Local employment partnerships

ILO launches single biggest project in South-Eastern Europe to promote jobs in Ukraine

New ILO programme brings together businesses, schools, employment services, the social partners and other civil society organizations to create jobs for youth, women and people in rural areas.

Press release | 18 July 2018
© John MacDougall / AFP
KYIV (ILO News) – The ILO has launched a 5-year programme to create inclusive employment opportunities in Ukraine.

Funded by the Government of Denmark with US$8.6 million under the Danish Neighbourhood Programme (DANEP), it represents the single biggest ILO programme in South-Eastern Europe. The programme builds on the development of local networks and partnerships since they are in the best position to address the employment challenges of their own communities.

In Ukraine jobs are scarce, with youth, women and people living in rural areas disproportionately affected. A high percentage of Ukrainians are in informal or undeclared work: the informal economy represents 25 per cent of the country’s GDP.

What’s more, 1.5 million young people are neither in employment nor in education (NEET). A skills mismatch is a major challenge for youth as many of them are overqualified for their work. About 5.8 million Ukrainians live abroad and combined with an ageing society, some sectors struggle with a severe lack of skilled labour. With US$117 and US$200 respectively, minimum and average monthly wages are low (affecting living conditions and standards considerably.

The new programme was launched on 3 July, 2018 in Kyiv. Andriy Reva, Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine, Ruben Madsen, Ambassador of Denmark to Ukraine and Heinz Koller, ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia participated in the event together with government, employers’ and worker representatives and the newly recruited project team.

In his opening remarks, Minister Reva stressed that “it is not money that the country needs in the first place” but high-level expertise to improve labour market policies in Ukraine. Heinz Koller said that the ILO would bring on board its institutional expertise on entrepreneurship promotion, skills development, local employment partnerships and social dialogue between government and the social partners. “One of the main messages from today’s event is that employment and the labour market are a common concern – not only of the government and its employment services but also of the education system and the social partners.”

The project will also bring on board the Danish social partners who will make available their expertise to employer organizations and trade unions in Ukraine.