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Shida Kartli job seekers helped by US project

By Etuna Tsotniashvili
Monday, May 16
On May 12, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Kent Logsdon, met with internally displaced persons (IDPs) and job seekers from rural districts in the central Georgian province of Shida Kartli at the USAID-supported Job Counseling and Placement center in Gori.

Beneficiaries from the buffer zone villages and new settlements in Shida Kartli expressed their gratitude to both the donor and its implementing partner for their support. U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Kent Logsdon stated: “The U.S. Government is committed to a peaceful Georgia and to support the country’s continued economic development”.

Sergo Gobejishvili lives in Kelktseuli, a village located in the so-called buffer zone. Before the armed conflict in August 2008, he worked as a ploughman and cultivated his own plot of land and those of his neighbours. Using a plough means low-intensive labour at high productivity. Sergo was planning to buy new equipment but the August 2008 conflict destroyed the whole harvest. He applied to the JCP for business development support in December 2010. After the initial selection process, he was trained by IOM and developed his business plan, which was approved. The JCP office has bought a new plough for him and this spring Sergo is cultivating land plots with this new piece of equipment. There is a big demand for his services not only in his own village but also in the neighbouring villages of Pkhvenisi and Kvemo Khviti. As he said: ”Cultivation of one hectare costs 200 Georgian Lari – the farmer should buy fuel worth 100 GEL and pay the same amount of money for the service fee. Of course, I need some money for equipment maintenance but anyway, I still make a profit. Also the users of my services benefit: if they don’t have money now they buy only the fuel and will pay me in the autumn.”

Lika Asanidze, who graduated from Gori University, is a good example of a beneficiary of these matching services. She has a diploma in Economics and Business Law but could not find a job. IOM supported her through re-training in the Oris accounting programme. As a result of this training, she acquired new skills and was hired by a local firm as Accountant Manager Assistant.

Although the labour market mostly demands people under the age of 40, Lineri Turashvili’s case is a good example that professionals can also find jobs when they are past the age of 50. She worked as a nurse at the #5 school in Gori, but because of staff downsizing she lost her job. She participated in the training on job-search and self-presentation skills and was registered in the JCP database. Only three days later the JCP managed to find a suitable job for her in the vacancy database. She now works fifteen days per month in the shelter for victims of domestic violence in Gori and earns a salary that she is quite happy with. “This is quite a good income for me”, she said.

Mary Sheehan, IOM Chief of Mission to Georgia, noted:”All our services are provided free of charge to both employers and job seekers. We are in frequent contact with regional and local government officials who have expressed their appreciation for the IOM job consultation and referral activities. We are pleased with these successful partnerships and are hopeful that we will able to expand these partnerships to other parts of Georgia”.

The Job Counseling and Placement (JCP) project, implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), provides job counseling, referral and placement of unemployed people, with particular outreach to IDPs. The project has established an employment facilitation network with JCP centers in six regions of the country and in Tbilisi. Key components of the JCP operation consist of outreach to employers and place project beneficiaries in vocational education programmes.