Emigrate or stay? GIZ advises job seekers in Kosovo

01.09.2015 - An information centre run by the German Government in Pristina provides advice on options for work, training and study in Germany and Kosovo

Unemployment is rife in Kosovo, especially amongst young people. More than half of Kosovo’s young adults are jobless, causing them to pin their hopes on migration – mainly to Western Europe. Many believe it is easy to find a job in Germany or to seek asylum there. In response, the German Government has commissioned the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to operate an information centre in Pristina to advise people on legal ways of entering the Federal Republic of Germany, but also to make them aware of the various options open to them if they stay in Kosovo.

At the centre, people can obtain information about work, vocational training and courses of study in Germany. In workshops, at information events and on the Facebook page, the focus is on concrete issues, such as how to get foreign qualifications recognised. Soon, these advisory services are to be offered outside the capital, too. As of September, pertinent information will be brought to the surrounding cities and municipalities on a day-by-day basis.

Most of the people who visit the information centre have great difficulty fending for themselves and their families owing to the economic situation. ‘The most important thing is that we show them that prospects are out there, either at home or abroad,’ says Nina Theis, GIZ Project Manager in Pristina.

To make staying in Kosovo an option, advisers discuss the opportunities that are available there, such as language courses or offers from the local job centres. The information centre benefits from the solid connections it has with German and Kosovaran institutions on site. For German companies or chambers seeking skilled workers, too, this facility is a central port of call.

To enable more people to earn a living and receive training, GIZ is working side by side with the Kosovar Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. On behalf of the German Government, GIZ is assisting small and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas and improving the quality of training for young people. These activities have resulted, for example, in a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) in Dortmund, which is now assisting Kosovar vocational training centres to draw up curricula while also helping train vocational instructors.