Kosovo*: On-the-job learning for hundreds of young people

Aiming to develop the skills of young people during COVID-19, K-GenU has provided internships for 500 young people including Dasara, a student from Kosovo.

UNICEF Kosovo/Generation Unlimited
23-year-old Dasara Meta started her internship at a local company through Generation Unlimited.
06 January 2021

Kosovo* — 23-year-old Dasara Meta saw her dream of finding a job fade away when the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Kosovo in mid-March. With youth unemployment already running at 49 per cent when the country’s economy was hit by the spread of the virus, the outlook for young jobseekers was bleak.

Dasara continued her architecture degree online despite her growing concerns about the limited prospects for her and her colleagues upon graduation.

But, in early September, a social media post shared by a friend turned Dasara’s life around. The post had been issued by the Generation Unlimited initiative and announced internship vacancies for youngsters like her in a wide range of businesses.

“I immediately applied,” said Dasara, who was successful with her application and soon started her internship as an assistant at the Besa Security company.

The Kosovo Generation Unlimited initiative was launched in early December with the objective of securing internships for 500 young people in 53 businesses and to enhance their learning opportunities on the job.

In partnership with UNICEF Kosovo, the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and implemented by the Corporate Social Responsibility Network, the initiative was designed to empower Kosovo’s young people and contribute to the much-needed recovery efforts of private sector enterprises.

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, Kosovo’s GDP is expected to contract by 4.5 per cent in 2020 according to the World Bank. In some key sectors such as retail and construction, unemployment has already doubled. For young people in the country, this means fewer employment opportunities, a drop in education quality and limited opportunities to engage in society. 

But, like Dasara, hundreds of young people have now the chance to turn the tide.

“Even though this internship is not in the same field as my studies, it is very important for me to learn how to behave in a workplace, how to collaborate with co-workers, and to improve my communication skills,” Dasara said. “I am learning so much!”. 

*All references to Kosovo should be understood in reference to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244