The vocational training system in Kosovo is hopelessly out of date. It does not prepare young people for the requirements of the labour market. As a result, many emigrate to other European countries while domestic companies desperately seek qualified workers. Solidar Suisse wants to change this.
No access to work
Over half of young people in Kosovo are unemployed. Every year thousands leave the country; they hope they will have better chances of making a living in the EU or Switzerland. On the other hand, employers in Kosovo complain that vocational school graduates are poorly qualified. There are few practical modules in curricula and very little time is dedicated to career planning in the final year of courses. Solidar Suisse uses new approaches to pave the way for young people to enter the labour market.
We want to improve the quality of vocational training and to make it as closely aligned with the practical requirements of jobs as possible.
To this end, in Peja, Solidar Suisse set up a working group comprised of business representatives, authorities and career advisors who sought solutions together. Their proposals were incorporated into new training modules that were introduced at two vocational schools. In addition, internships at companies enabled young people to gain valuable experience. New modules are now offered for ten professions, ranging from car mechanics to IT to tourism. The learnings from Peja were used to provide recommendations to the authorities and were implemented in further cities in a bid to use the positive experiences from Peja to improve practical education throughout the country. In addition, final year teachers were provided with training to enable them to help students look for jobs after completing their training. Alongside their own lessons, students, parents and schools received additional support through relevant brochures and websites.
«I was able to gain practical experience and had the chance to be involved in the full work process. I now work part time as a carpenter at the same company and after I finish my studies I want to pursue further training in wood processing.»
Impact: 300 qualified professionals
By the end of 2020, 300 vocational students had concluded a revised course of study, including a work placement, and as a result were much better equipped to enter the labour market. The four modules of tourism, IT, carpentry and metalwork have been introduced in the vocational schools in Peja and are now a permanent component of curricula. Career advice was previously rarely provided in primary schools. Now, this too is offered in Peja and it is viewed as a positive example throughout Kosovo.
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