Local Level Responses to the Youth Employment Challenge

What is the project about?

young girls during a seminar

25% of Albanian young men and 21% of young women (aged 15 – 29) are unemployed  according to LFS, 2011), and as many as 70% of young people are exposed to informal employment  according to National Action Plan on Youth Employment).

Long unemployment spells early in life and extended employment in the informal economy affect the prospects of youth to secure a career job, a decent wage and a future for them and their families.

This project builds on successful interventions piloted under the Joint UN Programme on Youth Employment and Migration (2008-2011), namely employment creation and formalization of jobs through territorial employment pacts for youth; and active labour market measures in a public-private partnership framework. The project capitalizes on the comparative advantages of ILO and UNDP, in normative, design of measures and implementation, respectively. The overall unifying element is the strengthening of outreach of the National Employment Service by establishing a closer partnership with the private sector and all other regional/local stakeholders. The project is funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) in Albania in response to the SDC strategy to promote employability and income opportunities for youth.

The Local Level Responses to the Youth Employment Challenge (LLRYEC) project aims to improve the employment opportunities of youth in the three selected regions where youth unemployment rates are highest, namely Lezha, Kukes, Shkodra.

Beyond traditional measures, the project places particular focus on the role of local actors to identify and undertake local level solutions, through Territorial Employment Pacts.

In addition, it works closely with the private sector at all levels to sensitize them on their role and responsibility towards creating decent employment opportunities for youth.

The project works to:

1.    Enable local actors to identify and address youth employment challenges;

2.    Improve collaboration between local actors as a means to reduce youth unemployment;

3.    Improve National Employment Service capacity to provide quality employment services

Enable  the decent employment of youth through the promotion of corporate social responsibility

What have we accomplished so far?

At the institutional level, the project has supported the National Employment Service in introducing extensive changes in the governance of Active Labour Market Measures, particularly in setting new transparency standards in their operationalization. Such standards were a necessity particularly in light of the fact that the government budget for ALMMs in 2014 tripled to USD 2.7 million. The technical support provided to NES in designing a scoring system for evaluating and selecting applicant enterprises for its ALMMs led to increased credibility of the measures, and a 5 fold increase in the number of businesses applying for such measures.
•    340 youth gained new skills by participating in two employment programmes implemented in collaboration with the National Employment Service (of which 20 youth with disabilities). Subsequent to the provision of on-the-job training, over 75% of them were employment.
•    The project supported the establishment of three Regional Employment Boards (REBs) in Kukes, Shkodra and Lezha. This led to improved dialogue among local actors on issues related to local economic development in general and youth employment in particular.
•    Three territorial audits were conducted identifying local needs and 17 actions of interventions to generate new and formal jobs. The Territorial Employment Pacts had 444 direct beneficiaries, of which 442 were trained, 80 were employed, and 166 were self-employed. Overall 663 families were impacted by the TEP interventions.
•    The promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility through a multi-stakeholder platform sensitized various stakeholders on their respective roles, and stimulated close public private partnerships in a series of initiatives (e.g. raising awareness, measuring CSR performance, CSR awards, building private sector skills on CSR, etc.)
•    A framework for the measurement of CSR performance at the national level was developed, identifying indicators according to three main stakeholder groups, namely 1) Government, 2) Private Sector, and 3) Civil Society. The first National Report on CSR was compiled and published in June 2014.
•    The capacities of 86 businesses and private sector representative associations have been enhanced through the provisioning of CSR trainings in the fields of Occupation Health and Safety, Environment and Community Engagement.

Who finances it?

Donor Year Total Amount
Swiss Development Cooperation 2011 $ 826,008
Swiss Development Cooperation 2012 $ 619,506
Swiss Development Cooperation 2013 $ 206,502
Swiss Development Cooperation 2014 $ 125,526


Year Total delivery
2012 $ 50,188.83
    2013                        $ 677,875.38
2014 $1,008,000.00
Project Overview
Project duration
September 2012 - September 2014
Geographic coverage
Lezha, Kukes, Shkodra
Programme Officer
Eno Ngjela
Project Manager
Dajna Sorensen
Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth,Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Entrepreneurship, National Employment Service
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Supporting Decent Work Opportunities for Albanian Youth