How to boost youth employment in Montenegro? - A White Paper presented

The White Paper, presented in Montenegro on 19 December 2016, introduced comprehensive recommendations to national stakeholders for the implementation of policies aiming at improving the employability of young people in Montenegro and their faster integration into the labour market.

Press release | 19 December 2016
The White Paper, called “Recommendations for improvement of youth employment in Montenegro” was prepared with the support of the ILO, and it seeks to address three challenges of Montenegro: the high youth unemployment rate, low participation of young people in the labour market, and their presence in informal employment.

“It is an important document which represents the continuous collaboration of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Montenegro in the fields of policy development and improvement of youth employability“, said Minister Kemal Purišić at the presentation of the white paper.
”Taking into account the current situation of the labour market, Montenegro needs to invest more in the personal, social and educational nurture of young people”, emphasized Minister Purišić. “This new publication provides directions for improvement of youth employment policies in the country.”

He emphasized that the empowerment and development of youth are high on the government agenda. “This year, we have already made several steps in this direction, namely, the Law on Youth and the National Youth Strategy were both adopted in 2016“, said the Minister, who also reminded that the activity rate of youth in the second quarter of 2016 was 31.5 per cent, higher than before according to the latest statistical data.

General Director of the Directorate for secondary, vocational and adult education in the Ministry of Education, Veljko Tomić emphasized that education is key in the process to transform Montenegro into a country of learning society and developed economy in which each individual has the opportunity for development and social inclusion. ”The main challenge we face is to overcome the structural mismatch between labour supply and demand“. “The White paper gives fantastic recommendations to boost cooperation between partners and sectors and to create quality, flexible and efficient education which can improve situation of young people and satisfy their needs”, concluded Mr Tomić.

ILO Youth Employment Programme representative, Sergio Andres Iriarte Quezada, said that the attention to youth employment crisis is now extended to preventing that the legacy of the crisis turns into a structural feature of labour markets. ”Our time and efforts should be mostly devoted to considering how to relaunch growth, restore confidence and create jobs, decrease informal economy and search for new opportunities for youth“, said Iriarte Quezada, emphasizing the importance of capitalizing on all the good initiatives already taking place in Montenegro and on the proposed recommendations for policy options for youth employment, also by scaling up policy coordination in the country.

Benjamin Perks, Representative of UNICEF in Montenegro, said that our greatest responsibility is to provide children and young people today with the capabilities and opportunities they need for tomorrow and that is why the UNICEF welcomed the timely launch of the ILO’s White Paper on policy options to promote youth employment. He emphasized that reforms should be bolder, better and faster if we want to close the competitivity gap with Europe. ”We need a sense of urgency in implementing the major recommendations of the white paper to ensure intergenerational justice and the best possible life prospects for this and future generation of young people“, concluded Mr Perks.

The White Paper contains four chapters reviewing challenges of youth employment in Montenegro and gives recommendations how to enhance the relevance of educational outcomes and reduce skills mismatches, how to promote the quantity and quality of jobs and improve the design of active labour market policies targeting youth.

Summary of the event in Montenegrin