EU supports human capital and employment in Albania with €3 million (10/02/2012)

Tirana, 10 February 2012


PRESS RELEASE

A €3 million project funded by the EU to improve the employability of the Albanian labour force was launched today.  Implemented by the International Labour Organisation, and in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Labour the project will seek to enhance the capacity of the Labour Inspectorate to assess working conditions, introduce health and safety legislation in line with EU law and close the existing gap between the skills demanded by the market and those taught through vocational education and training.

The global crisis has enhanced the importance of human resources for growth and prosperity. Albania’s economic growth is yet to be matched by a substantial growth in jobs. Currently, Albania has a low employment rate compared with the EU average, very low employment of women, high rates of long-term and discouraged jobseekers, and a concerning mismatch between the skills demanded and the skills offered in the labour market. This assistance seeks to redress some of these issues by aligning Albanian health and safety legislation to that of the EU, developing a gender-sensitive Employment and Training Strategy for 2013-2020, raising the capacities of the National Employment Service, the State Labour Inspectorate, and improve Vocational Education and Training through demand-driven qualifications and partnerships with the private sector. Improving capacities will be instrumental to the enforcement of health and safety legislation especially in the construction, mining and energy sectors where workers are more exposed to improper working conditions.

During the launch ceremony, the Head of the EU Delegation to Albania, Ambassador Ettore Sequi noted the importance of human resources for welfare and prosperity, stating that “meeting Albania’s challenges towards the EU – its political, economic and social development – relies on the capacities of people here, of Albanians”. He emphasised that projects help but do not suffice and that development requires the efforts and cooperation of all actors. “Human capital”, he said, “can bring prosperity if nourished by all of us, for we are all stakeholders in this issue. And that means Albanian society at large, and in particular government and public administration, trade and labour unions, employers’ organizations, and the workers themselves. Albania’s human capital will bring prosperity to its own self once all these stakeholders commit to a real social partnership”.

Since 2004, the EU has supported the development of labour market, education and training in Albania with €19 million. This project will be implemented by the International Labour Organisation in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour over a period of 2 years.

For further information, please contact:
Artes Butka
Press & Information Officer
Tel: + 355 4 2228 320, + 355 42 228 479
Fax: + 355 4 230 752
E-mail: artes.butka@eeas.europa.eu
Delegation's website: www.delalb.ec.europa.eu