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The Government of the Republic of North Macedonia in 2018 decided to introduce a Youth Guarantee in order to provide young people (15-29) for a period of 4 months, offering employment, continuing education and training, or internship.
At the 53rd session of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia (Записник од 53 седница на Владата на Република Македонија) held on 6.2.2018, the Government adopted the following conclusion: The Government reviewed the latest text of the Information with the text of the Plan for implementation of the Youth Guarantee (first phase 2018 - 2019) and the Action Plan for the implementation of the Youth Guarantee in three pilot municipalities in 2018, adopted the Information, and accepted the latest text of the Plan for implementation of the Youth Guarantee (first phase 2018 - 2019).
In 2018, the piloting of the Youth Guarantee was carried out in three employment centers: Gostivar, Strumica and Skopje, by involving young people who are not employed, nor are they involved in education or training (NEET). In 2019, the Youth Guarantee is implemented in the whole country with special emphasize on the following regions: Northeastern, Southwestern and Polog region, as one of the most vulnerable regions regarding the NEET youth.
The Youth Guarantee provides following services:
• Professional orientation and career counseling
• Motivational trainings
• Individual and group counseling
• Job search training
The Youth Guarantee foreseen the following employment measures:
• Subsides for employment of young people
• Incentives for hiring young people with disabilities
• A self- employment program
The Youth Guarantee also provides different training courses and practice packages for young people (up to 29 years).
The following institutions are involved in the implementation of the planned activities of the Youth Guarantee: Ministry of Labor and Social Policy (as the main coordinative body for the Youth Guarantee), Employment Service Agency, Ministry of Education and Science, The Bureau for Development of Education Center for Adult Education, Vocational Education and Training Center, Ministry of Local Self-Government as well as the National Youth Council of Macedonia.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy within the Youth Guarantee is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the implementation and specific interventions included in the implementation plan of the Youth Guarantee.
The Ministry of Education and Science within the Youth Guarantee is responsible for accelerating educational reforms already planned at primary, secondary and high level; to introduce second-chance programs for young people and adults that need to acquire recognized qualifications to advance in the education system or to enter the labor market; to establish and upgrade the Education Information System in order to monitor the students' success, to detect early school leavers, and to allow aggregation of administrative data (referring to NEET identification).
The Center for Adult Education is responsible for expanding the opportunities for young beneficiaries of the Youth Guarantee to return to the education system and recognized qualifications.
The Center for Vocational Education and Training is authorized to develop standards of occupations and vocational courses and programs for completion of education.
The Bureau for the Development of Education is authorized to develop general education programs in a short form for the needs of the implementation of the Youth Guarantee.
The Ministry of Local Self- Government is responsible for coordinating the involvement of local authorities in the implementation of the Youth Guarantee-targeted interventions targeting young NEETs at the local level.
The Employment Service Agency (ESA) is responsible for collecting and disseminating information on the labor market; employment counseling and career guidance; setting up a job and administering passive and active programs on the labor market. Within the Youth Guarantee, ESA is responsible for providing activation services and measures for integrating the labor market for young people (15-29) that will be registered in the Youth Guarantee.
In the Operational Plan for Active Labor Market Programs and Measures 2020 several employment measures are outlined. The following measure are not exclusively provided for young people, but young people up to 34 were one of the target groups:
- Programme for development of digital skills: The aim of this programme is to upgrade the skills of youth unemployed in the field of IT technologies
- Internship with aim to gain work related skills and knowledge for specific work places
- Programme for Self-Employment: The aim of this programme is to support the unemployed to start their own business.
- Support for creating new jobs as a measure that should influence the promotion of the employment of unemployed persons in micro, small and medium enterprises, social enterprises that are primarily targeted towards social/societal goals.
- Support of employment of unemployed persons who are hardly involved in the labor market.
The term “flexicurity” is relatively unknown in North Macedonia and we cannot say that it is implemented as a full concept.
In 2017 the Center for Research and Policy Making was working on initiative for legislative changes of numerous laws and measures to facilitate development of social entrepreneurship.
One of the changes they proposed was change of the Law on Labor Relations. In line with the trend of “flexicurity” that is current and practiced in Europe in response to the financial crisis, and given the nature of the work of CSO’s that have economic activity and socially-owned enterprises, a change in the Law on Labor is needed in terms of regulating flexible working hours (for example: the possibility of concluding a working relationship for two hours or six hours and appropriate insurance of the same), as well as more flexible conditions for termination of such employment from the existing one.
Also, the work of civil society organizations engaged in economic activity and social enterprises provides work in the client’s home (for example, care for frail people) or work from home or remotely (for example, people with disabilities who program software for people with disabilities) which is prohibited by the existing Law on Labor Relations, and that’s why some CSO’s are demanding a change of the law.
In June 2018, Macedonian government adopted Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Labor Relations (Закон за изменување и дополнување на Законот за работни односи), and then in October 2020 new amendments (Закон за изменување на Законот за работни односи), but the proposed changes are not incorporated in the new law.
Regarding this issue, there are certain provisions in the Law on Labor Relations. Thus, Article 18, item 3 stipulates that the Employer is obliged to provide protection for young persons from economic exploitation and from any work that could have a detrimental effect on their safety, health, physical, mental, moral or social development or they can threaten their education.
The source of funding for the Youth employment measures and programs is from the Government budget for Employment Service Agency (which is under the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy).
The amount of funding of the Action Plan for the Youth Employment for 2016-2020 is 30.950.000 EUR for a period of five years, excluding monitoring and evaluation costs.
Master Plan for Youth Guarantee foreseen 40,7 million euros for the implementation of measures for youth employment.
Operational Plan for Active Programs and Measures for Employment and Services in the Labor Market for 2020 have total funding of 1.805.654.260 MKD, which is an increase in cooperation with previous year, when the budget for implementation of the measures was 1.131.486.316 MKD. It’s important to be mentioned that this amount is not exclusively intended for youth employment measures, but for employment measures for all workable population in the country.
 Revised Operational Plan for Active Programs and Measures for Employment and Services in the Labor Market 2020, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy (Skopje, 2020), https://av.gov.mk/content/%D0%9E%D0%9F/REVIDIRAN%20OP%2009%2009%202020.pdf (Accessed November 17, 2020)
 Operational Plan for Active Programs and Measures for Employment and Services in the Labor Market 2019, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy (Skopje, 2019), http://www.mtsp.gov.mk/content/word/dokumenti/Dokumenti%202019/31%2001%202019%20%D0%B3%D0%BE%D0%B4%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B0%20%D1%83%D1%81%D0%BE%D0%B3%D0%BB%D0%B0%D1%81%D0%B5%D0%BD%20%D0%9E%D0%9F-2019.doc (Accessed November 11 2020)