Creating prospects for sustainable employment, economic development and growth

Project description

Title: Sustainable Economic and Regional Development, Employment Promotion and Vocational Education and Training - ProSEED
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), European Union (EU)
Country: Albania
Lead executing agency: Prime Minister's Office; the Ministry of Finance and Economy
Overall term: 2017 to 2021

© GIZ

Context

Albania is on the threshold of transitioning towards a market economy, while struggling with high unemployment and growing emigration trends. Official general unemployment is at 13 per cent, while youth unemployment is around 23 per cent. 

The business environment in Albania is mainly comprised of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), contributing only on a small scale to the economic growth of the country, while there is no sufficient alignment between the supply and demand sides of the labour market. There is also a lack of foreign direct investment in the country.

Objective

The employment situation among young people in Albania and social participation of marginalised groups, including returnees is enhanced. The country’s vocational education and training system is modernised and adapted to meet the requirements of the labour market. MSMEs are improving their competitiveness thus creating new and better employment opportunities.

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Approach

ProSEED adopts a comprehensive approach to improve the employment situation of the workforce and the self-employed. Moreover, it encourages social participation and employability of marginalised youth. The programme provides technical assistance to its main partners, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Finance and Economy, through an integrated strategy for promoting employment, one that looks at the supply and demand sides of the labour market. Albanians who have spent time living abroad, especially in Germany, are actively involved in the programme.

ProSEED has the following components:
Social Inclusion: The activities focus on increasing employability and social inclusion of marginalised young people and returnees. These groups benefit from greater social acceptance through GIZ supported civil society initiatives and obtain opportunities for new career prospects.

Vocational education and training (VET): ProSEED works to boost the quality of the VET system gearing it closer to the labour market demands. Support includes policy advice, design and the implementation of new VET offers by integrating the work-based learning principles in the Multifunctional Centre Kamza (MFC), 10 Public Vocational Training Centres and about 30 private VET providers all over the country; teachers training and workshop upgrade with small scale equipment.

Support for MSMEs: focuses on start-up training and financial support for young entrepreneurs, as well as on strengthening MSMEs to better compete in the market. By expanding their portfolios, MSMEs become generators of new jobs and directly contribute to the overall economy of the country.

EU for Innovation: aims to strengthen the innovative ecosystem and boost start-up creation in Albania that enhances suitable environment for talents in becoming successful entrepreneurs. 

Policy framework: aims to build the capacities of public institutions, enabling them to effectively support public and private investment projects with employment impact. It supports partner institutions with policy and advisory services, expertise and assistance for the subsequent processes of preparation, negotiation and implementation.

Results

  • More than 2,900 job seekers are trained in short term courses and over 500 students graduated from MFC Kamza. 
  • More than 5,000 young people are part of the Start SMART job search skills and soft skills trainings. 
  • Around 1,400 marginalised young people participated in projects to strengthen social cohesion.
  • Regarding private sector development, over 1,100 young entrepreneurs have been trained, of which, 250 developed a complete business plan and around 80 of them received a start-up grant. 
  • Almost 1,000 MSMEs received Business Development Services.
  • Finally, more than 900 young people found employment thus far.

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