Round-tables on the political, social and economic participation of young people

Partners Albania, as part of the regional network “Youth Bank Hub for the Western Balkans and Turkey” in the framework of continuous monitoring of the political, social and economic participation of young people in Albania, published in June the Monitoring Report on Social, Political and Economic Inclusion of Youth, for the period January – June 2018. The third periodic report provides updated statistical data on a set of indicators as well as a comparison of the situation over 3 years of monitoring.

In order to identify and reflect the local stakeholders’ view on the findings of the Albanian and regional report, during September-December 2018, PA organized three roundtables in Kukës, Berat and Tirana, with the participation of 55 representatives from civil society and local government institutions.

The importance of career counseling at an early age and the impact that this service has on career choice and consequently on the employment and professional performance of young people was one of the concerns raised by the attendees. Despite local institutional efforts to improve career counseling in schools, representatives of youth organizations think that should be a change in the methodological approach. Focusing on career counseling in theory and the lack of closely knowing their professions, often leads to a lack of accurate orientation in the vocational education choice. Lack of knowledge of labor market needs leads to a non-compliance between professional orientation and market demand. Increasing staff in providing this service, individual work with young people, adding personal skill tests to the consultation process, and especially combining visits to and sharing of concrete experiences with private and public sector professionals, were some of the suggestions offered by the participants in the round tables.

The youth unemployment rate, mainly in rural and urban areas outside the capital, was another indicator that triggered reactions and discussion among the attendees, more specifically on the low employment opportunities available in the job market. The views of representatives of youth organizations and local government units were unified, that there is a need for a strategic intervention based on resource and opportunities that the areas can provide in the economic development of the municipalities in order to increase the demand on the labor market and eventually increase the employment of young people. Developing local incentives to attract business investment, boosting competition in the current market were some of the suggestions shared in these roundtables.

Development and implementation of efficient youth policies is a multidimensional issue requiring the engagement of all actors involved in providing youth services. Increased coordination of local and central institutions and closer co-operation with civil society youth organizations was identified as a necessity to increase the involvement of youth in all three areas.

Suggestions and recommendations received during the roundtables will be reflected in a set of advocacy issues and concrete recommendations for the governing institutions at central and local level.

The project “Youth Bank Hub for Western Balkans and Turkey”, is implemented by Partners Albania for Change and Development in Albania, “Ana i Vlade Divac” Foundation in Serbia, Association for Education – MLADIINFO International in Macedonia, ”Prima” organization in Montenegro and “Community Volunteers Foundation” in Turkey. The project is funded by the European Union.