An attractive labour market for young Kosovars

Project completed
A young man working on an electrical system.
Young Kosovars benefit from demand-driven training, which facilitates their integration into the labour market. © Layla Barakè

The project « Enhancing Youth Employment » is aimed at improving job opportunities for young people in Kosovo, a population segment particularly impacted by unemployment. By connecting employers and job seekers, and by training young people in the skills in demand on the labour market, the project is helping to reduce unemployment and drive economic growth.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Employment & economic development
Vocational training
Employment creation
Vocational training
01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020
CHF  7’570’000

More than a third of the population out of work

The 15-34 age group makes up over 55% of Kosovo's population. In 2015, 36’000 young people entered the labour force but only 17’323 new jobs were created. This has resulted in overall unemployment of 32.9%, with the rate considerably higher for women and minorities. Among the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian (RAE) communities, unemployment is as high as 80%.

There are two underlying reasons for high unemployment. The first is a disconnection between educational institutions and industry: the vocational education and training available does not adequately match the labour market's needs. Secondly, even where young people have the required skills, employers do not necessarily come in contact with them. It is a discouraging situation for young job seekers, who see no career prospects in Kosovo. The resultant frustration can be an incentive to emigrate.

Phase 1 of SDC's project has produced the following results: 

  1. 2’200 jobs have been created through partnerships with the private sector;

  2. 9’400 people have found work thanks to the services matching supply (job seekers) with demand (employers);

  3. 6’500 young people have benefited from better training given by public and private educational institutions.

Particular focus on employment for women, less-skilled youth and ethnic minorities

Phase 2 plans to continue along the same course by strengthening the public-private partnerships, encouraging practice-related vocational training and offering career guidance services. By end-2020 the project aims to have got 5’000 young people into employment, provided better training for 20’000 with the skills in demand on the labour market, and reached out to 100’000 with career guidance information.

This second phase will also focus more on the economic empowerment of women, less-skilled youth and minorities. Of the 5’000 new jobs, 40% are to go to women, 20% to less-skilled youth and 10% to members of minority communities. To target these groups, the project will: 

  1. raise awareness in the media and encourage partnerships so as to create the social and regulatory conditions that facilitate access for women to the labour market;

  2. encourage vocational education and training in the manual trades;

  3. identify and support the sectors, geographical areas and partners which offer high potential and are familiar with the needs of minority communities.

As part of Switzerland's engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals, this project works towards achieving goals 4 and 8, i.e. promoting inclusive education and sustained economic growth.