SDC Project Implemented by Helvetas and MDA

AI Breakthrough in Kosovo Helps Youths Choose a Career Path Leading to Employment

The economy of Kosovo is currently being stressed by the pandemic and the on-going supply chain and inflation crises. Youth unemployment is around 50% and is particularly severe for young women. Not surprisingly, there is a strong trend for youths to emigrate for work. 

But the solution to youth unemployment is not just about establishing more training centres or schemes that subsidize work experience. More than half of the young people who were interviewed by UNDP in 2021 felt that Kosovo was going in the wrong direction, while one in four felt that the situation in the country was stagnating. Moreover, the lack of job opportunities (81%), poverty or poor economic situation (68%), and nepotism/corruption (42%) remained the top three challenges for young people in Kosovo. Findings further revealed that the lack of personal perspective were perceived as root causes for over half of the young people who considered leaving Kosovo in the next three years. The complexity and severity of issues that youth in Kosovo cope with were also reflected in findings on mental well-being. Three in four young people in Kosovo expressed slight to extreme concerns about coping with stress, and 83% felt that physical and mental health were essential in their life. 

Youths need advice and support to choose a career, to get the relevant training, and to be introduced to career enhancement portals where they can see vacancy notices, learn about salaries and promote themselves to employers. For a long time, EYE has been faithfully facilitating the establishment of a careers advisory service in VET schools in Kosovo. This service has been tested and adapted and was recently approved by government. Kosovo is now ready to scale-up the availability of this service so that many more youths can be supported through the difficult transition in their lives when they are 16-18 years old.

This is where AI comes in: Administrative Instructions (AI) are essential to ensure sustainability and good functioning of public services. They are the framework of regulations that ensure public administration is done well and does not drift from the standard due to local variations and exceptions caused by lack of planning, insufficient funds or political and managerial preference.

In August, EYE facilitated with MESTI a meeting of the working group on school-based career centres to formulate appropriate Administrative Instructions. The meeting was held in Prizren and concluded with confidence that by the end of this year the AI will be finalized and ready to be discussed more widely with a broader group of stakeholders. By the end of the year, MESTI is expected to approve the school-based career centre standardized model regulated by AI to ensure quality careers guidance services with mandatory implementation by municipalities and VET schools.

This is great news. It means that by the end of 2024 over 20,000 youths will get excellent careers advice in 22 VET schools helping them to choose a meaningful and interesting career, leading to employment in Kosovo.

Next time you think of AI, don’t forget that progress is not just about algorithms, technology and the internet – ‘artificial intelligence’. Progress, from Ottoman days to now, also relies on effective administration as detailed in Administrative Instructions 😊

For more information about EYE and its work to help 3,000 youths find new or better employment, click here.

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