ILO in Central and Eastern Europe

  • Ilie Tonciu, sheep farmer, Giurgiulesti, Republic of Moldova

    Beneficiary voices: How did the ILO help?

    Ilie Tonciu founded the first cooperative of sheep farmers in the South of Moldova, with ILO support. “Despite the severe drought and the COVID-19 pandemic, I managed to diversify the product range and increase sales by over 50% in 2020.  Now, thanks to the training and the equipment we received through the ILO, we can produce and package a larger quantity and a wider range of dairy products, such as butter, cream, and various types of cheese.  While many businesses are closing, we have managed to create three new jobs, and when we will work at full capacity, we will hire at least three more people."

  • Olena Nikitenko, Head of Department for Occupational Health and Working Conditions, State Labour Service in Cherkassy region, Central Ukraine

    Beneficiary voices: How did the ILO help?

    “At the beginning of the pandemic, the ILO organized online trainings for our 1,187 labour inspectors on how to mitigate COVID-19 risks at the workplace. When we learned that a hospital reported an increase in infections, our labour inspectors could immediately respond. They explained to the hospital management how to better protect doctors and health care staff. Then, we delivered the same training for managers and workers of another 28 health care facilities in the region. In my opinion, the EU-funded ILO training did not only allow our labour inspectors to learn the best practices of OSH management in the health sector, but it also helped to prevent the virus from spreading at the workplace.”

  • Volodymyr Herman, welding instructor, Rivne, Ukraine

    Beneficiary voices: How did the ILO help?

    "I offer private  welding courses that train workers according to European quality standards. The Start and Improve Your Business training offered by the ILO taught me how I should organize my business and build a strong marketing plan. In the first year, I trained 93 students out of whom 60 were hired. Today, I have 10 Polish and 16 Ukrainian companies as permanent clients. I give workers skills that make them competitive on the labour market, and my welding classes provide me a living, too."

  • Zonja Kujtime Leshanaku, Textile worker, Elbasan, Albania

    Beneficiary voices: How did the ILO help?

    "I worked for seven years in different textile factories. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I lost my job. Since then I made countless efforts to find a new job and I never received a positive response. The cash transfer that the ILO provided to sustain my living was great help for me and my family in many aspects, not just the economic one. It inspires us to start over!"

  • Yurii Proshurov, Manufacturer of hiking and tactical  equipment, Kherson, Ukraine

    Beneficiary voices: How did the ILO help?

    "In 2015, as a soldier, I was deployed in an anti-terrorist operation. The equipment was unbelievably inconvenient and heavy, so I decided to improve it, which became my hobby eventually.  Out of the army, I was unemployed and looked for opportunities.  At the State Employment Center they offered for me to take part in the ILO Start and Improve Your Business training that supports start-ups. I completed the course and drafted my own business plan. ILO support allowed me to purchase the necessary equipment and my business started running in September 2020.  I sell my products through a webshop, quite successfully. My production has been growing, now I plan to hire a couple of workers and set up an offline showroom with a store  .  I can make my own living—feels so much better than sustaining on social benefits."

CHART OF THE MONTH: Proportion of matched workers in Eastern and South Eastern Europe

Six out of ten workers in Eastern and South Eastern Europe hold jobs according to their level of education. This mismatch is not any different in the EU27. Undereducation and overeducation coexist. Education needs to better respond to labour market needs.

Source: Valentina Stoevska, ILO, “Workers’ education level for their jobs: is it a match in South East Europe?”

Our work in figures 2020