The situation of young people on the labor market and the impact of the pandemic, in the social partners’ view



In the context of the activities dedicated to the World Day for Decent Work (WDDW), the National Trade Union Confederation of Moldova (CNSM) organized on October 6, in an online format, the conference “Decent work for young people. Economic prosperity and sustainability.” The conference was organized with the support of the International Labor Organization (ILO) as part of the project “Young people’s rights at work: Decent work for young people”.

Over 100 participants, including the CNSM leadership and the presidents of national-branch trade union centers, the representatives of the National Employment Agency (ANOFM), the National Confederation of Employers of Moldova (CNPM), the State Labor Inspectorate( SLI),  the Bureau of the International Labor Organization for Workers’ Activities for Europe and Central Asia (ILO-ACRAV), young trade unionists, representatives of national branch trade union centers, analyzed the impact of the pandemic on young people, the challenges they face in the labor market involving decent work, and the social partners’ efforts in the field of youth policies.

Sergiu Sainciuc, vice-president of CNSM, said that although the pandemic significantly affected young people, they continued to contribute to socio-economic development. He particularly appreciated the efforts of young doctors who committed themselves to fighting the pandemic. The CNSM vice-president underlined that there are still numerous reservations regarding the decent work, and the pandemic only increased the inequalities, the young people being one of the most vulnerable categories severely affected by the pandemic. Sainciuc reiterated that in order to counteract the effects of the pandemic, consolidated efforts are needed from the social partners.

The youth unemployment rate is around 7% and the employment rate has been steadily decreasing in recent years. Young people are often discriminated. The big problem is that the jobs available are few and the salaries offered to young people are low and do not ensure a decent living. If we want young people to stay and work in the country, we need effective policies to stimulate young people “, said Sainciuc.

Vladislav Caminschi, Executive Director of CNPM, said that young people are constantly in the focus of the business environment that relies on them, on young people’s desire to work and bring added value to the national economy. But, he says, more action is needed to create decent new jobs. The representative of the employers also appreciated the role of trade unions in promoting the rights and interests of young employees.

In his welcome message, Sergejus Glovackas, ILO-ACTRAV Geneva, highlighted the good relations that have existed between ILO and CNSM over the years, with the successful implementation of several international cooperation programs, including activities dedicated to young people. He expressed the hope that the proposals of the young people discussed at this conference would also be implemented.

For his part, Magnus Berge, ILO-ACTRAV Budapest, mentioned that the marking of WDDW is a good opportunity to discuss the problems of young people. Berge said that one of the worst problems affecting the Republic of Moldova is the demographic problem and the migration of the population, especially among young people who leave the country looking for a well-paid job and better living conditions. The ILO representative said that trade unions have an important role in promoting young people through the process of social dialog, so that the voice of young people to be heard and state policies to be focused on supporting young people and creating more opportunities for them.

Ala Lipciu, the ILO national coordinator, stressed that the social partners are in the final phase of negotiating a new Decent Work Country Programme, to be implemented from year 2021. A particular focus of this program is on youth policies, concrete measures to help young people to be educated and informed, the development of labor market institutions and social partnership at local level.

Cristina Arapan, head of Directorate of the National Agency for Employment, communicated on national policies concerning the employment of young people on the labor market, employment measures offered to job seekers, programs aimed at facilitating the employment of young people, organization of events such as the job fair, the services offered to young people.

Violeta Vrabie, the coordinator of the ILO project “Promoting youth employment”, noted in her presentation that young people are facing a greater risk and the pandemic has exacerbated these risks, with the share of young people posted from the labor market growing in recent years, especially among women. Intervention by all social partners is needed to facilitate the process of involving young people in the labor market.

Tatiana Marian, head of the department of mass-media and international relations of CNSM, also the moderator of the conference, informed about the training project in the field of the young people’s rights at work that was implemented by CNSM with ILO support, from which more than 500 young people from the north, central and south regions of the country benefited this year. Through these activities, CNSM helped young workers to identify their role in contributing to the promotion and maintenance of fair and productive jobs. Young people have learned about workplace rights and how to defend them, acquired new skills, being familiar with national and international regulations in the field of decent work.

Another speaker at the conference, Dumitru Stavila, director of the SLI, said about the importance of respecting the ILO conventions in the field of safety and health at work, safe working, respect for the principles of decent work, respect for the legal framework in the field of occupational safety, control and monitoring how employees’ rights are respected.

At the same time, Angela Otean, president of the trade union “Dignity”, has communicated to young people the goals of sustainable development, referring in particular to objective 8 – “Decent Work and Growth”, which aims to inclusive economic growth and access to decent work for all.

Alexei Pianih, the president of the Youth Committee, spoke to the participants about the goals of the Confederation’s Youth strategy, the mission and the objectives of the youth committee, mentioning that over 20% of the trade union members are young. Pianih also spoke about the problems of young people in the country, which have worsened in the conditions of the pandemic, and stated that the social partners have a substantial role to play in supporting young people who are now in a difficult situation.

In the last part of the conference, the young people discussed in groups the problems on the labor market, the socio-economic situation they face and came up with several proposals to improve this situation. These proposals concern decent wages, improving the living conditions of young people, especially in rural areas, facilitating dual education, stimulating young specialists, implementing youth support programs aimed at reducing migration, extending the social protection of young people, supporting young women, organizing training activities for young people to know their rights and career guidance. These and other proposals will be considered in the process of finalizing the new Decent Work Country Programme for the period of 2021-2024.

The World Day for Decent Work is marked annually, being set up at the initiative of the International Trade Union Confederation. On this day, trade unions around the world are calling for decent and fair remuneration for work, quality jobs, safe social protection, respect for employees’ rights and freedoms.

Department of mass-media and international relations of CNSM