County, towns and municipalities, the educational system, pupils, students and parents regarding the labour market current and future opportunities and needs in the Karlovac County region.

The “Partnership for Scholarships” project result is a uniform Scholarship System in the Karlovac County known as “Stipendika”. In “Stipendika” every pupil’s or student’s scholarship is funded by the Karlovac County, the town or the municipality on the one hand, and the employer on the other, following the fifty-fifty principle. Since employers themselves know best their labour needs, they are to choose which scholarships will be offered for which occupations, and they will make a final decision regarding the scholarship beneficiary selection. This scholarship model is a novelty not only in the region of the Karlovac County but also in the entire Republic of Croatia.

In order to raise awareness of pupils, students and their parents a Career and Scholarship Day was organized. The Career and Scholarship Day is a unique event, which was held on 3 April 2008 at Zorin Dom Town Theatre in Karlovac. It was organized to encourage personal contacts between some of the leading employers in the Karlovac County region and interested pupils, students and parents. The SELECTIO experts provided great assistance in the organization of this event transferring their experiences and practice with Career Day preparation and celebration organized by MojPosao, which represents the largest and now already a traditional career fair in Croatia.

The first results were visible after employers were publicly invited to apply their willingness to provide scholarships for pupils and students in April this year. Employers applied their willingness to provide scholarships for more than 150 pupils and students. Based on employers’ applications, the scholarship tender was published for pupils and students. The interested candidates can still apply in the second tendering round which will be open until 10 July this year. The interest of candidates is very good, and the exact number of applications will be known after the tender has been closed.

The offered scholarships for pupils and students in the public scholarship tender for the school/academic year 2008/2009 amount to HRK 800.00 for high-schoolers, and HRK 1,400.00 for Polytechnic and University students.

As a result of the Partnership for Scholarship project, the “Stipendika” is a long-term positive incentive to increase communication between all interested stakeholders on the Karlovac County labour market and adjustments of the Karlovac County educational system to economic needs. The long-term potential of project results is additionally emphasised by the EU funding in the project implementation.

The SELECTIO Company was motivated to participate in this project by the desire to provide support to innovative projects on the Croatian labour market, and encourage employers to consider long-term investment in detection and development of their own human resources.