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Flexibilization of the labour markets in the Western Balkans countries: Study on new forms of employment, including platform work, and implications for youth employment policies and skills development

The study covered six Western Balkan economies: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo, and aimed to explore the changing patterns of work triggered by enhanced digitalisation and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing particularly on online freelancing and platform work. 

The study explored the impacts of these developments on young people's school-to work-transition and job-to-job transitions. The research work was based on:

  • Reviewing, documenting and analysing new trends in work organisation, including online/platform demand for work and skills. The exercise specifically looked into the importance of these flexible working arrangements in the overall labour market, the scale and the nature of labour and skills demand, organisational models, profiles of online and platform jobs, profiles of online and platform workers and their career and in-work skills development options.
  • Mapping country-specific strategic and policy approaches in relation to digitalisation, changing demand for labour and new business models. 
  • Identifying the opportunities and challenges driven by the new forms of employment and their implications for the regulatory and institutional setting, aiming at quality job creation, inclusiveness, and skills formation and utilisation.

The study informed the ETF on the recent labour market developments with focus on new forms of work in the Western Balkan region, as well as their implications for employment and skills development policies.