Motivating unemployed women to seek work

Public Library ‘Braka Miladinovci’, Macedonia

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A successful jobseeker at her place of employment in an automobile sales outlet.
After searching for a job for many months, Violeta Behlimova attended Public Library ‘Braka Miladinovci’s’ training. Armed with a professional CV, ICT skills and new confidence, she found a job in an automobile parts shop.

Community need

Jobs are scarce in the municipalities of Radoviš and Konce, which Public Library ‘Braka Miladinovci’ serves. In 2010, the municipal labour bureau estimated that about one in five people was out of work; of these, 38% were women aged from 20-40. The library recognized that economic recession was only part of the reason for high unemployment. Other problems included lack of skills and access to affordable training, and poor self-confidence and motivation, especially among jobless women.

The innovative service

The librarians teamed up with the municipalities of Radovis and Konce, and non-governmental agencies in Radovis that work to empower women and girls. Together, they created the award-winning Creative Minds Create Job Opportunities service. With support from the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) in 2010, the library equipped a training centre with laptops, wireless internet and a printer. They developed a training curriculum that integrated motivation and confidence-building with computer and job seeking skills. They recruited and trained 67 people (51 women and 16 men) in basic computer skills, writing a CV, job interview preparation, how to look for a job online, and how to use the internet creatively for self-employment.

EIFL-PLIP Project timeline

May 2010 - April 2011.

Achievements and Impact

  • In just one year (2010/11), the service helped 39 people find work – almost half their total number of trainees.

  • In 2011 the service won international recognition and an award for social integration from the ERSTE Foundation.

  • In 2012, Radovis Municipality named the library as a strategic partner in providing training and information services for the unemployed.

  • The library has expanded its information and communication technology (ICT) training to include the elderly, vulnerable women and children and minority ethnic groups.

additional resources

Read a two-page case study about the project.

More libraries empowering women and girls

Read about more innovative public libraries empowering women and girls. PLIP-WOMEN-AND-GIRLS

Getting a job is very hard. When I heard about the ICT training at the library, I applied and learnt to use computers. I met many other women - and what is most important for me is that I gained a huge self confidence.
Violeta Behlimova, successful job-seeker