What is the Programme About?
Despite improvements, Albania still faces significant challenges in terms of ensuring secure and productive employment for its population, especially the poor, women, and youth. One in three young people are inactive and has not received any form of education or training. Jobless young persons who are either unemployed or inactive, and not in school (NEETs), make up 30 percent of the 15-29 age group, more than twice of the EU average of 14.8 percent.
Public consultations conducted by UNDP in Albania in 2014 suggest that the two major development challenges as perceived by the people of Albania are: (1) employment and business opportunities; (2) corruption and organized crime. Moreover, high number of asylum seekers in EU countries and a widespread migration desire among young people, are testimony to the lack of opportunities that often forces young women and men to leave the country.
The Support to employment and social services for vulnerable youth and women in Northern Albania project focuses on three selected hotspots in the areas of Shkoder, Diber and Kukes, where the number of people migrating to the United Kingdom is extremely high. With the support of the British Embassy in Albania and the experience of UNDP in the field of youth employment and vocational education and training, this short-term intervention aims at injecting a glimmer of hope in the poorest areas of Albania, by not only offering opportunities for self-employment and start-ups, but also by enhancing capacities to deal with vulnerable young people.
The project sets out to boost youth employment in the selected areas by introducing tailor-made entrepreneurship training programs. It will moreover address migration through youth support and skills development, and thus provide better opportunities for young persons to pursue a sustained living in their own towns. The role of local public institutions will be crucial to the project success.
The project intends to address these specific challenges:
1. High youth unemployment and migratory trends in the target areas;
2. Low employability of vulnerable young women and men;
3. Lack of integrated youth support and inadequate capacities dedicated to vulnerable youth and women.
The expected impact of the intervention is to enhance economic resilience and employability of young and vulnerable women and men in the target region, through the development of skills and adequate capacity of employment service, social services, and the support of CSOs working for vulnerable groups.
The planned interventions are expected to:
· Increase the number (+40) of self-employed young women and men through a training, small grant, and mentorship scheme;
· Train in entrepreneurship and business management some other 80 young women and men;
· Offer targeted short-term VET courses to some 120 low-skilled young women and men;
· Develop capacities in the Local Government Units (LGU) in charge of social services;
· Support selected vulnerable youngsters through a grant scheme for three CSOs working with youth;
· Increase access to justice and legal support and awareness through the establishment of two free legal aid (FLA) centres for vulnerable women.