Albanian Company Encourages Formal Employment

C4EE Team 20.02.2022
Every 20 February is World Day of Social Justice and the theme for 2022 is Achieving Social Justice through Formal Employment. There are many employees who are stuck in informal, and often unjust, employment. For them this day is a reminder that we all have to fight for their rights to decent work, and for their full and equal inclusion in the labor market.  There are employers for which this day may come like an alarm bell. And, then there is this example of a company located in Kashar, an industrial area of Tirana, Albania, where they do things differently – in a more socially responsible way.

The DBS company is one of the businesses that we convinced to cooperate with our “Coaching for Employment and Entrepreneurship for Returned Migrants and Vulnerable Groups” (C4ER) project. They vowed to promote formal employment, decent and democratic work conditions and invest in their employees’ development. They prioritized the recruitment and training of new staff, especially of female returned migrants and women from cultural minorities. They applied what we call “Coaching in Business”.

The DBS company has been operating in Albania since 2011. It specializes in the production of sportswear for various renown (and upper segment) brands. It has a capacity of 540 employees. The project trained and accompanied the company’s human resources management and placed a temporary mentor in the company. This way the company adopted a new methodology for recruitment, induction and in-company training of new female workers – mostly returned migrants and cultural minorities. They started to select and recruit workers on their soft skills and their team working and learning competencies, rather than on hard qualifications. Subsequently, the candidates underwent group coaching, and explored and acquired the necessary methodological and professional competencies, and further improved their personal and social competencies for the job.

"From the very beginning of the idea of opening this business, the aim was the contribution we give to the community not only with the product we offer, but in the culture of formal employment. Providing formal employment for jobseekers means supporting the change that requires not only a family, but the community, society, that is also why we participate in C4ER project"
Elidon Avrami, Executive Director of “DBS Group”

The process of Coaching in Business that this company went through, is focused on filling vacancies more efficiently and in an organized way, but in the meantime supporting and training jobseekers for long-term employment, as a prerequisite for reducing poverty and inequality. An important side-effect was that the company now has a much lower staff turnover and much more motivated and dedicated staff. For this reason, they maintained the new HRM routines also beyond the project.

Through this approach, the DBS company expanded the pool of potential candidates also with jobseekers who due to socio-economic conditions do not possess the skills required for vacancies and had become more vulnerable in the labor market. Training and development of personal, social, methodological, and professional skills for these jobseekers during the Coaching in Business, enabled:   

  • this group of jobseekers to be employed in formal, stable jobs which ensure steady incomes, and
  • the company to groom qualified and motivated staff and overall better running business.

This is a story shared with you on the World Day of Social Justice, but for which this project started raising awareness among jobseekers and employers for years.

The C4ER project is implemented by Swisscontact Albania, and financed by GIZ.

This blog is part of the Eastern Europe region blog series "Engaging with the people", where Our team members from across the region share their experiences, learning, and vision for creating new opportunities in the countries where we work. It is published to mark the World Day of Social Justice.