4.4 Inclusive programmes for young people
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Housing programmes for vulnerable young people:
According to the Programme for construction and maintenance of apartments owned by the Republic of North Macedonia, the Ministry of Transport and Communications carries out the distribution of social housing for several categories of citizens:
1. Children without parents or parental care - persons over 18 years’ old who until their eighteenth year were taken care of in institutions and other forms of care for orphans.
6. Single parents with minor children and
7. Blind person’s beneficiaries of social or permanent financial assistance
In order to apply for subsidies, the person must meet the following criteria:
- citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia;
- with a permanent place of residence in the municipality where the social housing is built and
- without an apartment in personal ownership, of the spouse and of the adult members of his / her common household on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia.
Since the beginning of 2016, the Government started with implementation of new project ‘Buy a house/Buy an apartment’. This project applies to all young people under 35 years of age.
The subsidies refer for а person up to and with the age of 35 years, that is, a married person in which at least one spouse is aged up to or 35 years. Within the call for application for obtaining a subsidized housing loan for 2021, the Government will help young people up to the age of 35 years by covering up to 70% of the monthly annuity (principal and interest) in the first 5 years of the loan repayment for buying a new house or apartment.
Aiming to support young people to overcome the negative effects imposed on them by the COVID-19 crisis, in June 2020, the Ministry of Finance issued 87 014 “Domestic cards”. These cards were given to young people and could be used for buying domestic goods and obtaining services in the amount of 3,000 MKD. The cards were entitled for persons aged 16 to 29 years that were active participants in the state formal secondary education and higher undergraduate education, as of May 22, 2020.
Health protection programmes:
At a Government session held in March 2018, the Government adopted a decision on exemption from participation in the use of health services for children under the age of 18, whose families are beneficiaries of the right to social financial assistance.
This program expects to increase the availability of health services and to spare this vulnerable group of additional financial costs in exercising the right to health care. These young people will receive treatment free of charge in all public health institutions, specialist consultative and hospital activities. For the purpose of this program, 20 million MKD have been allocated and it has an estimated coverage of 20,000 people. The responsible institution for its implementation is the Ministry of Health.
Some of the active employment programmes are:
- Youth Guarantee
Youth Guarantee is a Government programme that enlarges the scope and engagement of young unemployed persons on the labor market. The objective of this measure is for young people to stay in the country and work here. Youth Guarantee is open to all young unemployed people up to the age of 29, who have already completed their education and are not registered in the Employment Service Agency. Applicants get quality offers for employment, further education or internship, thus successfully integrating the youth in the labor market and reducing brain-drain from the country.
- Subsidized workplaces for people with disabilities
This measure is foreseen in the Annual Work Programme of the Employment Agency for 2021 (Програма за работа на Агенцијата за вработување на Република Северна Македонија за 2021 година). It’s not particularly intended for youth but they are also in the focus. The aim of this measure is to increase the employment rate and employment opportunities for people with disabilities registered within the Employment Service Agency as unemployed persons.
- Programme for conditional financial support for high school education
The program "Conditional Compensation for Secondary Education" (Програма за условен паричен надоместок за средно образование) aims to improve the access and quality of education, increase the number of students enrolled in secondary education from household’s beneficiaries of social financial assistance, and encourage the implementation of compulsory secondary education in the Republic of North Macedonia. On a long-term basis, the program aims to increase employment and reduce poverty, as well as to create a better workforce.
This program is implemented by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the Centers for Social Work, the Ministry of Education and Science, secondary schools and the Ministry of Finance, in accordance with the Manual for Administration of the Conditional Compensation for Secondary Education Program.
- Free school books for all students in the primary and high schools
In order to scarce the parents' budget, the Government decided from the school year 2009/2010 to start distributing free textbooks for all students in secondary and elementary education. After the end of the school year, the students have an obligation to return the textbooks.
- Scholarships for students with special needs in the public and private high schools in North Macedonia
The Ministry of Education and Science awards 100 (one hundred) scholarships for students with special needs from public and private secondary schools in the Republic of North Macedonia (Стипендии за ученици со посебни потреби од јавните и приватните средни училишта).
- Scholarships for social support of students in the public high schools in North Macedonia
In the school year 2021/2022, the Ministry of Education and Science announced a call to award 520 scholarships for social support to students from public secondary schools in the Republic of North Macedonia (Стипендии за социјална поддршка на ученици од јавните средни училишта). The criteria for awarding these scholarships are: the achieved success, the material condition of the immediate family of the student, the awards won in international / state competitions won during the previous two school years for the students from the first year, i.e. during the previous school year for the students from II, III and IV year and the social position of the immediate family of the student.
