Innovation for Generating Employment and Achieving Resilience (InGEAR)
The proposed project, “Innovation for Achieving Sustainable Livelihoods for Youth” will contribute to increased opportunities for sustainable livelihoods through employment and entrepreneurship for Kosovo’s adolescents and youth by increasing the professional readiness, entrepreneurial capacities, and work experience of the target group.
The project will realize three main Outputs:
(1) By 2018, 1,200 adolescents and youth (ages 14-24; with an emphasis on most vulnerable groups) will be trained in key soft and transferable professional skills, 120 of which will gain professional experience through the establishment of 12 social start-up businesses.
(2) By 2018, 900 adolescents and youth (ages 14-24; with an emphasis on most vulnerable groups) will be trained in relevant ICT skills, 300 of which will gain professional experience through a practicum pursued in cooperation with and under the mentorship of ICT professionals to design, develop, product manage, and deploy six ICT-based solutions for public benefit.
(3) By 2018, 3,000 adolescents and youth (ages 14-24) will have advanced their professional readiness and exposure to the labour market through volunteer positions with 60 local CSOs and public institu-tions trained in best practices in volunteer management.
The target group is broadly defined as adolescents and youth aged 14-24 and will emphasize most vulnerable groups including young people from rural communities, girls and women, young people with disabilities, and young people from non-majority communities (referred to as such as per the Law on the Rights of Communities of the Republic of Kosovo 2008). There are approximately 430,000 adolescents and youth within the age parameters; within that cohort, approximately 30,000 are from non-majority communities, 215,000 are girls and women, and 12,000 are from rural communities (the number of adolescents and youth living in municipal-ities ranked in the lowest tertile of population density, calculated from the census through applicable ratios). MEST reports approximately .14 and .45 percent of students have special needs, figures typically range from .1 percent of a population living with severe disabilities to 10 percent of the population living with some functional constraint.
The primary local project partner is Peer Educators Network (PEN), a non-governmental youth organization and non-profit that aims to promote active citizenship amongst youth as a means of meeting the needs of the community holding NGO status in Kosovo and headquartered in Prishtina/Pristina.
Some of the key activities to achieve the results are :
• Establish local partnerships and train mentors
• Conduct trainings and workshops with beneficiaries
• Contract teams, provide seed financing
• Provide incubation services, including mentorship
• Conduct NGO/Business Workshop
• Solicit client organization project requests
• Analyse projects, develop curriculum and develop and/or secure learning resources
• Secure and capacitate trainers
• Conduct project inception/charter event, introductory project management training
• Deliver curriculum
• Capacitate client and deploy solution
• Develop volunteer seeking organization best practices workshop curriculum and learning re-sources, scorecard
• Mentor and monitor participating CSOs
Key contextual considerations include: 55.9 percent (68.4 percent amongst females) of youth of employment age (defined by KAS as 15-24) are currently unemployed - twice the rate of adults - while 35.3 percent (40.9 percent amongst females) are not in employment, education, or training; 95.5% of youth lack any prior work experience, making securing employment in Kosovo’s narrow labour market extremely difficult even for grad-uates with appropriate credentials; Kosovo employers identify “candidates lacking necessary work experience” and “candidates possessing low qualification/skills” as the number one and two difficulties faced by employers in filling vacancies.