Foundation Knowledge at Work
The foundation Znanje na djelu (ZND) / Wissen am Werk (Waw) (Foundation Knowledge at Work) is a non-profit organisation created in 2014 by a group of leading figures in Croatia´s corporate world and civil society in response to the high youth unemployment and ‘brain drain’. The Foundation creates programmes that address the gap between education and the business sector which is a key factor for solving the problem of employability.
ZND addresses school pupils as well as teachers on all levels of education (elementary, secondary and vocational; tertiary in preparation). Our programmes are created in partnership with local schools, education authorities, companies, institutions and social enterprises in Croatia. We offer visits and job-shadowing opportunities to young people in order to provide first-hand experience of work processes and business routines in various corporate and institutional work environments. We also give educators the opportunity to enrich teaching through practice-orientation, explorative learning and creativity stimulation in the context of work and careers.
For Pro-Youth, ZND will tap into its wide network of contacts among Croatian educational institutions and the corporate community. The network was created in four years of successfully running the ZND core programmes “Observe. Try. Experience.” and “Connecting Knowledge” for school pupils in cooperation with partner companies. The Foundation’s programme “STEM. Grow. Explore.” is ran in cooperation with Croatia’s leading research institute Ruđer Bošković; it started in spring 2016 and goes in its fourth round. This programme track record encourages the organisation to extend their initiative to higher education.
The Foundation continuously engages with key stakeholders on all levels (ministries and government agencies, companies, schools, universities, NGOs) in Croatian society, and it is constantly expanding its network of partner companies and institutions. It is common knowledge that young people in Croatia have little or no experience in entrepreneurship and are unaware of the many options in the world of work. At the same time, companies are confronted with graduates that lack the set of skills required for contemporary tasks and competitive business operations. Joining the public dialogue on education, the Foundation is contributing to creating the conditions for the introduction of professionally-oriented study programmes and at the same time addressing corporate social responsibility.