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As part of the project "Young NEET - new opportunities for employment and increased employability," covering eight municipalities in Montenegro and Kosovo, a series of roundtable discussions has concluded, presenting research findings and plans for young NEETs.

The project, lasting 24 months from March 2023 to March 2025, aims to improve the social status of young people not engaged in education, employment, or training by enhancing their employability and connecting them with potential employers. The eight municipalities involved in the project are Mojkovac, Bijelo Polje, Rozaje, Plav, and Gusinje in Montenegro, as well as Peja, Junik, and Desan in Kosovo.

The labor market situation in these countries is characterized by low activity levels, high youth unemployment, and skills mismatch issues. The project focuses on engaging young NEETs and representatives of local and national authorities to improve the situation.

The roundtable discussions aimed to present the research results conducted by the Institute for Strategic Studies and Projections (ISSP) in collaboration with the INDEP institute from Kosovo. The research analyzed the barriers young NEETs face in seeking employment or starting their own businesses.

Jadranka Kaluderovic, the Director of the ISSP, highlighted the challenges young people face in these municipalities, including a lack of employment opportunities, disinterest in seasonal jobs, and reluctance to seek employment in other municipalities. Additionally, the lack of skills and knowledge only partially contributes to the difficulty in finding employment. Furthermore, young people believe that some form of affiliation, whether national or political, is necessary for employment, posing a barrier. However, there is optimism regarding young people's willingness to improve their knowledge, skills, and competencies.

Upcoming project activities include workshops and training sessions to help young people enhance their skills and increase their chances of employment. Additionally, job training programs will be organized to provide practical experience and establish connections with potential employers.

Participants in the roundtable discussions, including representatives of local authorities, emphasized the importance of combating youth unemployment and expressed readiness to collaborate with organizations and institutions to reduce unemployment and stimulate economic development.

The project "Young NEETs: New Opportunities for Employment and Increased Employability - UNEETED" is funded by the EU, with co-financing from the Ministry of Public Administration of the Government of Montenegro. Project partners include the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro and the Municipality of Mojkovac. The project is expected to contribute to improving the employability and social status of young NEETs in the region, providing them with new opportunities for the future.

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