Decent Work Country Programme
Republic of Albania and ILO sign new cooperation agreement to pave the way for delivering decent work
On 23 January 2023, the Republic of Albania and the ILO signed the next Decent Work Country Programme that will guide the work on creating more and better jobs for the country in the coming four years. The programme puts better protection at work, youth employment, and improved social dialogue in the focus.
The new Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) 2023-26 was signed by the ILO, the Ministry of Finance and Economy (also in charge of employment and industrial relations), the leading trade unions and employers’ organizations of the country. The Decent Work Country Programme has been developed in collaboration with ILO constituents from the start: the Government, workers’ and employers’ organizations, who selected the priorities. The programme focuses on nine concrete outcomes including clear measures of performance, which enable tracking progress.
Mr Luan Bregasi, President of Biznes Albania, confirmed that the new DWCP will continue to guide them in the daily work with their members and in their collaboration with social partners. Mr Gezim Kalaja, President of the Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania shared their pride in the efforts put in the process of the ratification of ILO Convention 190. on Violence and Harassment at the Workplace by the Albanian Parliament and expressed his full support to the new DWCP. Mr Kol Nikollaj, President of the Confederation of the Trade Unions of Albania shared his conviction that the new DWCP will enable the social partners and the Government to improve social dialogue and decent working conditions in Albania.
“The implementation of the DWCP will draw on funds from the state budget and the European Union to ensure decent employment for workers in Albania. In addition to the funds, we also need social dialogue in the decision-making processes around employment policies,” said Ms Delina Ibrahimaj, Minister of Finance and Economy.“The implementation of the DWCP will draw on funds from the state budget and the European Union to ensure decent employment for workers in Albania. In addition to the funds, we also need social dialogue in the decision-making processes around employment policies.” Ms Delina Ibrahimaj, Minister of Finance and Economy, Albania
Mr Heinz Koller, ILO Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia explained that Albania has achieved important development results over the last two decades narrowing down the income gap between the country and the rest of Europe. However, there are still important labour market challenges to deal with. Key challenges remain low employment rates and high levels of inactivity, especially among youth, skills mismatches, and high levels of informality. Key problems around working conditions and social protection are too many work accidents, low levels of wages, and insufficient coverage of the social security system. He said that the new Decent Work Country Program provides support to solve some of these challenges. A highlight of ILO’s technical support will be the assistance on implementing the Youth Guarantee Scheme in Albania based on an alliance of ILO with the EU Commission and the European Training Foundation. Heinz Koller said: “We will roll out this instrument developed during the financial crisis for EU member states to all six Western Balkan economies. We can bring the experience of having advised countries like Italy, Portugal, or Latvia on youth guarantees.”
The new DWCP is fully aligned with the UN Country Framework 2022-2026 and Albania’s aspiration to EU integration. In her opening remarks, Ms Fiona McCluney, UN Resident Coordinator noted that working together to find the technical solutions to complex issues related to labour markets, changes in demography, shortages of workers has never been more important. According to her the ILO will bring added value to the work of the UN in Albania.