Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content
European Commission logo
EACEA National Policies Platform
Republic of North Macedonia

Republic of North Macedonia

10. Youth work

10.1 General context

Last update: 28 November 2023
  1. Historical developments
  2. National definition or understanding of Youth Work


Historical developments

In the period when RSM was part of Yugoslavia, youth work was present through the pioneer homes and alliances of the Communist and Socialist youth. The measures and activities implemented by these organizations consisted of scholarships, youth employment programs and housing allocations. The primary values of youth work in that period were: education with a predetermined purpose, promotion of patriotic values, volunteerism, collectivism, brotherhood and unity, etc. (see more Portfolio on Youth Work (Порфтолио на младински работници)


With the collapse of socialism in the late 1980s and early 1990s, this form of youth work disappears. As a society in transition, the former Yugoslavia was completely unprepared for the education of young people. The state, as well as the entire region, is responding to the current list of priorities in order to establish economic, political, judicial and social stability.[1]


Since then, significant progress has been made in the field youth work. Today’s youth work is primarily guided by the CSOs who are learning from the best practices from the western countries. With financial support from foreign and international foundations, several Macedonian associations have attempted to introduce different approaches to youth work based on models from other European countries.


In 2012, the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, with support of National Democratic Institute (NDI), has launched an initiative to recognize and professionalize youth work. As a result of this initiative, the Union for Youth Work (Сојуз за младинска работа) was established and is still functioning today. Another result of the initiative was the organization of the first Youth Work Fair which was organized in 2013 in organization of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, with support of NDI and Agency of Youth and Sport. The Youth Work Fair was intended to raise awareness of the need for professionalization and recognition of youth work, as well as to establish a link between youth work providers and institutions. The event brought together 40 youth job bidders and representatives of institutions who discussed the necessary legal solutions and regulations, as well as defining the capacities and competences of youth job bidders.


This initiative was followed by several other projects aimed at standardizing and professionalizing youth work. As a result of these initiatives, understanding of youth work has increased significantly in Republic of North Macedonia. In September 2018, for the first time in the history of North Macedonia, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy adopted the standard of occupation in the field of youth work, under the name Worker with Youth.

In June 2021, the Union for Youth Work and the Agency for Youth and Sports awarded certificates to 14 youth workers for a completed adult education program in accordance with the occupational standard Youth Worker. Thus, for the first time in our country, certified professionals were recognized according to one of the profiles of the youth worker, in accordance with the National Portfolio of Youth Workers. [2] By December 2022, a total of 24 people have successfully completed the program and received Youth Worker certificates. [3]

National definition or understanding of Youth Work

Youth Work is defined in Art. 3 in Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies (Закон за младинско учество и младински политики) as: “an organized and systematic process of education and support of authentic development of young people with the aim of fulfilling their overall personal, social and civic potential.”


The same definition may be found in the Portfolio on Youth Work.[4]


On the other hand, Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies is defining Youth Worker as “qualified persons who have the competencies to work with young people by carrying out activities that support their personal and social development through informal and informal learning.”


[1] Forum Syd Balkans Programme, (Skopje, 2019) How to understand youth work in the community, p.9 retrieved from (Accessed December 16, 2019)


(Accessed Febrary 24,2022)


(Accessed December 26, 2022)

[4] Portfolio on Youth Work (Порфтолио на младински работници), Union for Youth Work, (Skopje, 2019), p.12

 (Accessed December 16, 2019)