Kosovo is the youngest European nation; it also has Europe's highest percentage of young. Approximately 60 percent of the population is under 27. These facts pose a stability challenge, and are worsened by an unemployment rate of approximately 75 percent.
In the medium term, having the youngest labor force in Europe could work to Kosovo's advantage, but that potential will be fruitless if a "lost generation" do not obtain competitive skills, or if they lose them due to unemployment and disillusionment.
It is vital that Kosovo's young people gain needed knowledge and assistance to navigate in this challenging labor market.
In the fall of 2010, USAID supported the opening of the first Career Center at the Law Faculty at the University of Prishtina, thus bridging graduate students with the current job market.
Since its opening, over 1,500 students have visited the center seeking information. Around 100 of them have received internships or job offers from 41 various public or private institutions, part of the employer network that the center has established on a database.
Qendresa Ismaili, a third-year student at Faculty of Law has been hired as an intern at the Kosovo Assembly. "I'm very appreciative for the opportunity given," she says, adding: "My performance as an intern will serve as basis for possible full-time job with this institution."
Through the center, 300 students have also received help with their resumes and cover letters, part of center's advisory services designed to help students choose a career path and re-solve obstacles to successful job searches.
The Law Faculty Career Center now plans to expand its activities to include more services for both students and faculty. It is also establishing links to other similar centers at universities throughout the region.
Last updated: February 14, 2014