Inclusive and Productive Employment in Eastern Europe - Moldova

The Intervention is part of a programmatic collaboration with the ILO in Eastern Europe and intends to help Moldova improving its employment policies, the capacities of labour market programmes and employment services. This collaboration with the ILO is closely coordinated with a UNDP intervention financed through SDC.

Country/region Period Budget
01.12.2022 - 31.12.2024
CHF  2’000’000

Moldova is among the poorest countries in Europe (GDP of EUR 5200/capita, 2020). Yet, the Candidate Status granted by the European Union to Moldova in June 2022 represents a historical opportunity. Hence Moldova needs to continue modernising its economy and labour market policies to advance on this path. Due to the focus of international donors on other areas of development, the labour and social protection domain remains neglected. To support the response to the challenges posed, SECO proposes to join forces with the ILO in Moldova. This collaboration with the ILO is closely coordinated with a UNDP intervention financed through SDC.


The main objective is to improve the national employment policies and capacities of labour market programmes and employment services, comprising four components:

•support in formulating gender-equitable employment policies. Locally, ILO will roll-out its local employment partnerships model. The model acts as an integrator between business advisory services, access to finance, access to equipment and training, employment subsidies, collective representation building and vulnerable individuals.

•work on skills development and matching by identifying skills-related markets’ needs and bottlenecks, and support work-based training, adult education and digital literacy.

•focus on wage policies, wage distribution, collective bargaining and adaptation of minimum wages.

•support in formalization of policies by raising awareness of employers to their obligations and by promoting better use of labour inspection resources.

Medium-term outcomes

• Inclusive and productive employment through decentralized implementation of the new National Employment Strategy and improved performance of the National Employment Agency.

• An advanced skill needs anticipation system is operational and a lifelong learning strategy is adopted.

• Effective protection of workers at the highest risk of informal employment.


Expected results:  

• National and local stakeholders have capacities to formulate and implement national employment policy addressing specific future of work challenges

• The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (MLSP) and National Employment Agency (NEA) have better capacity to formulate and implement labour market programs and employment services for transition to decent work over the course of life

• Local economic development fostered and capacities of LPAs to design innovative employment initiatives enhanced

• National stakeholders have capacities and knowledge to foster advanced skill needs anticipation systems and lifelong learning

• Moldovan constituents have improved capacity to foster effective protection at work

Results from previous phases:  

The proposed programmatic cooperation with the ILO will build on lessons learned and best practices identified through ILO’s work. The Decent Work Country Programme 2021-2024 is the fifth ILO country program for Moldova, since 2006. The proposed intervention will build on earlier work that the ILO carried out in Moldova and that demonstrated solid engagement by government, employers and workers representatives. Further lessons learned include the previous phases of the SECO-supported ILO programmes Better Work and SCORE.

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    2’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    24’130’000
Project phases Phase 1 01.12.2022 - 31.12.2024   (Current phase)