Switzerland funds 3.3 million Euros for the employment of Albanian youth

Switzerland funds 3.3 million Euros for the employment of Albanian youth

Tirana December 16, 2013 / Balkan Independent News Agency

Youth is one of the biggest problems of the Albanian society as far as employment is concerned. In order to reduce unemployment for this class, through Swiss Cooperation program, Swiss authorities have decided to fund projects amounting to 3.3 million Euros with the aim of boosting up employment.

RiSi Albania project aims to offer more employment opportunities and more incomes for the youth aged 15 to 29.

Swiss ambassador to Albania, Alexander Wittwer says that “this is an effort which is added to the other Swiss funded incentives in the domain of employment and economic development.

“We believe that we must intervene in order to improve the capacity of the private sector and in order to absorb labor force, we must strengthen those who offer the services and the employment agencies. We must provide youngsters with extra skills”, says ambassador Wittwer explaining the essence of the new project.

“The project brings a new methodology: it will promote the use of the forces of the market in the best interest of youngsters and vice versa. We have found that there are potentials of employment if we improve the business climate, if we strengthen services and introduce new skills”, says the ambassador.

The Albanian Minister of Social Welfare and Youth, Erjon Veliaj admits that employment of the youth is the biggest national emergency of Albania.

“We must focus on the domains where we have a perspective and we must be more creative as to the market in which we must compete”, says the minister.

Mr. Veliaj says that the institution that he leads will be an active part in the implementation of the project and that he will support other incentives which in a specific way address the issue of the employment of youth.

Juliana Hoxha is directress of “Partners of Albania” organization. She explains that the project is focused in exploiting labor markets for youngsters.

Hoxha says that employment of youth is not possible without the cooperation between state and private sector. “This project is an investment to support the needs and priorities of the country and this can only be achieved through the cooperation and support of actors from the state sectors, private sector and society in cooperation with other foreign assistance actors in the country”.

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The new project for the employment of youth in Albania will mainly benefit students, young job seekers and young employees. Businesses, employment institutions, those who offer services and media will be the main partners.

The new approach proposed by this project includes three levels: business companies (employer), employment agencies (intermediaries) and youngsters (employees).

Following an initial research, the Swiss project came to the conclusion that the most promising sectors for the employment of young people are the agro-processing sector, tourism, technology of information and clothing and shoes.

Interventions in these industries will aim to improve the employment of youth in the long run.

The official figure of unemployment of youth in Albania is 21.5%, but this figure may be higher in rural areas. Apart from this, there’s also informal and little paid employment which has widely spread amongst youngsters.

Both government and international donors agree on the importance of addressing youth unemployment and harmonizing the skills of young people with the demands of the market. /ibna/