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Youth, Employment and Skills in Kosovo* (YES)

Commissioned by: The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Implementing Agencies: Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) and Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MLSW)

Project areas: Vocational Education and Training, Youth Employment Promotion, Active Labour Market Policies and Programmes, and Labour Mobility

Duration: January 2017 to December 2020

Target group: Youth age 15 to 35 and vulnerable groups including return migrants.

Project Background

Despite steady growth the economy of Kosovo* is still fragile, relying on remittances and foreign development assistance. Kosovo’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita is at one of the lowest levels in Europe and poverty, especially among young people, remains high. Consequently, migration is prevalent, particularly among disadvantaged population groups. The level of youth unemployment is close to 60% and at the same time, many vacancies in the private sector cannot be filled. Bridging the gap between the job seekers’ skills and the labour market demands remains a major challenge in Kosovo*. To address these deficiencies, the Government of Kosovo* has drawn up the Economic Reform Program (ERP) and the Action Plan for Increasing Youth Employment (2018-2020) as key strategic planning documents. The Youth, Employment and Skills Project supports these reform initiatives by public and private sector stakeholders at both implementation and policy level.

Project Objective

The employability of young Kosovars aged between 15 and 35 years is improved, taking into account the specific needs of returned migrants, all ethnic groups and minorities.


The YES project enhances the employability of young people by improving the quality of Vocational Education and Training (VET) as well as strengthening matching mechanisms between labour market supply and demand. The project applies a bottom-up approach, primarily working with institutions at the local level such as vocational schools, public employment offices and youth centers. Furthermore, the project seeks to strengthen the systems and implementation capacities of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) and Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MLSW) and their agencies in delivering quality services and offers to young people.

Main activities:

Addressing concerns of the private sector over a skills mismatch, project activities aim to improve the quality of vocational education and training. Better industry-school linkages, stronger involvement of the private sector in the development and adaptation of standards and curricula will result in a higher practice orientation of vocational training in Kosovo*. Throughout implementation, improving the quality and recognition of Kosovar qualifications has to take into account the frameworks, trends and realities of regional labour migration. In the field of youth employment promotion, the project supports measures that provide young people with the opportunity to experience the world of work through setting up internship schemes or job fairs with the participation of local businesses. Youth participation and empowerment activities are facilitated through close collaboration with Youth Centers and actors from the ICT sector. The project also supports the organizational development of the newly established Employment Agency of the Republic of Kosovo* and its Public Employment Offices. The project promotes the interfaces between vocational education provided by VET schools and Vocational Training Centers and youth employment by strengthening cooperation between public and private actors. Career guidance and counselling is an example for which the VET schools get linked up with businesses.


In its first year of implementation the project reached around 250.000 young people with employment relevant information campaigns and events like job fairs. More than 1.600 young people benefited directly from a range of youth employability and promotion measures.

  • Together with the MLSW and the newly established Employment Agency of Kosovo*, the programme implemented an internship programme in sectors with high employment potential: the textile, metal processing, wood processing and ICT sectors.
  • Different entrepreneurship training and academies have been initiated and the best business ideas were kick started with financial support. Innovative formats such as a televised start-up battle or the ‘Green Entrepreneurship Academy’ were tested.
  • The programme supported several job fairs in close cooperation with the municipalities, local businesses and business associations. On average, 40 companies and approximately 400 students and jobseekers attended job fairs.
  • Inclusiveness is key to success: of the participants in the employability measures 40% were female, over 25% were returnees and 10% were from ethnic minorities. The project supported vocational training and internships for people with Down’s syndrome.
  • Local stakeholder meetings are a new format that facilitate dialogue on youth employment, better information on respective mandates of the institutions and networking with each other.
  • Supporting returning migrants, the programme introduced soft skills training and entrepreneurship training, and issued grants for innovative business ideas. For this particular purpose, the project supports the Ministry of Internal Affairs in its reintegration efforts.
  • The project will collaborate with a range of technical and economic VET schools in implementing school development plans, increasing workplace based training opportunities and strengthening the competencies of professional practice teachers in line with the new Core Curriculum for VET.
  • In the construction sector, a pilot programme was initiated in cooperation with the German Information Point on Migration, Vocational Training and Careers (DIMAK), the MLSW and the private sector to improve the pathways for vocational training and the recognition of Kosovar qualifications in Germany.


  • About the project – [EN]
  • Workplace Instructor occupational standard [AL]
  • In-Company Trainer occupational standard [AL]
  • Adult Training Instructor occupational standard [AL]

GIZ YES Project Work Package: Cooperation with private sector

Overall objective

The overall objective of this work package is to strengthen the cooperation between VET schools and private sector, including BMOs (Business Membership Organizations – Chambers, Industry Associations, etc.), in order to build a qualified, skilled workforce demanded by labour market.

Specific objectives

The specific objectives of this work package are:

  • To develop support programmes for companies and BMOs with In-Company Trainer programme
  • To strengthen and improve the capacities for managing quality assurance of cooperation between VET schools and private sector through assessment and certification of In-Company trainers (BMO model development)
  • To support small scale schemes of placing VET students into professional practice with companies, such as Retail Internship Scheme
  • To establish Local VET Employment Networks between stakeholders in YES pilot locations on industry-school linkages

Inputs provided by GIZ YES Project

1) In-Company Trainer programme offers 3 levels of trainings (Work Place Instructor, In Company Trainer and Master Trainer) to companies, BMOs and VET schools/VTC to prepare their employees to transfer needed knowledge and skills in real work situations to the students and future employees. Professionals and supervisors from companies of all sizes and sectors, executives with training responsibilities and human resource developers, freelance trainers, workplace instructors are the target group for this programme.

