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Investment Council on the labour skills availability and quality

Tirana, October 26th, 2022 / Chaired by the Minister of Finance and Economy, Ms Delina Ibrahimaj, the Investment Council (IC) held a plenary meeting to discuss the private sector’s concerns about the availability and quality of the workforce in the country. The meeting was attended by the majority of IC members and around 40 observers representing the public and private sector and development agencies.

During her speech, Minister Ibrahimaj stressed the importance of labour skills to fulfil current business needs, especially taking into consideration the transformation of the market in recent years due to digitisation. The Minister emphasised the work done so far, such as the drafting of the new National Employment and Skills Strategy, which will be consulted with the interest groups before its final approval, and the Youth Guarantee Scheme. According to Minister Ibrahimaj, it is paramount to increase the information and awareness about the available employment promotion programs and job vacancies to reduce the gap between unemployed job seekers and business needs.

IC Secretariat delivered a brief presentation with key findings and proposals for the prioritisation of interventions, as per the perspective of micro, small and medium-sized companies (MSMEs), focusing on improving work culture and perspective of young people, increasing the effectiveness of the available information channels, labour formalisation, and improvement of skills digitisation. The rationale was elaborated based on pertinent desk research, feedback from direct meetings with 37 partners, findings of the IC survey conducted with 253 companies and a questionnaire with 262 young people (September 2022).

During the open discussion session, the business representatives (UCCIAL, Woman Economic Chamber, Business Albania, Producers Associations, FIAA, Albanian Diaspora Business Association, Young Professionals Network, ProEksport Albania, and Life Insurance and Investment Funds Association) expressed their concerns about the current market labour challenges and put forward several suggestions such as the introduction of the electronic labour permit and further facilitation of the access of foreign workers, reintegration of immigrants, increase the potential role of chambers of commerce on improving the MSMEs’ entrepreneurship mentality in human resource management, improvement of remuneration/productivity/competitiveness, and the importance of internships at the private sector. Other insights were provided by the other IC members (development partners) about the inclusion of key actors in resolving the complex issues of the labour market skills, increasing the role of primary education to create a skilled force, collaboration with the private sector to provide input on the school curricula to adapt them as per market needs, the expected role of the newly-established Sector Skills Committee in the tourism sector, and other ways to fill the gap of qualified skills in the local market.

At the end of the discussions, Minister Delina Ibrahimaj provided additional information on current government efforts and results achieved in reducing undeclared labour, setting up a labour market observatory by NALS (National Agency for Employment and Skills) to facilitate better the gap of available information on labour opportunities for job seekers and entrepreneurs by NALS, thanked participants for their contribution and invited them to other dedicated working group meetings to discuss in more detail relevant issues and suggestions.

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Full materials of this meeting will be published in the next few weeks in our dedicated section https://www.investment.com.al/ic-meetings/.

 

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