Consultant to Develop Applicable Model for Student Employment in Montenegro
homebased and podgorica
UN System in Montenegro is implementing joint program Activate! Integrated Social Protection and Employment to Accelerate Progress for Young People in Montenegro. The programme aims to enhance the capacities of the social protection system to better serve people in need. It focuses on youth, children, migrants and refugees, and addresses root causes of human trafficking, while supporting decent work and employability/skills development. Innovation is used as a key change strategy: the programme applies advanced methodologies (foresight, human-centered design, policy simulation tools, etc.) in order to improve targeting, expand coverage, and address adequacy of social protection, but also activate Montenegro’s youth who are currently not in education, employment or training (NEET) and other vulnerable and marginalized groups through enhanced labour activation.
Youth unemployment is not only an economic, but also a deeply social issue with far-reaching broad negative effects. Young people with a history of unemployment face fewer career opportunities, lower wage levels, poorer prospects for better jobs and ultimately lower pensions. Unemployed youth feel socially excluded and with low self-esteem, which is the reason why young people are cited as a particularly vulnerable group in various sectoral policies.
According to the Statistical Office of Montenegro, the unemployment rate among young people aged 15-24 was 25.2% in 2019, which in 2020 increased up to 36%. The statistics further suggest that youth were significantly affected during the Covid-19 pandemic, as in 2021 the percentage of the employed youth was lower by as much as 41.8% compared to 2020. In addition, the data of the Employment Agency from December 2020 suggest that persons with higher education had the largest share in the total number of unemployed young people up to the age of 35 (41.1%). They are followed by persons with secondary education (40.5%), while unskilled or semi-qualified persons accounted for 18.4% of unemployed youth, suggesting that a higher level of education does not necessarily bring greater employment opportunities.
The structure of the unemployed in the southern region in 2020 is dominated by young people with occupations in the field of hospitality and tourism (15.0%) and unemployed economists (12.0%). According to the data for the central region, economists have the largest share among unemployed youth (9.8%), while the occupations of catering and tourism (7.8%) and social-humanistic occupations (7.1%) are represented in a slightly smaller percentage. In the north of Montenegro, the situation is similar when it comes to occupations with the largest number of unemployed youth, with the exception of unemployed young medics (5.4% of total youth unemployment).
Education is seen as a key factor of the societal development and Montenegro is continuously implementing reforms in this area to make educational system compliant with modern trends and quality. In recent years, reforms have been done at all levels of education, preceded by adoption of new laws and amendments and changes for the appropriate level of education, and its harmonization with EU legislation. Educational policy in Montenegro is created at the central level, by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, which is also responsible for the overall educational policy and the adoption of the of the educational programs (curricula). Higher education is acquired at the University of Montenegro as a public university, three private universities, two individual private faculties and one individual public faculty. Accreditation of a study program is done by the Agency for Control and Quality Assurance in Higher Education, upon the proposal of the HEI. The autonomy of the HEIs is guaranteed by the Constitution and the Law on Higher Education. The work for the advancement and development of higher education is performed by the Council for Higher Education.
The career guidance support to students in higher education is offered through university career centres that provide information, guidance and counselling to students in the areas they study, as well as support in acquiring and advancing employment skills. The Career Center established within the University of Montenegro is focused on connecting students to the business sector through identification of opportunities for professional internships and potential work engagements, with the aim of acquainting students with the business environment and gaining skills and work experience during their studies, as well as achieving a more competitive position on the labor market after graduation.
Lack of normative framework for student employment limits their opportunities to access appropriate jobs and employment with insurance contributions, leaving students at the margin of the labour market. The absence of regulations in this regard is also one of the main obstacles in identifying and adopting the best models and practices in student employment. Therefore, student employment service development needs cross-system reform process with aim to enable young people, university students, to get a job or volunteer under tailored conditions, with full protection of the Labor Law rights.
Therefore, in partnership with University of Montenegro, UNDP will support the process by contributing to the informed, human-centred design of best models for improved access of university students to work experiences and opportunities.
For the purpose of proposing best models and practices for student employment in Montenegro, an International Consultant will be engaged.
