Economic and Social Development
Support to Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare for efficient and effective implementation of active labour market measures
WYG Consulting is implementing a new project in Bosnia and Herzegovina - “EU Support to State Aid legislation”. The EU-financed project will be delivered from September 2023 until September 2026 with the aim to align state aid system in BiH with the EU acquis communitaire.
After the initial project meeting at the EU Delegation 'EU Support to the State Aid System in Bosnia and Herzegovina,' held on September 5, 2023, and the agreement on planned project activities and expected results, the implementation of the project has commenced.
Direct project beneficiaries are the State Aid Council (SAC) and implementing authorities (IA´s), BiH Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, RS Ministry of Finance, FBIH Ministry of Finance, and Brčko District Directorate of Finance. Other stakeholders are State aid grantors.
The main objective of the Project is to further improve the existing State aid control and monitoring system in BiH with the respective EU State aid system supporting the development and alignment of State-aid legislation and by-laws as well as harmonisation of existing State aid schemes with obligations arising from the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA). In that respect, the Project´s goal is to provide support to key stakeholders from a legal and organisational perspective, in order to achieve Component 1. result: “State aid legislation further harmonised with the EU acquis”. The overall State aid ecosystem in BiH will be further aligned with the EU acquis. The capacity building of the SAC and Implementing Authorities, understaffed and lacking practical experience in State aid control and monitoring, will be the focal point for achieving Component 2. result: “Strengthened institutional/administrative capacities of the State Aid Council and Implementing Authorities”. In parallel with the systemic framework set up the Project has to ensure that key stakeholders have significant awareness of State aid rules through the organisation of seminars, on-the-job trainings and similar events for State aid beneficiaries, , business society, academic society and civil society in order to achieve Component 3. result: “Awareness of key stakeholders on State aid rules raised”. This Component is immensely connected with continuous advocacy that should be done with and through SAC, its Secretariat and IAs.
The current EU-funded Project, “Support to the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine for enforcing State Aid rules” (the Project) originally commenced on 1 September 2017 and was intended to operate for 36 months. Following approval of a non-cost extension, the Project was extended until the end of December 2022. Overall objective of the projects is to support the establishment of an effective State aid control and monitoring system in Ukraine as required under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. In pursuing this objective, the Project has created a better understanding of the role and impact of state aid on the public and private sectors and, in particular, has facilitated more effective economic and financial support for businesses and economic development.
Following the onset of military aggression against Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the EU Delegation requested contractors to re-assess their ability to continue the implementation of contracts and offered three options for activity, in summary: to adjust, continue, or suspend/terminate activities. Following this request, as contractors, the focus was on the means by which it was possible for the Project to maintain support and communications with the staff of the main beneficiary – AMCU – and other national, regional and local stakeholders, and the identification of ways in which some level of activity could be maintained, and more importantly, to ensure that work could be effectively resumed as soon as conditions in Ukraine allowed. It was eventually recognised that it was unlikely that progress could be made, in the short term at least, on some activities, but it would be possible to continue implementation of some activities under project Component 1 (Support to the establishment of effective SA control system in Ukraine), in particular, to respond to requests for support received from the beneficiary. It was considered that these tasks could carried out through remote working and direct communication with the relevant members of AMCU staff, under the supervision and coordination of the Project Team Leader.
It was subsequently agreed with the EU Delegation on 7 April 2022 that, “a partial suspension of the Project, but keeping open component 1, “Support to the establishment of effective SA control system in Ukraine”, and primarily sub-component 1.1, Legislative proposals for aligned legal framework with EU State Aid rules, to be repurposed for the following activities:
- preparatory work for possible amendments to the Law on SA and possible amendments to other laws to address the war or post-war situation, analysis and expert opinion on current LSA modifications;
- framework AMCU decisions for State aid schemes to address (i) the war situation, (ii) the post-war reconstruction needs of the country and (iii) the support needs of businesses of the country,
- possible EU accession related analysis.”
The Delegation’s, and the contractor’s, aim being to support the needs of the beneficiary while preserving resources for when the situation allows to return to some degree of normality.
