Since its independence in 2006, Montenegro heavily invested into the reform of Vocational Education and Training and is the first among the six Western Balkan countries to introduce a Dual TVET system in 2017/2018.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the tourism-dependent economy particularly hard. GDP dropped by 15% in 2020 and reversed the positive labour market trends from previous years. The pandemic exacerbated the structural problems of the Montenegrin labour markets from before the pandemic, i.e. low employment and high inactivity, especially for youth, women, and the low skilled, as well as elevated levels of informal employment.
ILO support for Skills Development in Montenegro
Montenegro is a candidate country for EU membership. ILO technical assistance focuses therefore on supporting an EU-compatible skills development system. In 2019, ILO and ETF jointly conducted an evaluation of Dual TVET in Montenegro. The Recommendations were welcomed by the Ministry of Education and translated into different actions to improve the system, e.g. the training of in-company mentors. In 2021, upon the request of the Ministry of Education, ILO developed a proposal for a Student Graduate Tracking system that combines education statistics with tax data and labour market data. Such a system would allow to understand better the effectiveness and relevance of TVET and to adjust policy development and the further shaping of skills development in Montenegro, to achieve better labour market results.