Albania: local opportunities for returning migrants and youth

Two new projects in Albania offer a broad spectrum of employment opportunities, from formal employment and self-employment to innovative entrepreneurship with opportunities for growth.

Returning migrants: towards employment and entrepreneurship thanks to coaching

The Coaching for Employment (C4E) project focuses on migrants returning to Albania and who have learned skills during their period abroad. C4E harnesses the practical experience they have gained as a benefit of integrating them into the domestic labour market.

During the coaching cycle, each participant analyses his or her particular situation. An individual development plan lays out the path that will lead the participant to employment or self-employment.  The coaching groups are led by local organisations and the National Employment Service.

Innovative ecosystem driving Albania’s start-up culture forwards

The objective of the second project is to enhance the market competitiveness of young, highly qualified self-employed entrepreneurs in particular. On the one hand, the project supports organisations that support start-ups. Within this start-up ecosystem, start-ups can find work locations, like-minded entrepreneurs, partners, employees, mentors, and donors. An exchange between start-up ecosystems across the entire Western Balkan region is encouraged, supporting start-ups with additional skills and fostering further growth.

Swisscontact is leveraging the experience and lessons learnt from the Swiss Entrepreneurship Programme (SwissEP). The SwissEP is a start-up ecosystems development programme financed by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented in seven countries, including Albania.

Innovative solutions for new kinds of employment

Both projects differ from traditional development projects by their innovative solutions to unemployment and underemployment – especially for young people. This is made possible by Albania’s proximity to the EU, its economic status as a middle-income country and EU accession candidate, in addition to the skills that returning migrants bring back. Future employment forms mix employment, part-time employment, entrepreneurship, and more. Projects are focusing on this and helping to spur further development and economic growth in Albania.

Both projects are financed by GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) and implemented by Swisscontact.