UNDP and ADA Open Territorial Employment Pacts in Southern Kosovo

Sep 15, 2017

Since 2014, the INTERDEV project, funded by Austrian Development Cooperation and implemented in southern Kosovo by UNDP, has created over 700 jobs for local residents. Farmers grow and sell more, young people have better skills and prospects at employment, and social enterprises turn primary produce into value-added items such as jams or juices, while meeting social objectives by employing women and men at risk of being left behind. These interventions under the umbrella of the municipal Territorial Employment Pacts in Dragash/Dragaš and Shtërpcë/Štrpce have proven to be a successful approach not only in improving income generation and job creation on the local level, but also in enhancing municipal leadership, responsiveness to the needs of their communities, and cooperation with the private sector and civil society.

Last week, the second phase of the INTERDEV project together with the Austrian Development Agency have launched the second generation of the Territorial Employment Pacts (TEPs) in the two partner municipalities, and one brand new in Viti/Vitina, scaling up the successful approach to a new municipality. The three partner local governments are financially contributing to the Pacts, responding to the high demand by the residents for the services offered by the project.

The TEPs will stimulate agricultural production in vegetables, raspberries, beekeeping, milk and cow-breeding, create jobs for youth in professions demanded by the market, promote tourism and touristic infrastructure, launch and expand social entrepreneurship to enhance work integration of vulnerable residents, as well as promote organic production.

With the presence of Mayors of the three partner municipalities, as well as a representative of ADA, Mr. Arsim Aziri, the project presented the various services that will be opened to the local producers and jobseekers over the next months and beyond.

The TEPs build on and strengthen collaboration among the municipality departments, the employment offices and vocational training centres of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, and the local private sector and civil society, all with the aim to make the labour market and entrepreneurship work for everyone.

Over the next two and a half years, the Pacts will directly reach over 600 women and men with opportunities for skills development, employment and rural entrepreneurship, bringing more income for their families and improving the lives of over 3,500 people. The Pact not only promotes employment and economic development in the partner areas, but also social inclusion of women and men who may otherwise be excluded from prosperity in their municipalities, and sustainable production in an area with high biodiversity, bringing together the three pillars of the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development.