Creating employment perspectives for youth in Kosovo

Project description

Title: Youth, Employment and Skills in Kosovo 
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Kosovo
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), Minis-try of Labour and Social Welfare (MLSW)
Overall term: 2017 to 2021

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Despite the steady growth of Kosovo’s economy, it remains fragile and continues to rely on remittances and foreign development assistance. Kosovo’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita is at one of the lowest levels in Europe and poverty, especially among young people, remains high. Consequently, migration is prevalent, particularly among disadvantaged population groups. 

The level of youth unemployment exceeds 50 per cent and, despite this, many vacancies in the private sector cannot be filled. Bridging the gap between job seekers’ skills and labour market demands remains a major challenge in Kosovo. To address these deficiencies, the Government of Kosovo has drawn up the Economic Reform Program (ERP) and the Action Plan for Increasing Youth Employment (2018-2020) as key strategic planning documents. The Youth, Employment and Skills Project supports these reform initiatives by public and private sector stakeholders at both implementation and policy level.


The employability of young Kosovars aged between 15 and 35 years is improved, taking into account the specific needs of returned migrants, all ethnic groups and minorities.



The project enhances the employability of young people by improving the quality of Vocational Education and Training (VET) and also strengthening the mechanisms to match labour market supply and demand. The project applies a bottom-up approach, primarily working with institutions at the local level, such as vocational schools, public employment offices and youth centres. Furthermore, the project seeks to reinforce the systems and implementation capacities of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) and Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MLSW) and their agencies in delivering quality services to young people.



By the end of 2020, more than 8,000 young people in Kosovo had benefited directly from a broad range of human capacity development and active labour market measures. 

  • Inclusiveness is vital for success, hence 50 per cent of participants were women, more than 10 per cent from vulnerable groups and vocational training and internships were offered for people with disabilities. 
  • Together with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Employment Agency of the Republic Kosovo (EARK), 2,400 young job seekers completed internships and over 600 start-ups received kick-start funding. 
  • Various studies have been conducted to better understand the challenges and opportunities of the Kosovar labour market and the economic impact of COVID-19. 
  • In cooperation with municipalities, EARK and other local stakeholders, job fairs and matchmaking events with more than 5,000 jobseekers and 500 enterprises were organised throughout Kosovo including a virtual jobfair as a response to COVID-19.
  • Ten technical and economic VET schools have been supported in implementing school development plans, increasing workplace-based training opportunities and improving the skills of vocational teachers in line with the new Core Curriculum for VET. 
  • 150 vocational teachers at VET Schools in Kosovo benefitted from training, tutorial videos and an e-learning manual to increase their capacities to offer online classes.
  • Non-formal training in a wide range of areas was offered to young people in order to better meet the demands of the private sector. 
  • 475 students were enrolled in cooperative learning schemes entailing work-based learning in companies and VET schools. 
  • Occupational standards for workplace instructors, in-company trainers and master trainers have been developed, resulting in training for more than 430 professionals. 
  • In a joint effort with relevant institutions and enterprises key steps for the recognition of a Kosovar construction qualification in Germany were identified and recommendations proposed, to make the process more efficient
  • Returning migrants received training and business grants to support their economic and social (re-)integration. 
  • Around 1,400 youth benefited from career guidance activities, soft skills training, and other youth activities organised in collaboration with Youth Centers around Kosovo.  

Last Update: March 2021

Additional information