The benefits of the adoption of this approach can now be viewed in retrospect in the recent, rapidly changing political context. In a visit to Kyiv on 8 April 2022, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stated that, “Ukraine belongs to the European family. And today, Ukraine takes another important step towards EU membership. We will accelerate the process as much as we can, while ensuring all conditions are respected”. Following this, an initial questionnaire was submitted by the Commission to the Ukrainian Government intended as providing the basis for accelerating the process of EU Accession. The Commission has now presented further questionnaires specifying other issues to be addressed and the EU has granted Ukraine candidate country status, further accelerating the Accession process.
The first period of partial suspension on the Project commenced on 7 April 2022 when the decision by the EU Delegation was received and as a result of a further agreement the Project work has been able to continue operating in the same way as the initial period for an additional 3 months – to 7 October 2022. This is, of course, subject to any further review of priorities in the intervening period and any further tasks identified.
There continues to remain considerable uncertainty about the extent to which the current conflict will continue or the point at which the project work can return to some degree of normality and the date at which a return to working in Kyiv may be possible. While the scale of work undertaken has been influenced by the remote working methods which have proved to be possible within the project resources available, progress has been maintained and support provided for the beneficiary and stakeholders.
A range of activities and tasks, representing substantial inputs on Component 1, and in addition those areas of relevant joint activity which have been specified by the main beneficiary -AMCU, and as priority issues in discussion with the EU Delegation have continued to be undertaken. Maintaining effective Project activities has been seen as not simply providing continued support for the main beneficiary and other Ukrainian institutions, but also providing foundations for future working and particularly a number of areas of joint work which focus on speeding up Ukraine's accession to the EU.
This project was designed to develop a network of business support institutions, in order to allow small businesses access to tailored assistance and provide unified access to business knowledge and information. As lead on this project, WYG conducted an analysis of the existing system and designed a development strategy and business plan for the new network. Our team also developed the network system and designed its IT platform, drew up a mentoring system for SMEs, tested pilot services, and created a brand name for the system. Promotional activities to raise awareness of the network ensured the project helped promote a healthy business environment in which SMEs have more opportunities to grow.
The overall purpose of the project was to support further modernization and strengthening the capacity of the Croatian Employment Service to develop a more efficient labour market in the Republic of Croatia, and to support further development of the CES Labour Market Centre. The project was follow-up of the previous project "Labour Market Centre of the Croatian Employment Service" implemented under Component I IPA program which resulted in the establishment of the CES Labour Market Centre and training of CES workers and other employees labour market stakeholders in relevant knowledge and skills. This project contributed to the further strengthening of the CES Labour Market Centre through the development of ICT support, the development of new, tailor-made training of trainers and CES staff, as well as trainees from other relevant labour market institutions/organizations through introduction of e-learning and blended learning programs.
Project was implemented through following three components:
Component 1: Development of ICT support for the Labour Market Centre of the Croatian Employment Service, which included analysis of the existing CES business processes related to the training and assessment of the existing level of ICT coverage of the mentioned processes; the "E-learning" portal of the CES Labour Market Centre and the Training Centre of the Labour Market Centre were developed, with initial content being set up and systematic testing of application and ICT support.
Component 2: Capacity Development of CES Labour Market Centre through creation and implementation of the "e-Learning" Program and the Combined Learning Program, what included selection and training of CES trainers and trainers of other labour market stakeholders for providing e-learning and blended learning trainings in the area of employment services and measures.
Component 3: Strengthening and human resources capacity building of central and local CES staff and other stakeholders through e-learning programs and combined learning programs for effective designing, management and implementation of employment measures and employment services on local/regional level.
Commissioned by the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the goal of this project was to harmonize the education system in BiH with the standards outlined in the Europe 2020 Strategy, addressing gaps in quality by improving primary and secondary general education. As part of a three-member consortium, WYG helped build a new qualifications framework, including methodologies, learning outcomes, and standards of attainment. We also organised a study visit to an EU member state, developed institutional guidelines for modern teaching, and built an online e-quality platform and a roadmap for implementing the framework. Our team also designed QA methodologies to develop standards for external secondary school finishing exams, produced outcome-based training modules for professional teaching standards, organised focus group discussions on teacher training, and drafted a teacher training guide to help teachers update their key competences and professional skills.
|The project aimed to support social inclusion policies and development of the range and quality of community-based social services for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, including Roma. More immediate objectives of the project included strengthening the institutional capacities at the national and local level to manage social inclusion policies across the country, developing Community-based Social Services for vulnerable groups and supporting the implementation of active initiatives for Roma population through EU financed grant project. WYG was partnering EPTISA in implementing this successful project.
| The purpose of this contract was to increase the capacity of the Serbian VET system in improving the quality, coverage and relevance of the vocational education and training.