- Scholarships for students – children without parents and parental care in the public and private high schools in North Macedonia
The Ministry of Education and Science for the 2021/2022 school year awarded 50 scholarships for pupils - orphans from public and private secondary schools in the Republic of North Macedonia (Стипендии за ученици- деца без родители од јавните и приватните средни училишта). The amount of the scholarship is 3.500,00 MKD per month for nine months during the school year.
- Scholarships for Roma students in the public and private high schools in North Macedonia
The Ministry of Education and Science for the 2021/2022 school year awarded 870 scholarships in four categories for Roma students enrolled in the first, second, third and fourth year of public and private secondary schools in the Republic of North Macedonia (Стипендии во четири категории за ученици Роми запишани во прва, втора, трета и четврта година од јавните и приватните средни училишта).
1) to be regular students enrolled in the first, second, third and fourth year in public and private secondary schools in the Republic of North Macedonia;
2) not to repeat in the previous school year;
3) they are not beneficiaries of scholarships from other institutions / companies or firms;
4) to be members of the Roma community;
5) to be citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia;
- Scholarships for full-time students from social categories enrolled in undergraduate studies from the first cycle at public universities and higher education institutions in the Republic of North Macedonia
The Ministry of Education and Science for the 2021/2022 school year awarded 1470 social scholarships for students enrolled in undergraduate studies from the first cycle in the Republic of North Macedonia (Стипендии за студенти од социјални категории запишани надодипломски студии од прв циклусна јавните универзитети и високообразовни установи во Република Северна Македонија).
- Scholarships for Roma students enrolled in undergraduate studies from the first cycle at public universities and higher education institutions in the Republic of North Macedonia
The Ministry of Education and Science for the 2021/2022 school year awarded 130 scholarships for Roma students enrolled in undergraduate studies from the first cycle at public universities and higher education institutions in the Republic of North Macedonia (Стипендии за студенти Роми запишани на студии од прв циклус на јавните и приватните високообразовни установи во Република Северна Македонија).
Child and Social Protection programmes:
- Guaranteed minimum assistance
With the new revised law on Social protection (Закон за социјална заштита) on 21 may 2019 the measure Right to social welfare allowance was changed to Guaranteed minimum assistance, and the amount of 2,871 denars is increased into 4,000 denars. The right to guaranteed minimum assistance (Гарантирана минимална помош) is intended for a household that is materially unsecured and does not own property and property rights that can be supported. A household whose total average amount of all incomes of all members of the household on all grounds in the last three months before submitting the request for exercising the right and during the exercise of the right is lower than the amount of the guaranteed minimum assistance in accordance with this law.
- Permanent compensation
The right to permanent compensation (траен надоместок) has a caregiver who took care of a person in his family and a parent who took care of a child with a disability
In the sense of the Article 58 of the Law on Social Protection (Закон за социјална заштита), the right to permanent compensation has a person:
- who has cared for a person in his family for at least fifteen years, after reaching 62 years of life for a woman, ie 64 years of life for a man, who is unemployed and does not use the right to a pension on any grounds.
- a parent who has a child with a disability. The right to permanent compensation has a parent who has taken care of a child up to the age of 26, without using a non-family social protection service, which is unemployed and does not use the right to a pension, after reaching 62 years of life for a woman, ie 64 years of life for a man.
- Right to financial support for housing of a person which had a status of a child without parents and parental care by the age of 18, or/and after termination of custody, maximum to the age of 26
The right to financial assistance for social housing (Право на социјално домување) is provided to socially endangered persons - not provided with housing. Socially endangered persons are: beneficiaries of guaranteed minimum assistance and a person who, by the age of 18, had the status of a child without parents and without parental care, that is, after the termination of the guardianship, and up to the age of 26.
Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance
- IPA Component IV: Human Resources Development (HRD)
- Priority axis 3: Social Inclusion – Promoting an inclusive labor market
- Responsible authorities: Central Financing and Contracting Department (CFCD) within the Ministry of Finance, represented by the Head of CFCD, acting as Head of the Operating Structure; Relevant departments/ units within the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the Ministry of Education and Science.
- Target groups: unemployed people particularly young unemployed people lacking working skills; Professionals working with vulnerable groups (both governmental and CSOs)
The Government of the Republic of North Macedonia envisages social transfers on a regular basis. The Budget of the Republic of North Macedonia projected social transfers in the total amount of 120,653 million MKD. Just for comparison social transfers in 2020, were 118,504 million MKD.
In addition, based on the 2021 Budget, 1.4 billion MKD are planned for active policies and measures for employment.
The Government considers securing appropriate level of social protection of the most vulnerable categories of the population is of crucial importance in achieving sustainable economic development and higher level of social justice. Thus, the 2021 Budget envisages 10,5 billion MKD for these transfers.
As for many other policies undertaken by the Governmental institutions, there is no publicly available information about evaluation processes and measurement of the quality of inclusive programmes and policies.