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Foto: Dinu Bubulici/ONU Moldova

The inequalities existing on the labor market in the Republic of Moldova are also reflected in youth case, as young women and youth from villages are found to be the most discouraged. When turning 19 years old, the majority of young persons start looking for a job and this process lasts in average for 8-9 months. But they have to wait for about three years before ending up with a stable job. Employability on the domestic market lasts for nine months longer in women’s case. Only half of the young people from rural area succeed to find a job.

These are the main conclusions of the study “Youth on the Labor Market in the Republic of Moldova: Skills and Aspirations”, carried out by the Youth-Centered Skills Observatory. The Observatory was created by UNDP Moldova and the National Institute of Economic Research. The study was developed with the support of the Eurasia UNDP Catalytic Facility, financed by the Turkish Government.

Currently, one in five persons employed on the labor market is 15–29 years old. The change of the area of activity is an element characterizing the youth professional path, hence generating economic and social costs and decreasing work productivity.

“It is difficult for young persons to succeed in their careers because of a combination of factors: insufficiency of decent jobs, employed young persons earn in average by 35% less than the average salary in the country, on one hand and the fragile work skills, on the other hand. That’s why it is necessary to test new approaches, for the labor market requirements to match the vocational training”, states Dumitru Vasilescu, UNDP Moldova Project Manager.

Another finding of the respective study is that one in four young persons has an informal job. Usually the young persons with lower level of education are involved in informal jobs: one in two has only gymnasium studies, and two in five have general or vocational studies.

It is evident that the higher the level of education is, the higher chances to get employed on the labor market are. Hence, one in two young persons with higher education is employed on the labor market; the employment rate accounting for 53% and being higher in the case of men (over 63%) and young persons from urban area (57.3%), as compared to women (46%) and young persons from rural areas (about 43%). Generally, young women have a higher level of education than men, but this does not mean a higher employment rate. Young women earn five times less for the same performed work.

The authors of the study have also analyzed the correlation between the education system and labor market. Hence, an increased number of over-qualified persons has been registered over the last years among the employees with higher education (21% in 2015), while the share of over-qualified persons among the employees with secondary education has halved during 2010–2015.

“It means that the reduced opportunities of getting employed according to the acquired qualification frequently force the skilful persons to accept jobs which are of lower level than the qualifications they have. Besides the inadequate use of skills and over-education lead to losing competences. On the other hand, the State also loses, because the productive potential in economy is not fully used”, says Dumitru Vasilescu.

At the other extremity – the occupations in which the young under-educated persons are involved are: heads/managers (about 9%), specialists and technicians, in average about 5% of youth. The under-education of the human labor force can have a negative impact on labor productivity and may represent an obstacle for the economic growth.

The study recommends increasing the match between the vocational education and the real needs of the economy by involving the business environment in developing the educational offer and organizing internships.

The Youth-Centered Skills Observer envisages performing studies and tests for adjusting the skills with the needs of the labor market, as well as regarding the under-use of skills and increased employability for young women and men. The innovational lab was established in line with the provisions of the new National Labor Force Employment Strategy.

For more information: Dumitru Vasilescu, Project Manager, UNDP Moldova, tel.: (373 22) 839911, dumitru.vasilescu@undp.org

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