Higher funding for employment in the coming year

Higher funding for employment in the coming year, announced the director of the Employment Service of Montenegro Suljo Mustafic at the annual press conference held at ZZZCG.
The director of the Employment Service of Montenegro, Suljo Mustafic, said that 37,780 persons are currently unemployed on the register of the Employment Service. The registered unemployment rate is 16.2 percent and it is two percent lower than in 2018. Thanks to the support of the Government, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, the increased volume of foreign investments, as well as well-planned programs and active employment policy measures, the number of unemployed people has been decreasing for a long time in Montenegro, Mustafic said.
He added that the main role of the Employment Agency, employment mediation, was most pronounced in the first nine months of connecting domestic unemployed persons and employers in seasonal jobs. This year, the plan was exceeded – nearly 11,600 seasonal workers were hired. This is the best result achieved in the past few years, as there were around 9,000 employees hired earlier in the season. This year’s record was mostly contributed by the Public Campaign of the state “Let’s employ the domestic – that Montenegro works”, realized by the Agency and the Line Ministry. At job fairs across the state, employers are given direct contact with the unemployed. This is where the work engagement for the tourist season has been arranged – Mustafic reminded.
He said that we have shown that responsible work can be done to create the conditions for job creation. Workers’ awareness changes when it comes to seasonal jobs. Also, returnees from seasonal work testify that employers improve working conditions and show confidence in domestic workers. In order to achieve European trends and goals – the conditions of employers must certainly be even better. Cooperation with employers, although improved in recent years, can be strengthened. The job market is changing and it is looking for a different approach. The Bureau, as a modern service provider in the sphere of provision of services, uses all mechanisms for greater activation of the domestic labor force. We are aware of our shortcomings and are ready to repair them. It is necessary to create an even more attractive and stimulating environment which, in line with the real needs on the labor market, will attract more domestic workers, said Mustafic.
He reiterated his appeal to employers to try to retain the best and highest-quality workers with higher salaries, better working conditions and benefits. Especially given that there is still a significant number of those earning income in the gray economy, working in the black economy, who are registered by the official records as unemployed. In coordination with other state institutions in charge of this area, we will strive to reduce “undeclared work,” Mustafic said.
According to Mustafic, more and more employers are willing to hire people with disabilities every day. The number of employers earning the right to a wage subsidy has doubled. 820 employers employ 1407 people with disabilities, more than half of whom have a permanent contract. We succeed in reducing the prejudice that PWDs are not for work engagement, Mustafic said.
He recalled that all available credit funds for encouraging the development of entrepreneurship were placed in the middle of the year and announced that the Agency, having financed loans worth 315,000 euros, created 63 new jobs.
He said that the priorities of the Employment Service of Montenegro in the coming year will be to support self-employment, entrepreneurship and job creation in less developed areas. The focus will also be on training the unemployed for scarce occupations, social inclusion of vulnerable groups and the employment of people with disabilities.
He said that the Bureau’s budget, as was expected, has been increased and is likely to be approved by the end of this year. The planned 11,500,000 will be directed to those programs that contribute to the better employability of persons on record. People who have difficulty in getting to work will have priority when engaging in programs. Funds in amount of 8,300,000 euros were allocated for employment of persons with disabilities and 3,000,000 euros for the implementation of active employment policy measures. These funds will include over 2,000 unemployed in the programs. We plan to support those business ideas that include new employment in the next year with 200,000 euros. Also, being aware that unemployment is one of the most important problems of society, we will strive to realize in 2020, with the same intensity, all programs and measures that were current in previous years that contribute to easier access to work – said Director Mustafic.
In this year, the Agency fulfilled all the priorities set out in the Action Plan and Program. On this occasion, with particular pleasure, I would like to point out that the Employment Service has recently started the implementation of the Self-employment Grant Program. The first direct grant from the EU, worth 3,500,000 euros, will be distributed over one-year cycles. For the past two months, the project team has been promoting the spirit of entrepreneurial culture. By encouraging the unemployed, across the state, to think in an entrepreneurial way, they tried to encourage them to recognize the possibility of their employment, said Mustafic.
Assistant Director of the Employment Service of Montenegro in the Employment Payment Sector, Svetlana Krgovic said that about 600 unemployed persons showed interest in the first Call. Out of that number, 225 attended the three-day Information-Motivation Workshops, which were organized in all regional units of the Agency. The application for grants was submitted by 135 people – she said, adding that the majority of applications, 47 percent, were from the northern region, slightly less from the central, and 12 percent from the southern region. In terms of activity, the highest demands were in the field of crafts and personal services, followed by trade, agriculture, catering, etc. Regarding the applicant’s qualifications, the largest number of projects or 62 percent were submitted by persons with secondary education, and 22.8 percent by persons with higher education, Krgovic specified.
The next Call for Proposals will be published in early April 2020. I take the opportunity to invite all unemployed persons who did not sign up for the first Call to inform their advisers and coordinators for employment and apply for this form of support, Krgovic concluded.

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