General objectives of the programme are:

  • Creating employment opportunities for VET students;
  • Increasing the employability for VET students;
  • Increasing the competitiveness of the companies.

This approach has been proven as the most efficient one to prepare students for their future jobs in the labour market. Besides the technical skills that the In-Company Trainers already possess, they gain a high level of pedagogical and methodological skills to guide and motivate students and to assist them in developing their technical and personal competencies. The in-company trainers will improve the quality of internship programmes of Kosovo* VET students in different fields, e.g. in economics and selected technical and trade profiles, e.g. construction, mechatronics, sanitation and modern heating systems, trading, ICT. During an internship, students acquire demand oriented skills and working attitudes, supplementary and supportive to the practical training in VET school workshops and labs.

Results to date: Based on provision of the Law on National Qualification 03/L-060 and Administrative Instruction 28/2014 for Criteria and Procedures for Verification of Occupational Standards, Steering Board of NQA on a meeting which is held on 05.04.2019, has taken decision 01- 228 for the approval of the report of external verification panel regarding all three Occupational Standards which have been developed by a project Working group and which is submitted to CVETAE for the approval by the YES In-Company team.

The OS which have been approved are:

  • Workplace Instructor at Level 4 of NQF, Occupational Classification Code: 33 42,
  • In-Company Trainer at Level 5 of NQF, Occupational Classification Code: 33 42.04,
  • Adult Training Instructor at Level 5 of NQF, Occupational Classification Code: 2359.01.

Qualification for Workplace Instructor at Level 4 of NQF, is comprised of four modules with 40 training hours and 4 ECVET Credits:

  • Analysis of job assignments and determination of learning objectives, 10 hours
  • Planning and preparation of training, 10 hours
  • Training Implementation, 20 hours
  • Student / candidate evaluation and continuous training development, 10 hours.

Qualification for In-Company Trainer at Level 5 of NQF, is comprised of four modules with 90 training hours and 9 ECVET Credits:

  • Planning and organization of training, 20 hours,
  • Training, 40 hours,
  • Assurance Development, 15 hours,
  • Networking, 15 hours.

Qualification for Adult Training Instructor at Level 5 of NQF, is comprised of four modules with 88 training hours and 8.8 ECVET Credits:

  • Prepare the teaching / training process, 20 hours
  • Implementing learning process / training, 32 hours
  • Analysis and evaluation of the teaching process, 16 hours
  • Self-professional development, 20 hours

64 In Company Trainers, 23 Master Trainers and 70 Work Place Instructors have received and successfully completed the training.

2) BMO model development ensures that the quality assurance of cooperation between VET schools and private sector through assessment and certification of In-Company trainers is institutionalised and accepted by all relevant stakeholders (KCC, Office for Cooperation with Economy in MEST and NQA). KCC is directly supported through capacity development for its regional officers that will participate in the In – Company Training programme and/or further training and certification on Establishing Cooperation between Schools and Private sector. Training for assessors of In-Company Trainers to be developed and harmonised with the BMO model.

3) Retail Internship Scheme is developed in cooperation with the major retail companies and Retail Association. The scheme will place up to 150 VET students (12th grade) into internship placements with retail companies in Prishtina, Ferizaj, Mitrovica and Suhareka for 2 to 3 months during summer of 2019. Up to 180 VET students will be provided with 3 day Soft Skills training course to prepare them for applying and entering the internship scheme. This scheme is intended to open doors of companies for future cooperation with schools in terms of starting to systematically accept VET students (starting from 11th grade) to do the practice in the companies.

4) Local VET employment networks will serve as collaboration mechanisms for facilitating an ongoing and effective dialogue between all relevant stakeholders at (schools, VTCs, local businesses, BMOs and MEDs), at a local level. This mechanism will create space for open discussions and dialogue on how to build a qualified workforce and provide real opportunities for VET students to do practical work in the companies. The networks will be established on the locations of our pilot schools. The specific objectives of this mechanism are:

  • To identify businesses and industry sectors most relevant for the region surrounding each pilot school and strengthen cooperation between each VET school with businesses and industry.
  • To support and drive the involvement of businesses and industry with VET schools through facilitating and enabling agreements/MoUs for placing VET students in a professional practice in the companies.
  • To establish formal and regular collaboration and consultation dialogue for all responsible actors (VET School, MED, Businesses and Industry) to align their understanding and expectations for skilled workforce and VET school’s development needs.
  • To identify opportunities for PPP between companies and VET schools, including upcoming Challenge Fund opportunity.
  • To support companies in setting up in-company training programme.

List of pilot school

Name Type Municipality
1 Pjeter Bogdani Mechatronics Ferizaj
2 Mehmet IsaiGjilan Mechatronics Gjilan
3 Tafil Kasumaj Mechatronics Decan
4 CoC in Skenderaj Construction Skenderaj
5 Bahri Haxha Construction Vushtrri
6 Adem Gllavica Construction Lipjan
7 Faik Konica Economic Ferizaj
8 Hasan Prishtina Economic Mitrovice
9 Abdyl Ramaj Mix Suhareke
10 Arkitekt Sinani Technical Mitrovice
11 Fehmi Lladrovci Technical Drenas
12 CoC in Malisheva Economic Malisheva
13 VTC Prizren Industrial Electronics, Pneumatics & Hydraulics Prizren
14 VTC Peja Construction Peja


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