ProSEED - Make it in Albania! Creating prospects for employment, development and growth
Title: Sustainable economic and regional development, promotion of employment, and vocational education and training in Albania (ProSEED)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Albanian Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Finance and Economy
Overall term: 2017 to 2020
Albania is currently on the threshold of transitioning from a transformation economy to a market economy and is struggling with high unemployment and emigration. Unemployment reached a total of 14.3 per cent in 2017, according to the Albanian statistics authority. At more than 26 per cent, unemployment is particularly high among the 15-to-29-year-olds. At the same time, almost 15 per cent of the population is living below the poverty line.
Almost all the companies operating in Albania are micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which make only a small contribution to growth and employment. There is also a lack of foreign direct investment. In a country where the labour market and the education system (especially vocational training) have little in common, it is difficult for young people to find suitable jobs.
The capacities of MSMEs in Albania have improved, Albanian institutions are now capable of promoting investment projects and the country’s vocational education and training (VET) system has been modernised and adapted to meet the requirements of the labour market, increasing employment opportunities for Albanian citizens. Young people who want to stay in Albania now have better prospects.
By simultaneously addressing issues such as economic and regional development, employment promotion and vocational training, all of which were previously the focus of various projects of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, ProSEED now has a solid foundation and can build on existing working relations. Drawing on best practices and expanding its fields of activity, the new programme provides technical assistance to its main partners, including the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Finance and Economy. The result is an integrated strategy for promoting employment, one that looks at both the supply and demand sides of the labour market. The programme thus helps to give the young people in the country fresh hope for their future employment prospects. Albanians who have lived abroad for a while, especially in Germany, are actively involved in the programme.
Vocational education and training (VET): The programme works in selected sectors and regions to improve the quality and market orientation of VET institutions, thereby contributing to the national Employment and Skills Strategy. Here the Kamza Multifunctional VET Centre, previously funded by GIZ, serves as a model. Working closely with various private education and training institutions, the current programme also supports the National Agency of Vocational Education and Training and Qualifications with the development of five VET centres.
Support for MSMEs: Companies should provide impetus for economic growth and employment. To this end, the programme focuses on strengthening the capacities of MSMEs – and since most Albanian companies are MSMEs, improving their operational performance and competitiveness will boost the demand for skilled labour. At the same time, the country’s training institutions are being encouraged to develop new training opportunities that will enable interested entrepreneurs to hone their commercial skills. The programme cooperates with MSME clusters and business associations for this purpose.
Social participation of young people and minorities: In order to improve employability and the social inclusion of marginalised young people (women, minorities and people with disabilities), the programme supports selected civil society initiatives that focus on this target group, providing them with financial and administrative support. The various projects offer vocational preparation courses and soft skills training, as well as sports activities that promote community cohesion, holiday camps and regular meetings for the exchange of information. This enables young people to develop solutions for social and economic problems. They benefit from greater social acceptance and obtain opportunities for new career prospects.
Regional development, economic growth and employment: In this field of activity, the programme aims to enhance the conditions for the projects and strategies of the relevant ministries. To achieve this, the programme strengthens public institutions' project implementation expertise of public institutions, enabling them to support both public and private investment projects that have an impact on employment. Once the Albanian partners have taken their financing decisions, the programme will provide experts for the institutions concerned. These experts will support the institutions during the preparation, negotiation and implementation phases of individual projects.