Case Study

Developing an internship programme that delivers formal mentoring and coaching

People1st International

Developing skills that meet employers needs through leadership and mentoring help young people to meet the needs of a growing economy.

Skills Solution
Internship Programme, Mentoring & Coaching

Croatia’s economy was greatly effected by prolonged recent recession, youth unemployment reached 50% with half of those unemployed for more than a year.

Getting young people back into the job market and equipping them with the skills that business needed required a collaborative approach that would deliver structured mentoring and coaching that would help deliver the real world skills employers demand.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) launched the Private Sector Youth Initiative (PSYI) in partnership with the Croatian Employers Association (HUP), private-sector companies, professional women associations, and academic institutions. People 1st were asked to support and work with the PSYI partnership and this has yielded outstanding results.

Our role was to strengthen existing partnerships and to facilitate the collaboration between employers and education. With our key partner HUP, we developed an Internship and Mentoring Programme that included guidance materials based on international best practice. We developed and implemented these programmes and designed a set of templates for the partners to use in their internships.

To support the new interns our Mentoring Programme was developed, this included guidance materials for mentors and mentees, we also delivered Master Training on mentorship for the partners.

  • 135 companies have registered their interest with HUP and collectively they have registered more than 500 internship vacancies;
  • 40 universities have been registered to participate in this programme;
  • An Internship web site is now live:
  • Visibility events have been held in Osijek, Rijeka, Zagreb, Varazdin and Split
  • Legal agreements have been completed, translated and are available to support the project
  • 35 female mentors have now registered with HUP. 32 of them took part in mentor training which was delivered at the HUP offices in Zagreb on 3rd February in two training sessions
  • The UK team have now delivered training in Croatia to mentors and coaches, a total of 166 delegates were trained.
  • HUP representatives in Zagreb were taken through the internship programme and are now well placed to support employers and university faculties going forward.
  • Croatian national television and radio were at events in Zagreb and Osijek and as a result the programme and HUP have been high profile and received positive exposure.

“It is not our goal to ‘throw young people into the fire’ and to leave them with no professional leadership. The main task of this initiative is to provide quality education with work in a professional internship, and that is only possible with a mentor who will constantly be available to students in the company and who will provide them with information about what is expected from them and to evaluate a student’s work and progress”

Nataša Novakovic
Advisor to the Director for the Labor Market and the Development of Human Resources, HUP.

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