1.6 Evidence-based youth policy
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Occasionally, there are efforts from governmental institutions to support youth policies with knowledge and evidence from research on youth. Thus, the basis for initiating this process of creating the National Youth Strategy 2016-2025 was the Youth Trends Survey (Младинските трендови во Република Македонија) conducted by the Institute of Sociological, Political and Juridical Research in the period from September to December 2014. According to adopted Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies must be prepared new National Youth Strategy. For the preparation of the new National Youth Strategy, outlined in the Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies, in October 2021, the Agency of Youth and Sports announced a call for public procurement conducting research on youth trends which should provide the necessary information and basis for the preparation of the new National Youth Strategy.
In order to reduce the differences between the supplied workforce and the required skills, the Employment Service Agency of the Republic of North Macedonia conducts a survey for analysis of skills needs in the labor market. The analysis provides some short-term indicators of employers’ expectations in term of new employments and the skills needs that people have at their disposal, as they could be competitive on the labor market. The findings of the analysis provide the basis for creating active programs and measures for the preparation for employment, aimed at raising the skills of the unemployed, in order to increase their competitiveness on the labor market and faster employment. However, it is important to mention that such analyzes do not include young people in particular, but they are general and cover the entire working-age population in North Macedonia.
Youth Employment as a high priority of the Government is a theme that requires specific scientific research aimed at developing tailored and relevant programs and measures. The development of the Action Plan for Youth Employment 2016 – 2020 was based on specific evidence-based research supported by the International Labor Organization in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, using specific economic indicators (Labor market transitions of young women and men in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Премин на младите жени и мажи на пазарот на трудот во поранешната југословенска Република Македонија), June 2016).
With the support of the International Labor Organization, for the purposes of the Youth Guarantee, a study was conducted on the profile of young people who are not employed, nor are involved in education or training. The objective of this policy guidance note is to provide a snapshot of young people neither in employment, nor in education or training (NEET) in North Macedonia.
In 2021, the Government adopted the National Employment Strategy 2021-2027, which includes the Youth Guarantee. Within the Strategy, it's noted that the action plan of the YG will be adjusted in 2022, taking into account its progress, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth unemployment, as well as to reflect EU's Reinforced Youth Guarantee.
No institutionalized mechanisms of cooperation with the research community exist in North Macedonia. There is no specific Youth Research Center or Youth Institute funded by the State.
Cooperation between policy-making and research institution/academic communities is on ad-hoc basis. For example, aside from the survey of the Youth Trends in North Macedonia which was ordered by the Agency of Youth and Sport dated back to 2014, and the latest announced call in 2021 for conducting new research on youth trends for the needs of creating a new National Youth Strategy, there are no other youth-related researches. In addition, the Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies, envisages creation of a Research Center on Youth Topics, within the Agency of Youth and Sports. Unfortunately, the research center still has not been established, despite the fact that the deadline defined in the Law expired in January 2021.
The State Statistical Office (SSO) is responsible for overall statistics for the country, including young people. According to the 2002 census (last organized census), the population of North Macedonia is 2022547 inhabitants. The population of young people aged 15 – 29 is 480828 inhabitants (which is almost 24% of the population). http://www.stat.gov.mk/PrikaziPoslednaPublikacija.aspx?id=54.
The following youth indicators are collected at national level: Unemployment rate; Working age population by economic activity; Labor force by educational attainment, Activity rates of the population aged 15 years and over, NEET.
No regular youth reports at national level, other data and analysis are produced.
No budgetary allocations or particular budget lines are available for supporting research in the youth field.