ILO and SECO launch collaboration to accelerate employment creation in Moldova
The ILO and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) combined efforts for employment promotion, skills development, and formalization to create new jobs especially for rural communities and vulnerable populations including youth and women in the Republic of Moldova.
The development gap between Moldova and the EU has narrowed down in the past years, yet the country still faces low employment rates, high levels of informality, and poor working conditions. These structural problems were exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic leading to a further reduction of employment levels. Labour markets and social security systems recently got under further pressure as result of compounded energy and refugee crises caused by the war of the Russian Federation against neighbouring Ukraine.
The ILO Decent Country Work Programme 2021-24 for Moldova addresses these challenges by focusing on youth employment, safety at work, and improved social dialogue. The Swiss Government proposed to support the Decent Country Work Programme with a complementary package of interventions on creation of more and better jobs, improved employability of people through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and adult learning, and formalization of employment. The budget made available by the Government of Switzerland is 2.1 million USD complemented by ILO contributions of the same amount.
The launch of the project took place in Chisinau on 15 February 2023 with the participation of Mr Gilbert F. Houngbo, the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), who was on an official visit in the Republic of Moldova, and Mr Heinz Koller, ILO Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia. SECO participated with a tripartite Swiss Delegation led by Mr Boris Zürcher, Head of the Labour Directorate, SECO.
At the launch Director-General Houngbo paid tribute to the efforts of Moldova to offer Ukrainian refugees protection and access to livelihoods and employment. “This is all the more commendable as Moldova itself is struggling with several economic and social challenges”, he said.
Boris Zürcher emphasized Switzerland’s support to the Moldovan government and social partners in the promotion of more and better jobs.
The Employment component of the intervention aims to facilitate access to productive employment at the local level, particularly for those most at risk of labour market exclusion. ILO will support Local Employment Partnerships (LEPs) that create local jobs, and the National Employment Agency and its local offices to improve labour market governance. The Skills component aims to provide young people and adult populations with better quality vocational and professional training that respond to labour market demands. Finally, the Formalization component will target a sector with high prevalence of informality and a strong potential for formal job creation.