Youth from Kukes, Lezha and Shkodra to benefit from Active Labor Market Measures

01 Feb 2013

Youth in Albania face many employment challenges. To address such challenges the Government of Albania has been implementing since 1999, Active Labor Market Measures (ALMM), as a means to facilitate youth employment. Such measures include on-the-job training, vocational training, subsidized employment and self-employment. There is a need to expand and improve such measures. As such the government of Albania has partnered with UNDP and ILO to implement a new initiative called: Local Level Responses to the Youth Employment Challenge.

A workshop which brought together representatives from the Regional Employment Offices of Shkodra, Lezha and Kukes; representatives from NES, and representatives from the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities (MoLSAEO) discussed ways to improve the ALMMs.

It also generated many discussions and resulted in a joint agreement to implement measures which are likely to have a higher impact on the employability of youth. Participants also reached a consensus on the respective roles and responsibilities of all partners involved. Representatives from the UNDP office in Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Kosova brought their experience in implementing such measures to facilitate youth employment.

Workshop participants agreed to focus on the implementation of two active labor market measures: on-the-job training and self-employment. The first measure supports the jobseekers with a three month long on-the-job-training + a monthly allowance, followed by two months of wage subsidies. The employee is expected to retain the jobseeker for an additional five months. The self-employment measure will support youth with creative ideas on business start-ups, through the provision of self-employment training, development of a competitive business plan and provision of small grants.

The Local Level Responses to the Youth Employment Challenge project aims to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of Albania’s National Action Plan for Youth Employment, thereby generating additional opportunities for the promotion of full and productive employment for young people in Shkodra, Lezha and Kukes. Taking into account the labour market context for youth, this project is designed to facilitate access of youth to full and productive employment opportunities through (i) creating an enabling environment by building institutional capacities to address the informal/vulnerable employment of youth at the regional level and building private sector capacity on corporate social responsibility; (ii) generating new and improved employment opportunities for youth through active labor market measures and (iii) reducing the incidence of informal employment through the operationalization of Territorial Employment Pacts.

According to INSTAT (2009 Labor Force Survey), 21.9% of Albania’s youth are unemployed; 70% of all young workers are exposed to informal employment; Young people are two times more likely to be unemployed compared to adults; Youth with lower education attainment are nearly four times more likely to be discouraged workers and three times more likely to be inactive compared to youth with secondary education (high-school); Young women are more likely to be unemployed compared to young men. Nearly 49% of young people are employed as agricultural workers, with young women dominating. The programme is funded by the Swiss Government and it is implemented by UNDP and ILO.