Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Database of labour market practices

This database gathers practices in the field of employment submitted by European countries for the purposes of mutual learning. These practices have proven to be successful in the country concerned, according to its national administration. The European Commission does not have a position on the policies or measures mentioned in the database.

Croatia Lifelong Career Guidance Centre (LLCG centre)
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Original Title: Centar za informiranje i savjetovanje o karijeri (CISOK)
Country: Croatia
Responsible body: Hrvatski zavod za zapošljavanje (HZZ) – Croatian Employment Service (CES)
Name(s) of other organisations involved (partners / sub-contractors): Involved in design and implementation:Croatian Employment Service – CES (public employment service); Ministry of Labour and Pension system – MRMS (national ministry, responsible for CES). Involved in implementation and support:Croatian Employers’ Association – HUP;Croatian Chamber of Commerce – HGK; Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts – HOK; Universities, Primary and secondary schools, Agency for vocational education and training, Local municipalities, NGOs
Start Year of implementation: 2013
End Year of implementation: Ongoing
EU policy relevance:

CISOK’s relevance in the EU context is related to the guidelines of the European Commission and Resolution of the Council of the European Union on better integrating lifelong guidance into lifelong learning strategies (2008) which presents three main principles: availability of services, customer-oriented services and the individual approach.

CISOK follows the guidelines of the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN), by which “all European citizens should have access to services of lifelong career guidance in every period of their lives”.

In the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan for Croatia (2014) establishment of (new) CISOKs is included among the main reforms in the area of early interventions and activation.

Career guidance contributes to achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 programme: reducing the number of people that leave the education system, increasing the number of those who are included into tertiary education, increasing the employment rate and reducing social exclusion. To achieve these goals, the quality system of informing and counselling is set up in order to make career choices that are in accordance with the person’s interests and labour market needs.

In Croatia CISOK is defined as a point for outreach and activation of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) which has become one of the main issues on the EU level. 
National labour market context:

According to the Labour Force Survey, which is carried out by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics in compliance with methodological rules and guidelines of the International Labour Organization (ILO), in the second quarter of 2015  Croatia had a population of 4 290 612 inhabitants (source: Census 2011), and a working age population of 3 601 000. There were 1 896 000 active inhabitants: 1 602 000 of whom were in employment and 295 000 of whom were unemployed. The unemployment rate equalled 15.5%. When it comes to youth, the unemployment rate equals 39.9% for the age group 15-24 and 29.1% for the age group 15-29.

Since the crisis in 2008 the number of unemployed people grew until 2014 when it started to decrease. The number of unemployed in 2015 was the lowest in 7 years. 
Policy area: Labour market participation, Skills supply, productivity and lifelong learning, Social inclusion and anti-discrimination
Specific policy or labour market problem being addressed:

CISOK was established in order to provide lifelong career guidance services to all citizens based upon their identified needs with the main purpose of (re)integration into the labour market. Emphasis is put on young people for whom various activities are developed. The goal is to discover the potentials and interests of young people and to provide them guidelines for successful career planning and to develop and upgrade their career management skills. Special attention is paid to NEETs: CISOK’s task is to reach out to them and activate them into the labour market/education or into other activities aimed at increasing their employability.

CISOK’s counsellors focus on providing quality information on competences and skills that are needed in the labour market for pupils (early interventions) and for those that are considering a change in their career.

Unemployment of young people in Croatia in 2015 was a big issue, similar to many other European countries, so CISOK’s task is to deliver services aimed at strengthening young people’s competences. Information on the labour market was used to determine current needs (skill requirements and occupations needed in the labour market) so that clients could be directed into further education (formal, unformal or informal) that would make them more employable.
Aims and objectives of the policy or measure:
  • to make career guidance services available:
    • through the CISOK web portal on the internet
    • by personal contact at CISOK premises
  • to become central points for outreach and activation of NEETs
  • to provide lifelong career guidance services to all citizens based upon the identified needs of clients – young people, adults, employed, those outside the labour market – NEETs, students, teachers and employers
  • to provide accessible, open and recognisable services and to enhance the existing career guidance and counselling services in Croatia
  • to broaden the number of users of career guidance – especially those who are not included in any of the measures delivered by CES and other institutions and those who are not in CES register
  • to make career guidance services visible to all who need career guidance
  • to deliver tailor made services to clients
  • to include all relevant partners in the process of lifelong career guidance


Main activities / actions underpinning the policy or measure:
  • triage support at different levels of help: individual case managed services, brief assisted services, self-help services
  • case managed services which include career counselling – individual coaching for those who need more help in career decision making
  • group activities – to improve career management skills and other competences needed for successful integration into the labour market/education
  • self-assessment of needs and possibilities – identifying resources and services which are used to make informed choices on occupation, education or employment possibilities
  • self-help websites which include self-assessment tools, occupational information, information on job vacancies, education opportunities etc.

Activities aimed towards NEETs were conducted on two levels:

  • national – establishment of a single, recognizable system for identification and outreach in order to activate NEETs
  • regional/local – development of specific measures which depend on regions’ characteristics, resources and specifics

Outreach activities towards inactive NEETs: 

  • information on employment opportunities and involvement in the apprenticeship/internship, education and training
  • information and counselling on professional career development 
  • improvement of career management skills through individual/group counselling
  • workshops on job search techniques 
  • information campaigns through various forms of communication (internet, social networks, brochures, panel discussions at the local level). Campaigns will be organized for specific target groups (based on educational level, age, gender etc.) and based on the data that will be available after the establishment of a NEET monitoring system
  • motivational activities to activate young people on the labour market
  • job vacancies access


Geographical scope of policy or measure: Regional
Target groups: Long-term unemployed (more than 12 months), People not in education, employment or training (NEETs), Young people (aged 16 to 25 years)
Outputs and outcomes of the policy or measure:

From July 2013, when the first 8 CISOK centres were set up, to September 30 2015 there were 92 396 users of CISOK services:

  • 34 712 primary and secondary school pupils
  • 37 841 unemployed persons
  • 5 554 employed persons and job seekers
  • 1 959 students
  • 12 330 others (employers, parents, school associates, career counsellors etc.)

Satisfaction with the service was very high: 95.6% of the clients were satisfied or very satisfied with the services provided.

Monitoring of the CISOKs is under the authority of the CES Central office. All activities with clients are recorded into the CISOK web application.

Each year an annual work plan is made. This plan includes indicators of performance which are being monitored during the year and by which reports are made on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annual basis. These reports include relevant data on clients and activities and results of clients’ satisfaction surveys which are conducted on a regular basis.

  • Career guidance services are delivered to new clients which are not included in services by some other institutions
  • New partnerships are set up
  • Public awareness about the importance of career guidance services is raised
  • Better cooperation and coordination of the organizations in sector of employment, education and social inclusion is established.
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