Duties and Responsibilities
Objectives of the Assignment:
- Review of the best models, practices and policies in the field of student employment in Europe
- Provision of a detailed overview of the models and policies applicable in Montenegro, with the experiences of the countries in which they are implemented
- Assessment of the challenges and opportunities in application of the chosen models and policies, bearing in mind the local normative, institutional and cultural context in Montenegro (inputs to be provided by local consultant)
- Integrate findings of human-centred, participatory co-design workshop with students and other relevant actors, which will provide insights in needs and ideas of students themselves in relation to the models
- Identification and detailed justification of the best model(s) for student employment to be implemented in Montenegro
- Design a roadmap, supported by existing and recommended policies, on the steps to be taken by all relevant stakeholders in implementing the model for student employment.
The International Consultant will implement activities in close guidance and consultations with UNDP project team, and in cooperation with Local consultant who will provide analysis and advice on normative and strategic aspects of the implementation of related models.
Expected results and deliverables:
- Conducting analysis and drafting a report on at least 3 best models/practices and supporting policies in the field of student employment in Europe. The Report should consist of a detailed overview of the models and policies, including results and related experiences of the countries in which they are implemented.
- Providing assessment of the challenges and opportunities in application of the chosen models and policies. The International Consultant will closely cooperate with the National Consultant in assessing the local normative, institutional and cultural preconditions for the application of the chosen models.
- Designing a Roadmap on the steps in implementing the model for student employment. The Roadmap should also be supported by recommendations on the changes, amendments of the existing and /or adoption of a new law to regulate student employment, provided in cooperation with the National Consultant, and submitted to the Programme Manager and the relevant stakeholders for a review.
- Participating in one-day seminar in the role of the main presenter of the Roadmap for implementing the model for student employment. The seminar will be attended by all the relevant stakeholders from the academic, public and NGO sector, business associations, as well as by the UNDP representatives.
N.B. In case of Covid-19 related restrictions for face-to-face meetings and events, the Consultant is expected to implement online or other work modalities which prove to be feasible in such circumstances.
Timing and reporting:
The International Consultant will be engaged under Individual Contract (IC) on short-term basis for total 20 consultancy days in the period from 10 October 2021 until 31 December 2021. The Consultant will work from home and travel to Podgorica, should the need arises and subject to the Covid-19 circumstances. Travel and daily allowances should be included in the financial proposal and will be paid only in case of travel. Travel and daily allowances should be calculated as one round trip to Podgorica and one daily allowance fee in Podgorica.
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards
- Shares knowledge and experience;
- Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
- Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills;
- Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
- Demonstrates ability to manage complexities and work under pressure, as well as conflict resolution skills.
Required Skills and Experience
- Advanced Degree in Law, Economics, Social Sciences or other relevant field;
- Minimum 10 years of relevant experience in the field of youth, employment and/or (higher) education policies;
- Sound knowledge of the best practices and models in the field of student employment (internationally, with focus on Europe);
- Knowledge of country/policy context of Montenegro/region would be an asset;
- Fluency in English language is required, while knowledge of the local language will be considered as an advantage.
- Excellent analytical, writing, presentation and reporting skills;
- Excellent communication skills and ability to cooperate with larger number of stakeholders;
Criteria for selection:
Combined Scoring method will be used. When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as: (i) responsive, compliant, acceptable, and (ii) having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.
- Technical criteria weight - 70% (Background and education 10%; Relevant previous experience 20%; Substantial knowledge/Required competencies 30%; Required language 10%);
- Financial criteria weight - 30%.
Only offerors obtaining a minimum 490 points for technical criteria will be considered for the financial evaluation. For more information on procurement methodology for Individual Contractors, please refer to Procurement Notice.
Interested applicants are requested to submit their applications by September 28, 2021 by using the Apply now button. The application should contain CV or P11 that can be downloaded at https://www.me.undp.org/content/montenegro/en/home/jobs.html. Please note that UNDP jobsite system allows only one uploading of application document, so please make sure that you merge all your documents into a single file.
Only the short-listed applicants will be contacted and requested to submit a letter of interest including a price quotation indicating the lump sum (in EUR) requested for the work envisaged in the section "Description of Responsibilities".