Youth and Education

Various reports published in Kosovo over the last few years highlight the lack of youth qualification for contemporary jobs. Students often finish high school, and even university, without gaining skills which are required by the labour market. Indeed, many business owners complain that while they receive many job applications, many applicants lack the skills they are looking for in an employee. This suggests that there is a need to support the education of young people in Kosovo, so that they leave high school and/or university with knowledge of what the market requires from them. In order to address this gap, it seems necessary to create a public-private partnership which fosters a productive relationship between the education sector and business communities in Kosovo. This kind of partnership would allow businesses to make their expectations clear and make youth aware of what is needed in order to secure employment. Subsequently, the youth need to be supported in gaining these skills.

Germin is well suited to address this gap because it:

– has connections with businesspeople both in Kosovo and Abroad; and,
– it has a large database of Diaspora professionals who can mentor and guide youth as they gain these new skills and knowledge. Seeing that there are many Diaspora professionals who are eager to pass on their skills and knowledge to youth in Kosovo, they are ideal mentors who will help Kosovar youth not only gain skills, but also have access to international know-hows. 

Goal

Increase financial literacy, entrepreneurship and other workforce readiness efforts, including building stronger linkages between the education sector and the private sector in the delivery of these activities. Seeing that we live in an increasingly globalized and digitalized world, the complex social and economic challenges that we will face in the future need to necessarily be addressed through various channels. Germin, with its focus and expertise on contemporary information technologies and virtual channels of collaboration, can help youth to better learn about the potential of virtual platforms. Virtual platforms which are especially useful for youth are communication tools such as online forums, online group work spaces, bulletin boards etc.; educational tools such as online classes, self-assessment tools which help students and their mentors track success etc.  

Activities

1)  Young business owners will be invited to speak to high school students. Having young business owners as role models will serve to make youth aware of their own potential. In turn, students can visit the companies whose representatives they meet. Germin is well-suited to facilitate these school-business partnerships because it aims to engage young professionals from Diaspora who want to invest in Kosova. Putting Diaspora business  people in touch with high school students would be beneficial for both parties. For investors, it is helpful because it gives them a chance to raise awareness about business practices and the skills which they are looking for in future employees.  For students, it is helpful because they will be introduced to creative business ideas and encouraged to imagine themselves as contributors to such businesses. 

2)  Develop an online resource hub for youth. The website will include information on various capacity development opportunities for youth. The website will also have discussion forums through which youth can engage with each other, as well as their mentors. Discussion forums will allow youth who are already engaged in various activities to share their ideas, as well as discuss further steps. Include tutorials for various skills which are essential for youth. For example, video or infographic tutorials can focus on time management, networking skills, public speaking tips etc.

3)  Design and offer leadership and essential skills workshops focusing on areas such as time management and self-care workshops, communication skills training (i.e. public speaking; letter writing), professional skills workshops (i.e. interview skills, cover letter writing) etc. These workshops can be offered by Diaspora Professionals or Kosovars who have recently graduated from international universities and can relate to the experiences of youth in the labour market.

4)  Establish a mentorship program which connects high school students with mentors who live abroad and can guide their transition from high school into the community. The program will have both online and in-person components in order to assure that youth have various ways of communicating with their mentors. Upon signing up to be a mentor, each professional will create his/her profile – a one-page information sheet about the individual, their interests and their career. Based on these profiles, the mentors will then be paired with a student who has similar interests and needs guidance on how to achieve what he/she wants