Softup Technologies has finalized a partnership with RisiAlbania (an innovative project, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, in partnership with the Ministry of Finance and Economy, implemented by Helvetas and Partners Albania) to exponentially increase employment opportunities for young Albanian developers.

While employment in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) has increased in the past few years, Softup believes that more can be done to accelerate it further by embracing new trends like, remote work. Softup and RisiAlbania are working together to address the matter and prevent brain drain.

"Currently employment opportunities in ICT are linear. Companies are hiring a few dozen developers every couple of months, the employment growth is by default limited to that pace. We want to use technology as an enabler to increase these opportunities exponentially" - said Daniel Kazani Co-Founder at Softup.

The 2020 pandemic has pushed global tech leaders like Facebook, Square and Shopify to experiment with remote work as a long-term hiring solution, and this could be a great timing to open the Albanian development market to the world, like it's never been done before.

There are predominantly three ways young developers can find employment in Albania.

First, employment can be found via local tech companies and software agencies. While employment with local companies has constantly been increasing, there is an overall bottleneck. Meaning that the employment opportunities are linked to the growth of local companies themselves and NOT the overall global demand for developers.

The second option is, by finding projects independently as a freelancer. This is being probably the most attractive type of employment, because you can control what projects you work on, your salary and the technologies you want to use. However, it's is also the hardest type of employment. Because you constantly need to joggle between finding clients, running a business (doing your own tax return and drafting contracts) and then coding. Also, there is no unified community of freelancers or any backing from the government to support these initiatives. You are pretty much on your own.

Finally, the third employment option for young Albanian developers remains economic migration in other countries. This is however the costliest way of employment. Firstly, to the developers themselves, as they need to leave their friends and family behind and move into a new country, but it also represents a huge cost to Albania, due to brain-drain. This is when the youngest and usually the most educated talents of the country leave in search for better employment opportunities.

"If current migration trends continue Albania's median age is predicted to shift from 36.4 years old today, to 50.0 by 2050, and that is both scary and sad" - remarked Daniel.

RisiAlbania aims to make labour markets work for young people. Since technology is being embraced by both students and young professionals, ICT is a great place to start. As Stephan Joss, RisiAlbania’s Project Director, stated: “The beauty of Softup is their door-opener function for young Albanian professionals and talents, women and men, to get the international exposure and access to IT markets. The Softup is supporting functions that a single freelancer hardly can cover in an international business environment”.

Softup plans to launch an invite-only MVP (Minimum Viable Product) later this year, where European companies and Albanian developers can connect directly.

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