Kosovo’s future depends on training and investing in the workforce

Prishtina, May 16, 2023 – Among the main assets that Kosovo has, is its young population, and the potential it offers in all economic sectors. During the event organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, the main conclusions from a dignified and distinguished panel emphasized the need for intensive investments in the labor force and proper training of staff.

Jeta Statovci, Deputy in the Assembly of Kosovo, said that the biggest threat to the labor market does not come from the advancement of technology, but from the slowdown in economic growth, the increase in prices and the lower purchasing power. The deputy also specified as a main challenge the high rates of inflation which are being fought all over the world through raising interest rates on loans, adding that such a thing can be much more effective in more developed economies. Statovci further shared some statistics taken from the recent World Bank report, which state that the production and services sector in 2022 was faced with a labor shortage. Statovci further added that it is to be expected that in the next five years, globally, around 83 million jobs will disappear while 69 million new jobs will be created, and that employers in all industries must be prepared to face this change. The MP also emphasized some of the measures taken by the Government to support the workforce, where she highlighted the new employment platforms and wage subsidies, support for staff training, marketing and branding of companies, as well as subsidies for the employment of women.

From Keiretsu Form Ardian Hoxha, who also moderated the event, said that with all the changes that are happening now, a more proactive approach should be implemented to face the demands of the market as well as the workforce. He also said that the liberalization of visas will expose the country’s youth to different work cultures that will serve as a turning point for the current approach for the youth. According to him, it is important that during schooling, work must be done on providing the necessary skills conform to market needs as well as create opportunities for voluntary work. Hoxha added that such a thing will not only strengthen the workforce, but will also have a positive impact on the country’s economy.

The Executive Director of Meridian Express Agon Gashi, referring to the report “The Future of Jobs” published by the World Bank, emphasized that the currently growing trends focus on the advancement of artificial intelligence, for which he added that there is an opinion that the same is endangering the labor market. According to him, a large percentage of companies report that this technological advancement will have the opposite effect. Further, Gashi added that what is expected to and should happen within the next few years is the retraining and development of the workforce in step with global trends, stressing that a part of the population, mainly women, of an older age group should be in the focus of the Government for training and integration at work. According to Gashi, the new generation is more focused on the technology sector, where great progress is also taking place, adding that there will be negative consequences in the service sector if the appropriate steps are not taken. As for the country, he said that Kosovo should be in step with technological development and the automation of work processes, with special emphasis on the private sector. The chief executive also emphasized that with the liberalization of visas, the outflow of capital from the country should also be taken into account. According to him, the migration that is expected to happen will have great impacts on purchasing power.

From Proex, Ylber Kuraja stated that the automation of processes has facilitated many economic activities, and while relating to the changes of the future, he added that according to recent studies, by 2030 it is expected that there will be a new spirit of capitalism that will be characterized by a brand-new approach to working. According to him, the workforce of this future will be much more specific regarding the work they do and will be freer in terms of decision-making. Kuraja also added that the longevity of the population and the new culture of living will also create the need for more jobs to support the latter. As for the advancement of artificial intelligence, Kuraja said that this is not something we should approach with fear, but we should be ready to keep up with it and implement the changes it will bring.

Meanwhile from the company Talent Network Kosova, Burim Zogaj shared with the participants the experiences of the company he leads with staff recruitment. He emphasized that during the past years, the trends in terms of education have produced a large number of graduates for whom there is no demand in the market. According to him, this makes it difficult to meet the demands of the market, as well as negatively impacts the smooth running of employers’ activities. According to him, the state should be focused on identifying the most profitable sectors to orient the workforce towards it.