Based on the amendments of the Scholarship Act from 2013, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia has introduced a Scholarships policy (2015-19). Its goal is to mitigate structural imbalances in the labour market over 2015-19 by encouraging youth and adult enrolment in upper vocational programmes for shortage occupations.
EUR 1.2 million will be allocated to this purpose annually, financing jointly from the national budget and European Social Fund (ESF). Every year the Slovene human resources development and scholarship fund launches a call for 1000 scholarships for learners enrolled in vocational programmes for shortage occupations.
Shortage occupations are those in a high demand, but with a deficit of qualified workers on labour market, and those with an anticipated gap between labour demand and supply. Trends indicate more structural imbalances for some secondary VET jobs with the retirement of qualified workers. Analyses by the Employment Service of Slovenia of areas of shortage occupations show that priorities are in handcraft, computer science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, food processing, construction, forestry, wood processing, chemical technologies and services (hotel management, catering and chimney sweeping). Shortage fields will be determined yearly by the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs in cooperation with social partners and youth representatives. Educational programmes for a support will be chosen annually based on labour market demands and enrolment in previous years.
The Scholarship Act sets the scholarship rate at EUR 100 per month; this can be combined with other scholarships apart from those awarded by companies. In the school year 2015/16 there were 7,677 applications for 1000 scholarships.
Slovenia supports youth education through different types of scholarships. There are state scholarships for youth from socially disadvantaged families, and Zois' scholarships for talented students. The State also encourages companies to anticipate and address human resources gap by jointly funding scholarships to VET learners. A special scholarship is intended for Slovenians living abroad and for national minorities in Slovenia.