Thirty-one people find jobs through library training

Thirty-one out of 67 trainees of the Braka Miladinovci Radovis Public Library’s award-winning Creative Minds Create Job Opportunities training programme have found jobs – a remarkable 46% success rate in an area where there is 20% unemployment.

The library’s programme trains jobseekers in using computers and in job application skills – writing a letter of introduction, preparing a CV, how to behave in a job interview and seeking jobs through the Internet. The innovative and successful programme was one of 37 winners of the prestigious ERSTE Award for Social Integration 2011. The prize of €15,000 (US$ 21,550) will help sustain and expand the programme.   

With EIFL-PLIP support in Jobseekers learn computer skills in Public Library Braka Miladinvci’s attractive training centre.May 2010, the library bought 13 laptop computers and connected them to the Internet and to a printer. Librarians produced manuals for computer skills training and for jobseekers and launched their training programme, recruiting 67 trainees from the municipalities of Radovis and Konce, where 38% of unemployed people are women.

With their new computer and job application skills, the trainees are finding work as secretaries, administrators and sales representatives, in the textile industry and in construction companies. Most of the trainees are women over 30 and most have completed high-school. Some have college education, and three of the trainees have post-graduate university degrees.

Feedback from the trainees has been overwhelmingly positive:

‘The training increased my self-confidence and brought some light in my gray day-to-day routine!’ one trainee commented.

‘The training was excellent. We very rarely have an opportunity to attend something like this training here in Radovis. Maybe there is similar training in the capital city, Skopje, but for us, here, this is really something! We needed something motivating, like this training!’ said another.

‘The exercise was excellent, I felt like I was really attending a job interview, which is a great experience for me and which raises my self-confidence for future job interviews,’ said another.

Research showed that lack of self-confidence, combined with lack of motivation and poverty (people could not afford new training) were important contributors to unemployment in an already depressed economic environment.  Public Library Braka Miladinovci therefore offers the training at no cost, and offers trainees and the unemployed ongoing access to the computers and support.

The library is tiny, with a staff of only four people, and the project’s success is also a result of the library’s ability to develop and maintain strong partnerships. The library’s main partners are two non-governmental organizations, Civil Creative Centre (CREA), and Women’s Action, an association that aims to improve the status of women in Macedonia. The library also developed productive partnerships with the Local Government Office for Economic Development, the Employment Agency and the business sector.

Public Library Braka Miladinovci’s service for the unemployed is one of eight PLIP projects selected for replication as part of the second phase of the PLIP programme. Find out more about the PLIP Replication Grants and read a detailed case study of Creative Minds Create Job Opportunities.