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Prospects for young people

Koroška offers excellent quality of life – but young people need more than clean air, lush forests and crystal-clear rivers. © koroska.si

Like many other rural areas, the Koroška region of northern Slovenia also has to battle against depopulation. Various measures and ideas now aim to persuade young people to stay.

Some 15 percent of the population of Koroška are aged between 15 and 29 years. Most have to move to the cities or abroad in order to go into higher education – and many qualified young people never return. As 25 year-old Ana, who lives in Koroška and is currently completing a master’s degree in Ljubljana, puts it: «There is a lack of infrastructure, for instance a well-developed road network or better public transport, as well as a shortage of jobs for highly qualified people. I want to stay in the region, but young people need support in developing their ideas and in their working and living situations.»

The government and regional agencies such as RRA Koroška have now taken various measures to improve living conditions for young people. «We have introduced a regional scholarship scheme», says Jasmina Pungartnik of RRA Koroška. «Half of the scholarships are funded from the economy while future employers, the state and the EU pay for the other half.» Another measure is the «Koroška Business Incubator Network (MPIK)», a support programme for young entrepreneurs. Municipalities too are looking for solutions, for example implementing changes in land-use planning to make it easier for young people to build houses, as well as offering loans and nonprofit housing. At an event held in late January, young people also discussed the opportunities of  digitisation and the possibility of developing Koroška into Slovenia’s very own «Silicon Valley».

 

Sources and further information:

www.vecer.com/za-mlade-na-koroskem-tudi-zazidljive-parcele-6378797 (sl), www.europedirect.si/sl/novica/razprava-eu-si-ti-digitalno-gospodarstvo-priloznost-za-korosko (sl), www.rra-koroska.si/en, www.mpik-koroska.si/en