The German example for Kosovar employees
The Berlin Chamber of Commerce is one of the chambers of commerce operating in Germany. Christian Nestler, an economist at this Chamber of Commerce, described the economic situation in Berlin in drastic decline due to the political division since the end of World War II. Unable to rival Frankfurt, Stuttgart or Wolfsburg, which had a developed industry, Berlin has chosen an innovative strategy to develop the economy. It opened the doors to new ideas for doing business by facilitating the conditions to enter the market. This according to him has led to Berlin becoming the “birthplace” of a new generation of young entrepreneurs. Besides new ideas, Nestler mentioned another important factor: Educating workers.
- Education of employees is the first condition necessary for having a developed economy. A well-educated worker can produce high quality products, even afford constantly increasing quality.
- The main duty of the chambers of commerce in Germany is the education/training of employees, preparation of students for the labor market, and the education of the unemployed. Of course, trainings are planned in accordance with the needs of businesses for new employees.
Unemployment in Kosovo is currently extremely high. Officially, it rates at 30 percent. But there are two other statistics that make this figure suspicious. Firstly, the Kosovo Agency of Statistics says that only 25 percent of citizens of working age are employed. And the second has to do with the definition of inactive people. The pool of inactive labour force includes also those who have not sought for work in the last 30 days. So, the number of Kosovo citizens that can and are able to perform work and are not working is higher than 30 percent. It may be about 40 percent when keeping in consideration the high level of informality.
With this level of unemployment, Kosovo urgently needs a reform in the education system. Kosovo needs to develop academic curricula and professional programs to suit the needs of the Kosovar economy. Education and the economy cannot be separated. We must understand that the role of vocational schools, of universities is to prepare young people for work. The Ministry of Education should initiate a more detailed survey in the labor market, which should indicate the occupations of the future in Kosovo. The research should also include a strategy for economic development. Why? Because the government’s sector prioritization should guide the concentration of students into different university degrees. For example, if we say that energy is one of the sectors with potential for growth, Kosovo must increase the number of people attending vocational training as electricians and should also stimulate research in this field in universities. Kosovo should prepare professionals skilled enough to work not only in Kosovo, but also elsewhere in the European Union. Young people from Kosovo have the opportunity to be educated and prepared to work in large telecommunication companies in Europe. So, their education and training should be done in accordance with the requirements of the European market. Kosovo needs to follow the example of the Philippines, where employees are trained to find a job abroad.
Assistance from partners
The German-Kosovar Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare signed a Cooperation Agreement for implementing a project of the Chamber, which deals with the Vocational Education and Training of Kosovo citizens in Germany. This agreement aims to better channelthe support from Chamber in a more efficient implementation of the project for Vocational Education and Training in Germany.
Kosovars will stay in Germany for 3 and a half years and then they will be able to either return to Kosovo, or they can take advantage of the right to be hired in the companies where they were trained, or even in other German companies.
“Such a system, also known as dual, relates education and practical work. All those who will be part of this platform, in the end, will be equipped with internationally recognized certificates that would prove their abilities in a certain craft", said Krasniqi.
The Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Abrashi, called this a very important step towards opening of opportunities for young Kosovars to become an equal part of the European market. He congratulated the German-Kosovar Chamber of Commerce for the implementation of this project, which will raise the professional and educational level of the citizens of Kosovo.
For realizing this project, the German-Kosovar Chamber of Commerce has the full support of the German institutions in Kosovo and Germany, including the Union of Albanian Businesses operating in Germany.
This project was welcomed by German companies that have expressed their willingness to welcome young people from Kosovo.
Pristina, April 2015