The project achieved the following results:
Project was implemented by WYG as a lead organisation.
Project value: 1.000.000 EUR
This project, published by Macedonia’s Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, aims to improve parents’ employability through the development of alternative childcare services. As part of a three-member consortium, WYG’s role included research and analysis on the current state of the childcare market, including a consultation workshop with stakeholders to present findings. Our team developed a set of active measures to promote existing alternative childcare services and develop new ones by encouraging unemployed potential caregivers to gain qualifications. We also selected mentors for caregivers, provided on-the-job childcare services training, and helped beneficiaries obtain licenses and establish their own childcare businesses as self-employed sole proprietors. Finally, we recommended changes to childcare legislation and other regulations based on our findings and pilot test, and developed supervision tools and a monitoring system for alternative services.
This EU IPA project was designed to improve the employability and social inclusion of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in Kosovo—especially unemployed women and youth, people with disabilities, and social aid beneficiaries—by deploying efficient active labour market measures with measurable results. As part of a consortium with OSB Consulting GMBH, WYG’s team designed innovative, tailor-made measures targeting these groups based on best practices from the EU and the region. We also helped to build the capacity of Department of Labour and Employment (DLE) staff responsible for coordinating these measures through training and the transfer of best practices. Finally, our staff helped implement a grant scheme consisting of active labour market measures aimed at youth, women, Roma, and people with disabilities, in addition to training DLE staff in developing an implementation monitoring plan to ensure these measures meet their intended purpose.
North Macedonia’s Ministry of Finance published this project to help improve the social inclusion of people with disabilities and provide them with equal footing on the labour market. As part of a three-member consortium, WYG’s role in this project was to help design and promote systems for vocational rehabilitation and personal assistance services for people with disabilities. After an analysis of current legislation, WYG recommended changes and amendments to legislation and regulations, designed, tested, and implemented a system of standardised vocational rehabilitation services, and helped build the capacity of professionals who work directly with people with disabilities. We also provided support to the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy to develop a policy framework and programme for personal assistance services, resulting in 70 individuals receiving services as part of a pilot programme. Our team also ran numerous training programmes, helped establish and launch a helpdesk for programme users, and worked to upgrade existing IT monitoring systems and networks.
The purpose of the project is to promote the business advisory services to SMEs and provide direct business advisory services to SMEs. This contract will target micro, small and medium businesses with a particular emphasis on those in the lagging-behind areas. The project will promote the provision of advisory services through a media campaign and workshops for SMEs; develop the criteria and procedure for the selection of SMEs that will gain direct advisory services and provide direct advisory services to selected SMEs throughout Croatia. The provision of direct advisory services to SMEs will be particularly focused on the areas of quality assurance, marketing and product development. Moreover, the selection criteria and procedure for the selection of SMEs that will be provided with advisory services for preparation of project applications for public funding schemes under structural instruments, as well as tender documentation for secondary procurement for projects of high maturity, will be determined; also direct advisory services will provided to selected SMEs in that area.
Project value: 2,978,400
The main aim of this EU IPA financed project was to enhance capacities of the Croatian Employment Service in delivering services to its clients. A new set of tailor-made mediation services to the employers was developed and capacities of the CES staff to deliver the new services and implement new working methods were increased. A model of e-counseling support for CES clients was also created. E-counselling was defined as a new business process of self-service vocational guidance and counseling services to the unemployed and job seekers supported by an e-advisor. Corresponding application module was also developed. This project introduced new tailor-made active labour market measures targeted to the long-term unemployed and a model for management, monitoring and implementation of these measures.
WYG’s role as lead on this project was to support the Croatian Employment Service in establishing a Labour Market Training Centre to provide training and skills to labour market stakeholders. Our key experts and local staff developed a three-year staff development plan for CES, performed training needs analysis for CES and other national and regional labour market institutions, and created an organisational and educational model for the Labour Market Training Centre. We also designed and held comprehensive on-the-job training sessions for trainers from CES and other institutions and organisations, evaluated pilot training sessions, and developed guidelines on training procedures.