GIZ in countries of the Western Balkans – job prospects on site and in Germany

Media reporting on the topic of refugees often concerns people from countries in the Western Balkans.

Berlin. Media reporting on the topic of refugees often concerns people from countries in the Western Balkans. Commissioned by the German Federal Government, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is working on site to open up new prospects for people in the job markets of their respective countries while also creating new opportunities for legal migration to Germany as skilled workers.

Dual vocational training for a future in Serbia

On behalf of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is generating opportunities for people in the Balkans. In Serbia, for example, a skills shortage means that many technical positions remain vacant in spite of the country’s high unemployment rate. At eight schools, GIZ is therefore assisting the Serbian Government to roll out a dual vocational training model involving cooperation with local businesses. The model got off the ground in 2014 with some 380 pupils in the first year. ‘The young people are enhancing their job prospects substantially,’ says Heinz-Dieter Harbers, GIZ Project Manager in Belgrade. ‘Our trainees are in great demand thanks to their skill sets, and the practical internships in a company allows us to satisfy European training standards.’

Nursing professionals for Germany from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

GIZ has been making a very concrete move to counter the skills shortage in Germany with its Triple Win project. Together with the German Federal Employment Agency’s International Placement Services (ZAV), GIZ is finding jobs for nursing professionals from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina who are having trouble finding work at home. GIZ gives these professionals intensive support, organising language and technical courses for them while still in their respective home countries. This project benefits companies in Germany, the healthcare professionals themselves and their countries of origin – in short, it’s a Triple Win situation. To date, a total of 323 nursing professionals (170 from Serbia, 153 from Bosnia) have found placements, of which some 271 are already working in Germany (140 Serbs and 131 Bosnians). ‘The next round of interviews with applicants in Serbia is scheduled for September,’ says GIZ’s Björn Gruber. ‘This opportunity is being well received by both the healthcare professionals and the hospitals and nursing homes in Germany.’

Opportunities for academics from the Balkans and Eastern Europe

Through the Zoran Djindjic Internship Programme, GIZ is creating opportunities for academics in collaboration with the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations. Since 2004, this internship programme has enabled some 500 students from seven Eastern European countries to spend several months working in German companies on an internship. In addition to language courses and specialist seminars, this internship programme helps students to build up a network and improve their career prospects.

Job prospects in Kosovo and Germany

Launched in May 2015, Kosovo now has an information centre where people can find out about local jobs but also learn about the possibilities and requirements for legal migration to Germany. Together with Kosovo’s Ministry of Labour, the centre first provides information on job opportunities in Kosovo itself. Job seekers are then brought up to speed on German offers of vocational training, job preparation and employment and business promotion – including workshops on topics such as business start-ups and local employment options – that are offered in Kosovo. Besides information on training and employment opportunities in Germany, the centre also organises job application training. Nina Theiss, GIZ Project Manager in Priština, and her three Kosovar colleagues inform people about in-demand job profiles and the qualifications they need. ‘We want to point out alternatives,’ she says, adding that, ‘Many people who come to us are not only skilled, but highly motivated, too. They want to find work.’

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise with worldwide operations. We support the German Government in the fields of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education. Through our work, we assist people and societies in shaping their own futures and improving their living conditions.