Deficit and surplus of professions in the labor market
“I’m tired of looking for work in my profession”, says Egzon Ahmeti, who has a master’s degree in Law.
Egzoni finished his studies a year ago at the University of Pristina and since then he says he is looking for a regular job in the profession he studied for.
“There are many graduated lawyers, the demand for work is great,” says Egzoni, who is currently doing a six-month paid internship at the Department of Social Work in Viti.
“I had wanted to have a regular job, not to apply to the Employment Agency every six months – it’s abuse,” he says.
The profession of lawyer is among several professions that are currently not in high demand in the labor market in Kosovo. Currently, there are 3,799 students at the Faculty of Law of the University of Pristina, and in the academic year 2022/2023, 500 new students have been accepted.
But Luljeta Caka, who has trained in the craft of tailoring, has never been without work.
“I was hired immediately,” she says.
The textile sector, that of wood processing, metal, the field of information and communication technology, as well as that of digitization, are professions in short supply for the labor market in Kosovo according to the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation.
This is also confirmed by Arieta Vula-Pozhegu from the Association of Wood Processors in Kosovo, which gathers 1,700 companies.
“Out of over 1,000 young workers every year that companies need, only 70 young people are trained in this profession from vocational schools,” she says.
Even Visar Jasiqi of the American company ‘Radix’ from the IT sector, which provides services to various companies in the world, says that they have difficulty finding workers with profiles in this field.
“The demand is much greater than the human capital of Kosovo prepared in this field”, he says.
The latest research done by the United Nations Development Program in Kosovo (UNDP) shows that one of the challenges facing Kosovo is the mismatch between the needs of the labor market and the profiles of new graduates.
What is the Ministry of Education doing?
The 2022-2026 education strategy, which is being finalized by the Ministry of Education, has highlighted that the provision of study programs in Kosovo, which do not reflect the real needs of the labor market, remains a structural deficiency of higher education. Therefore, one of the objectives of the Strategy is the harmonization of education and professional training with the dynamic developments of technology and the labor market.
In the Education Strategy 2022-2026, it is stated that about 60 percent of study programs offered in Kosovo are from the field of education, arts and humanities, social sciences and services.
According to the strategy, the degree of orientation of students in these fields is very high compared to the dynamics of the market.
Meanwhile, the orientation of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which are also related to the professions required by the labor market, remains low.
The Ministry of Education told Radio Free Europe that they are committed to meeting the demands and needs of the country’s economy.
In order to meet the needs of the market in the field of information technology for the new school year, they say that some new profiles from this field have been included.
The training of these young people in these profiles, according to them, will be done in the education and professional training institutions of Kosovo.
Does the Education Strategy solve the problem?
Halim Hyseni, from the Center for the Advancement of the Performance of the Education System, says that Kosovo has had such education strategies in the past, but the problems have not been solved.
He adds that Kosovo needs an exit strategy from the crisis in education, in which, according to him, the country has been for several years now.
“The strategy must have a purpose. That goal is for the citizen to understand the benefits of the changes that can be made in the field of education. Without spreading this vision to the citizens, no strategy can be successful”, Hyseni assesses.
In the Ministry of Education, they say to Radio Free Europe that the institutions of education and professional training in Kosovo have the possibility of offering many profiles that are required by the labor market, but, according to them, a lack of interest among young people has been observed.
Some profiles that the labor market requires and that young people are not interested in these professions according to the Ministry of Education are profiles such as; leather processing, metal processing, mining/mining, agriculture, forestry.
The education expert Halim Hyseni says that the disinterest of young people in these profiles comes from the fact that students, starting from primary school, should be career-oriented, which, as he says, is not done with the education system of Kosovo.
According to Hysen, the high level of unemployment in Kosovo is also due to the non-harmonization of professional training with the labor market.
According to the Statistics Agency (ASK), unemployment in Kosovo is over 20 percent.
The latest KAS data on the labor market show that there are over 1.2 million citizens of working age in Kosovo, over 360 thousand are employed, while over 95 thousand are unemployed.
The number of inactive citizens in the labor market continues to be worrying.
According to KAS, over 760,000 citizens are economically inactive, which means that they are not employed, nor registered as unemployed, nor are they looking for work.