For the seventh year in a row, unemployed young people will have the opportunity to educate themselves as part of the BTC Campus, a unique programme of supplementary business education. The programme is organised by BTC in collaboration with the Center of Business Excellence of the Ljubljana Faculty of Economics, the Employment Service of Slovenia, and the City of Murska Sobota. It is held at two locations for altogether 60 participants. This year’s programme, which commenced in Ljubljana on March 20, 2019 – and on March 22 for the fourth consecutive year also in Murska Sobota – will focus on topics concerning advanced technologies and their impact on the transformation of existing business models and methods.
According to the latest Eurostat data, the unemployment rate among young people in Slovenia in December 2018 was 9.7 percent. Despite economic growth, youth unemployment persists. At BTC, they are well aware of the importance of young people and their role in social and economic development, which is why they have been addressing this issue with the BTC Campus programme since 2013. As part of a three-month-long innovative business programme, they provide 30 young people in Ljubljana and another 30 in Murska Sobota with an education oriented towards acquiring specific supplementary knowledge and skills. Through this programme, participants have a chance to recognise and take full advantage of their potential in seeking employment or starting their own business.
Board member and secretary general at BTC, Helena Petrin, notes: “In the past couple of years, the competencies that increase young people’s chances of employment have changed. Today, communication skills, the ability to solve problems, scheduling skills, public speaking, flexibility, teamwork, and technological versatility take centre stage. At BTC, we want to utilise the BTC Campus to pass these skills on to young people, so they may be better job candidates when completing it.”
The selection of two groups, each comprised of 30 young first-job seekers who have completed their tertiary education, was made by the Employment Service of Slovenia. The selection criterium for unemployed graduates was showing an interest in additional education, networking, and employment.
Barbara Vrtačnik, Director of the Municipal Office of the Employment Service of Slovenia in Ljubljana, said: “We are glad that BTC has once again decided to organise the BTC Campus, because we believe that the project enables young job seekers to develop broad business competencies and gives them an important insight into the business world. By acquiring practical skills and tackling concrete business challenges, the participants become attuned to the business way of thinking and enhance their understanding of end-users. They also acquire practical skills and techniques that help them develop more creative and market-oriented products and services. Every single year there is notable interest among young people to work with experienced lecturers and experts from the world of business, as well as BTC itself. The data gathered over several years show that after completing the programme, about 80 percent of its participants find employment or start their own business, which means that BTC is making an effective and important contribution to reaching the Employment Service’s strategic goal concerning the employment of young, unemployed job seekers.”
The programme of this year’s BTC Campus follows global job market trends. Its focus is on topics from the field of advanced technologies, including a review of their impact on the transformation of existing business models and methods. In Ljubljana, classes will take place in the offices of the startup centre ABC Hub in BTC City Ljubljana, and the participants will, already for the second time, have an opportunity to upgrade their knowledge at a hackathon. Knowledge will be passed on by lecturers from the Center of Business Excellence of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana dr Rok Stritar, dr Blaž Zupan, and Marjan Kramar.
Mag Monika Lapanja, Director of the Center of Business Excellence of the Faculty of Economics, furthermore noted: “BTC Campus is a project signifying collaboration and the reciprocal transmission of knowledge between the academic sphere and the business world. It is characterised by one of the most modern global methods for promoting creativity and innovation, so-called ‘Design Thinking’. Programme participants acquire skills that may help them seek innovative solutions at any time in their careers.”
A total of 270 young people, 180 in Ljubljana and 90 in Murska Sobota, have taken part in the programme in the past six years. In addition to the positive feedback of the participants, the success of the programme is also supported by numbers. From 60 to 75 percent of participants found employment or started their own business within only a couple of months of completing the programme, while within one year of finishing the BTC Campus this number jumps to more than 80 percent. For the programme, BTC received the 2016 PRIYATELJ LETA (i.e. “Friend of the Year”) award by the Ypsilon Institute, as well as recognition by the Employment Service of the Republic of Slovenia for its strategic partnership and help in the implementation of the Service’s strategic goals and the consequent indirect decrease in the unemployment rate in Slovenia.
Maja Oven, Director of Market Communication and Public Relations Sector
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Commencement ob BTC Campus in Ljubljana
PHOTO: Studio Bomba