Press release | 15 April 2011
Kukes – 15 April 2011 –
Representatives of the Albanian Government, Kukes Regional Council, the United Nations, public institutions, training providers, trade unions, the business community and the media gathered in Kukes Town in Albania to sign the Kukes Region Territorial Employment Pact for Youth. The Pact will lead to the formalization and creation of one thousand new jobs by the end of this year.
The Employment Pact defines the roles and responsibilities of over forty actors involved in efforts to formalize the labour market in the Region. It is the result of local-level concertation led by the Regional Employment Board, with technical support from the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. The agreement constitutes an investment of 244,180 USD, of which 155,180 USD has been provided by the United Nations, as part of the One UN Joint Programme Youth Employment and Migration, while 89,000 USD are in-kind contributions from local partners, such as enterprises, trade unions and associations. Moreover, the Pact will be linked to grant schemes of around 300,000 USD provided by the Albanian Government for agricultural and rural development in the region of Kukes.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Mr. Kastriot Sulka, Deputy-Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities commented: “We start today with almost 1,000 new jobs in Kukes Region. We hope that soon other regions of Albania will adopt the same approach of Territorial Employment Pacts for Youth Employment. We will conquer unemployment and formalize 100 or 200 jobs at the same time by, working in each and every little village of Albania if necessary. The Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities stands ready to support all Regional Authorities in this process, with our technical experts and with the tools and integrated approaches developed together with the International Labour Office, lead agency of the Youth Employment and Migration Programme.”
Mr. Shefqet Bruka, Chairperson of the Kukes Regional Council (KRC) and the Regional Employment Board (REB) noted: “The development of the Territorial Employment Pact has been an inspiring challenge and certainly not an easy task but all of us take pride and strongly believe that the future of up to 1000 people in this region will be better thanks to the great job we have done and we will continue doing in the framework of the Pact”
The region of Kukes is highly affected by youth migration, a prevalence of under-employment and informal work in subsistence agriculture, a lack of training and productivity improvement services and poor occupational health and safety and working conditions.
To combat these challenges, the partnership of local and national actors formed through the Kukes Region Territorial Employment Pact for Youth will focus on four main areas: transition to formalization of enterprises and workers, information and awareness raising on safe migration and employment issues, delivery of livelihood and employability training tools and work training programmes.