UNDP/ILO - Inklusive Arbeitsmarktlösungen auf dem Westbalkan
The objective of the programme is to increase the ability and confidence of hard-to-employ population groups (including long-term unemployed, women, in particular from ethnic minorities underrepresented at the labour market, people with disabilities, youth/first time job seekers) to access decent employment opportunities.
Expected results are:
1. Labour market governance: Public employment and social service agencies have greater capacity to implement integrated user-centred approaches to improve outreach to vulnerable and hard-to-employ groups.
2. Innovation for fostering inclusive labour markets: Public employment and social service agencies implement innovative programmes for employment of disadvantaged groups and scale them up at the regional level.
3. Knowledge systematization for effective policy making: sustainable mechanisms for exchange of experience, peer learning and peer review are established.
The primary beneficiaries of the project comprise public employment services and centres for social welfare, local authorities in areas with particularly severe employment problems, civil society organisations, which provide services for most disadvantaged groups in the society, and employers’ and workers’ organizations.
The end beneficiaries are unemployed population groups and the composition may vary by country, depending on the severity of the problem faced by different disadvantaged groups, but will include the long term unemployed, youth, people with disabilities, women and people from ethnic minorities.
During the first year of project implementation, at least 30 members of hard-to-employ groups per country are expected to increase their employability through the participation in Active Labour Market Programmes. In the second year at least 100 hard-to-employ persons per country will be participating in such programmes and at least 30 persons per country will have been employed (in total about 960 persons). The total number of beneficiaries to receive individualized support by the employment counsellors and social workers will be determined once the participatory audit of the capabilities and competences of public employment services and centres for social work has been completed and their personnel has received advanced training in individual case management.
The project target will be achieved by promoting better integration of employment and social welfare services, as well as ensuring a more consistent use of individual case work approaches to reach out to these groups. The project shall also promote and pilot the use of innovative tools by the employment and social welfare agencies. It will facilitate the transfer of good practices and relevant know-how from European member states, and provide platforms for peer exchange and review between relevant institutions within the Western Balkan countries. Activities will involve local government authorities and where appropriate incorporate actions to assist the employment of migrants.
The Western Balkan countries are often cited as the countries with the highest unemployment rates in Europe and unfavourable employment structures. The latter are characterized by a high share of public sector employment and a small share of private sector wage employment, generally very high agricultural employment, high informal employment, high shares of vulnerable employment and also low employment rates for older workers, persons with disabilities and Roma. Furthermore, youth unemployment is extremely high and female activity rates significantly lag behind the European Union average. Geographical factors also play a role, as secondary urban areas and remote rural areas tend to have less, or lower quality, employment opportunities.