The UNDP’s Skills Development for Employment Programme (SD4E) marked the finalization of its second phase, a result of collaboration between UNDP, the Ministry of Finance and Economy. The programme is funded by the Government of Switzerland.
To tackle systemic youth unemployment challenges and a non-attractive VET system, the programme was designed in 2014 as an intervention at the policy level. Part of the programme, a Self-Employment measure was designed as an alternative way of employment generation for youth. During the first two phases of the programme, 84 youth have received training, mentoring and grants to establish and run their own businesses. The 43 finalists from the third phase bring the total number of beneficiaries to 127. Around 350 young people received entrepreneurship and business development training. A Self Employment Fair featured the products and services by 40 newly established businesses supported by the third call that was launched in September.
Swiss Ambassador to Albania Adrian Maitre present at the event highlighted: “The Skills Development for Employment Programme has contributed to good results, a high standard of innovation and entrepreneurship as well as high youth employment rates. This is due to a successful collaboration between the private sector, public schools and students. Switzerland is committed to a further improvement of the skills and labour market and has approved a next phase of the programme”.
Youth engagement, partnerships with government institutions at central and local level, civil society and international development actors played a key role in producing results. Institutions at the central level have better information about the skills needed in the labour market and more attention is being paid to the engagement of the private sector and the quality of vocational education and training offer. The Employment Promotion programmes are more transparent, due to the developed scoring system, which gives priority to the most needed jobseekers.
Ms. Limya Eltayeb, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. underlined:” Sustainability and capacity development will be our key words for the next phase of the programme. Strengthening of policy-making and monitoring capacities at the Ministry, enacting the employment promotion law and the successful transfer of the National Employment Service into a new Agency for Employment and Skills, together with strengthening of the capacities at the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training are indispensable elements for making the overall reform processes a full success and bring value to our work.
The next phase of the new four-year programme which will be implemented with the Ministry of Finance and Economy will work to ensure that the Albanian VET system and employment service are fully capacitated to systematically offer young people the skills they need to build a sustainable future.