Serbia: Green jobs in the waste management sector

The ILO is supporting green jobs opportunities for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in waste management in Serbia.

The waste management sector was identified as offering great employment potential in Serbia following a joint study conducted with UNEP in 2013 highlighting that 8,000 new jobs could be created in recycling if proper policies are put in place.

The ILO began its green jobs activities in Serbia by raising awareness on the employment opportunities offered by e-waste recycling, notably for young unemployed people, and building capacity, in four selected local municipalities in central Serbia. This involved primarily the active participation from local self-governments, local entrepreneurs, as well as the representatives of the National Employment Service, trade unions, NGOs and resource persons from the Ministry of Environment, to help sensitize decision-makers on the local level about the potentials offered by green employment in waste management.

Building on this first experience, the project “Strengthening social cohesion in the labour market through support to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups” was launched in September 2014. It aims to support decent employment opportunities for the Roma population in the City of Belgrade in waste management, as well as strengthen the institutional framework and capacities of relevant local actors in managing recyclable waste. Through dialogue amongst key stakeholders of the waste management sector, the project will propose recommendations for innovative employment solutions for the inclusion of these informal workers. In particular, the project seeks to identify and outline all impediments for creation of decent job opportunities for Roma beneficiaries from 5 settlements on the territory of the City of Belgrade, given that waste-related activities represent a significant part of their income generation.

This Joint UN Project (2014-2015) is funded by the EU and represents a component of the thoroughly revised 2nd phase of a Sustainable Waste Management Initiative for a Healthier Tomorrow 2 (SWIFT 2) project.