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. The process of creation of the National Youth Strategy 2023-2027 started in October 2022, which gathered representatives from various relevant institutions and civil organizations that formulated visions for the position of the young people in the following period of five years. The new strategy is not officially adopted yet, but the draft version of it is available to the public.
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 needed in the labor market. The analysis provides some short-term indicators of employers’ expectations in terms of new employment 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 National Employment Strategy for 2021 - 2027 is accompanied by the Youth Guarantee, whose implementation plan was reformulated in 2022 to take into account the progress made, the impact of the pandemic on youth employment and the adjustments introduced to the Youth Support Program of the EU, which is expected to significantly increase the employment of young people.
In 2023, a new Plan for the implementation of the Youth Guarantee for the period of 2023-2026 (План за спроведување на Гаранција за млади 2023-2026) was adopted, continuing the commitment for enhancing young people’s access to the labor market.
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 institutions/academic communities is on an 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 2021 census (last organized census), the population of North Macedonia is 1.836.713 inhabitants.
The population of young people aged 15 – 29 is 326,733 inhabitants according to the census. Prior to this census in 2021, the last one was in 2001 where the total number of young people 15-29 were 480.828 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.