Migration and Employment in Gyumri
27 percent of job seekers in Gyumri are young citizens in the age range 16-30. According to Gyumri’s young residents, the problem arises both because of lack of jobs and low salaries, both of which contribute to emigration.

‘Migration has somehow become a heritable phenomenon, especially among the young. They have an adopted practice of many years that life issues must be solved through migration and it is handed over from father to son,’ said Aghasi Tadevosyan, ethnographer, PhD in History at YSU, at the Media Center initiated open air discussion on migration issues in Gyumri. The speaker pointed out that migration is a transmissible practice when representatives of 3 generations, i.e. grandfather, son and grandchild become labor migrants.

Laura Martirosyan, senior specialist at the Department of Employment Programs of Employment Regional Center of Gyumri; Armen Ghazaryan, political scientist, post graduate student at the RA National Academy of Sciences, majoring in migration issues, and Hovhannes Mkrtchyan, representative of ‘New Generation’ Humanitarian NGO, shared their thoughts at the discussion entitled ‘Employment, Migration and Youth Issues in Gyumri’ held on June 25.

Laura Martirosyan, senior specialist at the Department of Employment Programs of Employment Regional Center of Gyumri, stated that currently job seekers in Gyumri are the graduates of both higher education and vocational institutions. The majority comprises teachers, medical nurses, economists, etc.

‘You can hardly find a young man who would be able to support his family with a salary of AMD 45-60 thousand. Moreover, there are too few employers in Gyumri who act in accordance with the Labor Code. Thus, it is quite natural that a young man should prefer to leave Gyumri,’ said Hovhannes Mkrtchyan, representative of ‘New Generation’ Humanitarian NGO.

Political scientist Armen Ghazaryan drew attention to other factors causing migration. ‘Actually, the primary factor is socio-economic but political migration is also observed. The mayor of Glendale mentioned that they received approximately 5000 applications for political asylum following the events of 2008,’ said Ghazaryan.

Ethnographer Aghasi Tadevosyan noted that the main cause of migration is economic, yet it has evolved into a culture.

‘There is another reason for migration. While migration used to solve financial problems, nowadays it has become a means for personal development. People strive to live in countries that ensure bigger opportunities for education, healthcare and personal development. Thus, a greater number of skillful specialists have started to migrate from Armenia,’ noted the ethnographer.

The open air discussion which was held in cooperation with Transformer project was attended by representatives of Gyumri City Administration and local non-governmental organizations, as well as young Gyumri citizens who voiced the existing problems.

P.S. The footage includes the video reports of Tsayg, Gala and ArmNews TV channels.

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