How to convince employers to hire low-skilled Roma youth?


Without encouragement and support, employers often shy away from hiring disadvantaged Roma youth. The Hopes for Low project developed an approach that combines mentoring with employer services to support low-skilled Roma youth in getting and keeping a job.

Low skilled Roma youth face multiple barriers to finding a job: they often lack even basic skills and have little or no experience in formal employment. They often have low self-esteem and weak job search skills. Local NGOs assisting Roma communities tend to focus on meeting basic needs and may also support job search but they rarely have the capacity and skills to systematically engage employers. Without such support employers often shy away from hiring disadvantaged Roma youth.  Also, recruiting practices often have elements that unwittingly create barriers for low skilled Roma, such as the formal language of job descriptions, health checks that elongate the recruitment process, or the exclusive use of online channels. 

The Hopes for Low project was coordinated by the Budapest Institute and funded by DG Justice of the European Commission. Together with project partners, we developed services that support employers in introducing inclusive hiring and employment practices and thereby promote the integration of unskilled Roma youth into the labour market. The approach was piloted by Bagázs in Hungary and by EPIC in Slovakia. Though the pandemic caused some disruption, especially in the Slovak pilot, the outcomes confirmed that the approach can be quite effective.

Please visit the project page for more detail.

Hopes for Low good practice short description
Hopes for Low jógyakorlat-leírás (in Hungarian)