A training centre for young people
Kosovo: Even eleven years after the end of the war, the economic situation remains extremely gloomy. Jobs are scarce, the industrial base is in tatters and very few new investments are planned. Many young people try to earn a living by running small businesses or working as day labourers. According to official statistics, approx. 60 percent of the residents of the former mining centre of Mitrovica are unemployed. Our project intends to change that. Please support our work with a donation.
A victim of the structural transformation
Mitrovica was at the heart of Kosovo’s mining industry. Some 25,000 people used to work in the Trepca industrial complex, 12,000 of them in the direct vicinity of Mitrovica. Then came the structural transformation. Aside from roughly 500 people, who are merely a small vestige of the former workforce, Trepca has been shut down. In the wake of the closure of Trepca, the city is transforming from an industrial centre to a service sector-based economy.
High-quality vocational training that meets the needs of workers is a rarity in Kosovo. The number of applications for each course far outstrips the number of available training positions. This is a reflection of the enormous need for training opportunities in war-torn Kosovo. Many young Kosovars still live in poverty. This makes it all the more important to offer qualified training to young people. The target group for this vocational training is disadvantaged young people, including many orphans, half-orphans and youth from disadvantaged families.
Successfully shaping the transformation
- Jugendliche im Ausbildungszentrum.
Successfully shaping this transformation requires training opportunities. The training centre run by Kindernothilfe has wide-ranging offers that bridge precisely this gap. A trade school established by Kindernothilfe has been providing young people with training since 2002. The programme includes training courses in diverse areas such as the building sector, electrical installations, food processing and – for young women – language courses and public administration jobs. Since 2010, Kindernothilfe has been running the Diakonie Training Centre (DTC) in collaboration with Diakonie Trier and its "subsidiary” Diakonie Kosovo, which was founded in 2008. Before then, the work of Diakonie Trier had focused on supporting returning Kosovar refugees from Germany in their homeland and training trauma therapists in cooperation with the Kosovar Ministry of Health and local women's shelters.
A Strategic Training Approach
Following three months of training at the centre, which combines theory and practice, students embark on a one-month internship in small and medium-sized businesses in Mitrovica. Afterwards they have the option of either directly taking a job or pursuing an advanced course. In start-up courses, the graduates learn how they can start a business and stand on their own two feet. To allow people from throughout Kosovo to take part in the project, accommodation is available directly on the premises of the training centre. By cooking their own meals in a kitchen, enrolled students save time and cut down commuting costs.
Strengthening a young society
Kosovo is an extremely young society. The average age is 25 years. These young people are an enormous resource – also for investors. The effectiveness of the training courses is regularly monitored with the help of market analyses that study the demand for training and qualified employees in the region. Discussions and close collaboration with politicians and women's shelters provide constant feedback to improve the course offerings. For instance, talks with representatives from women's organisations have made it possible to identify areas where women have special training needs. Two new training courses were subsequently launched: one for seamstresses and one for hairdressers. Experts say that both of these occupations provide women with good prospects for earning a living. Starting up both training courses requires investments at the training centre (hairdresser: purchasing washbasins, hairdryers, scissors, equipment etc. / seamstress: sewing machines, fabric, scissors, thread, equipment etc.). The goal of expanding the range of training offers for women is to strengthen their position in society.
Project No. 40021