UNDP Moldova and the National Institute of Economic Research are launching the first Skills Observatory, mainly focused on youth and their active engagement. The innovation lab will conduct researches and experiments around topics of skills mismatch, underutilization and increased employability for young women and men.The Skills Observatory was launched at the Professions and Youth Jobs Fair. “The goal of this Observatory is to analyze the labor market, identify skill mismatch problems, and provide policy support where needed to make young people better prepared for the labor market. The Observatory will also run small policy experiments, looking at how small change ideas for the public and private sector can improve the situation of young job seekers in Moldova”, noted Dafina Gercheva, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative.
The Observatory is the first one of its kind in Moldova and is structured on 2 key components:
- data and policy analysis – at least 5 policy papers on youth employability and the Sustainable Development Goals will be developed. The analyses will be used by policy makers, private sector companies, local academia to better promote youth employability and self-employment.
- experimentation with ‘safe-to-fail’ innovative solutions to spur youth employability – at least 5 experiments conducive to increased employability, modernization of the public employment service curriculum and speed of relevant employment, will be conducted.
Around 2,000 young persons will be involved in the Observatory’s activities. The institution is located within the premises of the National Institute of Economic Research and will engage young people on a voluntary basis, with the occasion of specific experiments and activities. A dedicated webpage will be soon made available.
The Skills Observatory will also support key national stakeholders, including local academia, private sector, think-tanks, youth associations and individuals interested to contribute to increasing youth employability.
The Lab will also run the first in Moldova Randomized Controlled Trial, which is an assessment tool that will evaluate the impact of slightly modernized public employment service curriculum on the speed and relevance of employment, including for youth registered with the local unemployment service.
“Within the Observatory, several experiments and studies are planned to be developed, aiming to strengthen young people’s skills in accessing the labor market, as well as providing policy recommendations in the field of youth employment”, noted Olga Gagauz, Deputy Director of the National Institute for Economic Research.
Youth unemployment is one of the most important challenges on the local labor market, with an unemployment rate of about 25% (International Labor Organization, 2016). The percentage of NEETs (youth not in employment, education or training) is also alarming, reaching about 29%, in 2015, according to the data of the National Bureau of Statistics. One in three young people is not present in any form on the labor market.
The Observatory was established in line with the provisions of the new Employment Strategy supported by the UNDP Moldova, with the support of the Catalytic Fund of the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub and in partnership with key line ministries, in particular the Ministry of Economy, which is the leading national implementing partner.
The current initiative is part of the project „Innovative business development for local sustainable economic growth”, which aims to promote innovation in small and medium enterprises’ sector, through the transfer and absorption of knowledge, technologies and communication between businesses. The project runs from 2014 to 2017.