About the ILO in Albania

High youth inactivity needs to be addressed


Since the fall of the Iron Curtain Albania grew from one of the poorest countries in Europe in the 1990s to an upper middle income country.  Albania’s employment has continued to increase. The country has the highest employment rate among Western Balkan economies (67% in 2019). But the unemployment remains still significant (12% in 2019). The youth unemployment rate is still high (28 % in 2019) and the high rate of youth not in education, employment nor training (26%) is a cause of concern. Active labour market policies and programs have been continuously introduced, but they cover only a limited percentage of the unemployed (5.5% in 2017). 42% of the workforce is currently employed in agriculture (2019), mostly in low-skilled and low-productivity jobs, revealing the need for structural changes in the labour market. Almost 30% of all employment in the non-agricultural sector is informal.

In the process of Albania’s political integration the recent key step has been the European Commission’s decision in 2020 to open accession negotiations with EU.

ILO interventions offered

With permanent presence in the country since 2002 and assistance through the Decent Work Country Programs (DWCP), the ILO supports the country in overcoming the challenges. The current DWCP 2017-2021 focuses on three priorities:

I. Promoting employment and an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises,
II. Strengthened capacity of government institutions and social partners for effective social dialogue, and
III. Enhanced social protection and conditions of work.

In 2017-2019, the ILO’s development cooperation projects focused on:

•    Reviving the National Labour Council as a dialogue platform on labour and social policies;
•    Consolidating the out-of-court labour dispute resolution system;
•    Extending public employment services to vulnerable groups;
•    Improving the State Labour Inspectorate’s capability to monitor occupational health and safety (OSH) standards in the workplace;
•    Supporting the municipalities so that they strengthen social protection;
•    Enhancing vocational skills’ anticipation in agricultural value chains;
•    Support to the sectoral skills committees at the National Agency for Vocational Education, Training and Qualifications (NAVETQ);
•    Child Labour in the frame of Alliance 8.7, joined by Albania as a pathfinder country in 2018, aiming to zero forced child labour by 2025.

Albania has ratified 54 ILO Conventions including the 8 Fundamental Conventions, the 4 Governance Conventions and 42 Technical Conventions.