On 06 December 2018, Lens presented in front of the stakeholder the research on rural youth. This study attempts to shed light on the current situation of youth in the rural areas with a view of identifying key issues which represent barriers, opportunities, and needs for their inclusion in the social and labor market in Kosovo.
In doing so, this study with a sample of 602 participants aged 15-24 in 17 Kosovo municipalities may be helpful to design strategies that will help increase the participation of young people in rural areas in the labor market in Kosovo. The key findings of this study show that young people in rural areas do not have proper access to information about jobs in Kosovo. With only 158 (24.62%) employed and 436 (75.8) unemployed, it also shows that most young people believe that skills are not the most relevant criterion in getting employment, as recommendation, family and social ties are the most frequent ways to find a job in Kosovo.
In terms of unemployment by gender results show that females stand worse than males in the labor market, with 80.5% of young rural females being unemployed compared to 67.6% of unemployed males.
This study shows that there is no typical situation which would impact youth employment. For example, both higher employment and unemployment rate can be found in smaller municipalities. Accordingly, the employment rate is highest in Lipjan with 58.1% of respondents employed, followed by Hani i Elezit with 50% of respondents employed, and by Kaçanik with 46.2% of rural youth employed. The worst performing municipalities in terms of rural youth employment rate include: Skënderaj (9.7%), Malisheva (10.4%), Kamenicë (10.7%), and Deçan (13.3%).
The study also reveals a positive relationship between the level of education attained by respondents and their employment rate. This explains why young people seek study opportunities to increase their chances for employment, with the majority of young people embarking on university studies, and with 60% of youngsters having between 14 to 18 years of education.
On the other side, the study has identified that the skill deficit in job opportunities, and a mismatch between training followed and jobs available in rural areas makes employment of young people problematic. As stipulated by other studies (LENS, 2016) there is a mismatch between students’ skills and qualifications and the needs of the labor market.
With regards to community representation in the labor market, there is a huge gap between Albanian community with a high 28% employment rate and smaller communities such as RAE, with only 10.7% employment rate.
Existence of the lack of inclusion of marginalized ethnic communities in education and labor market especially among Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities suggests serious structural problems which influence marginalization of smaller ethnic communities in Kosovo.
Results also reveal that those who started work at a later stage of their life, did so because they were oriented to higher levels of education. However, the study also reveals that the likelihood of remaining unemployed for over a year increases with age.
The role of Public Employment Offices (PES) in employment remains marginal, with most frequent ways in finding jobs being recommendations, family ties, and other connections. Accordingly, the majority of respondents strongly believe that acquaintances and connections with people in power are the best means of finding a job.
Find more information related to the study: KOSOVO RURAL YOUTH Employment Opportunities, Barriers, and Needs