RCC Youth Lab Project hosts the final conference on youth employment in the Western Balkans
- 14 Jun 2022
Budva/Sarajevo – “Inadequate employment opportunities are one of the biggest problem young people face. One in 3 young persons are unemployed, which means the Western Balkans youth unemployment rate is almost double the EU rate of 17%. According to Balkan Barometer 2022 – 18 out of 100 Western Balkan citizens worry about the brain drain, while 5 year ago that number was 10. But, on a positive note, 43% of youth consider it’s more important what brings people together than what separates them. Regional cooperation works. So, each of your activities is making your economy one step closer to better employment opportunities for young people,” said Pranvera Kastrati, CRM Coordinator at the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), at the opening of the Final Conference on Youth Policy Lab on Youth Unemployment, in Budva today.
The event, dubbed ‘UNMUTE: A region fit for YOU(th)’, organised by the RCC’s Western Balkans Youth Lab Project gathered more than 40 young people and policy makers from the entire region to present their activities and solutions for the issues young people face when it comes to employment, NEET category, and Youth Guarantee. Besides Ms. Kastrati, the event was opened by Ms. Ana Tome de Freitas Mariguesa Lorentzen, Programme Manager at the EU Delegation to Montenegro.
“It was exactly a year and a half ago on 14 December 2020 that we said ‘Welcome’ to you for the first time. Now I am here to tell you ‘congratulations’ for successfully bringing and applying solutions created through the Youth Lab process. Today I can thank you for YOUR ideas, approaches, reports, law amendments and much more,” added Kastrati.
“Our journey was more than a science project – it is real and it produced results that will genuinely transform the way things are being done: The Lab brought forth 11 recommendations, built capacities through its trainings and developed solutions. Generation of 2020 – 2022 - KUDOS TO YOU. You are the icebreakers. You have proved that a process, which was experimental, aiming to place young people at the table with policymakers to create better, youth-centred policies, works. Moreover, not only did you prove it can be done, you also paved the way for the Pool of Experts of the Second Youth Policy Lab on Mental Health,” concluded Ognjen Markovic, Team Leader of RCC’s Western Balkans Youth Lab.
More on the WBYL Project: https://www.rcc.int/youthlab