The Embassy of Finland launched today the Self-employment Programme together with the UNDP and the Kosovo Ministry for Labour and Social Welfare. The goal of the programme is to enhance the entry of young adults and disadvantaged groups into the labour market through self-employment. Programme is part of a bigger programme The Active Labour Market Programmes for Youth 2, which aims to improve the public employment services to better equip the job seekers to match the employers' needs and to take account also the disadvantaged jobseekers. Within the framework of the programme the services of the employment offices have been developed and the young jobseekers have been trained to find a job and develop their career. The programme is primarilyfunded by the Finnish foreign ministry.
As for the Self-employment Programme, it gives the opportunity for unemployed Kosovars from all over the country to establish their own business. In the application process, priority is given to disadvantaged groups, such as the long-term unemployed, youth, women, people with disabilities and ethnic minorities . The accepted candidates will get training and consulting by experts for drawing up a business plan and the best plans will be awarded with a grant of 3000 to 6000 euros.
The speakers of the launching event, Ms. Anne Meskanen, Chargée d’Affaires of the Embassy, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Ms. Alessandra Roccasalvo, the deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Ms. Rita Hajzeraj-Beqaj and Mr. Hafiz Leka, Head of the Division for Employment Policy with Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, highlighted the importance of inclusive employment services and the skills training of the jobseekers. In her speech Ms. Meskanen stated that the goal of the Finnish development cooperation is to enhance economic development in Kosovo, especially through creating jobs. The employment services must take all Kosovars into account and additional efforts are needed to enhance young adults' and disadvantaged groups' entry to the labour market. Moreover, the employment services must be able to combinethe skills of the jobseekers and the needs of the employers.