In Moldova, about 30 percent of young people are either unemployed or not enrolled in any formal training. This is an alarmingly high figure, indicating that so much of our country’s potential is currently wasting away.
To tackle this problem, we at UNDP Moldova have been collecting micronarratives on unemployment since 2016. This technique brings together the richness of anecdotal data with the objectivity of statistics.
By analyzing the micronarratives through a software called SenseMaker, we are able to identify patterns, tendencies, and correlations in the stories. The process helps us to uncover details that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible.
To date, we have gathered more than 1,500 micronarratives from youth. One of our major findings in Moldova has been this: It’s not simply a matter of unemployment. It’s about lack of skills, or a mismatch of skills between businesses and youth.
As one young person put it: “The jobs out there all require experience from us young people, but nobody wants to help us gain it. It’s a vicious cycle.” That explaıns why a lot of young people in Moldova end up either taking positions ranking lower than jobs they are qualified for, or they leave it to find jobs elsewhere. Even in cases where they gain experience abroad and come back, the struggle is rarely over: “I came back, and they told me that the experience I gained abroad is not relevant in our country’s context. Now I am back to square one.”
Most people we spoke to say they don’t know where to start. They don’t know where to post their CV, or even which field suits them best. If they decide to be bold and launch a start-up, they often fail quickly due to high competition and lack of experience.