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Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

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Developments

Macedonia is a small country with high youth unemployment of approx. 48% for 15-24 year-olds (2014).  The Economic Reform Programme forecasts economic and job growth driven by exports and investment, and a decline in budget deficit. The programme includes human resource development (HRD) through boosted public employment servivces and the national qualifications framework (NQF). Active labour market policies, youth unemployment and entrepreneurial learning are being addressed through a number of government strategies. 
Macedonia participates in Erasmus+ giving young people the opportunity to develop and study abroad. It is also part of Horizon 2020, the €80 billion EU Research and Innovation programme. Moves to improve the quality of teacher training are underway in the area of  continuous professional development (CPD) and a salary incentive licencing system. Non-formal adult learning is being aligned with EU policies.

 

Priorities

• Better coordinated skills policies
• Coherence and transparency of qualifications and of the NQF, and approximation with EU policies and initiatives
• Non-formal and informal learning, alignment with the NQF and human resource development (HRD) policies
• HRD policy review, based on multi-ministry monitoring (indicators) and analysis


ETF’s Role


• Support new methodology development of NQF
• Ongoing support to the EU Delegation
• Support implementation of work-based learning
• Facilitate participation in the European Alliance for Apprenticeship and mapping of work-based learning
• Support to apply EU employment instruments including Youth Guarantee
• Disseminate EU Member State good practice
• Methodological support on developing tracer studies and an integrated labour market information system, along with employer surveys and coaching experts alongside World Bank ‘skills development’ project

• Support CPD for teachers and trainers
• Modernisation of quality assurance policies and measures
• Disseminate SBA assessment outcomes

 

For more info, contact the ETF Country Desk: Shawn Mendes
+39 011 630 22 25, e-mail shawn.mendes@etf.europa.eu

 

 
The context
The EU’s Enlargement policy guides the process of expanding the EU through the accession of new Member States. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, is a candidate country, and  receives support for the accession process through the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA).
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is strongly affected by the economic crisis. Poverty and unemployment (32.4% - 2009) are on the rise and populations are aging; there are high unemployment rates particularly among new entrants to the labour market and among women. Social exclusion is linked to minorities, disadvantaged groups and under developed rural areas and regions. This is aggravated by skills mismatch with labour market needs. That’s why the country is facing structural challenges in education and training that require sustained policy management.
 
Key challenges
Key challenges in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia include: achieving sustainable growth, strengthening the rule of law, including through judiciary reform and stepping up the fight against corruption and organised crime. Public administration reform is also important for the implementation of EU programmes. Social and economic inclusion of vulnerable groups, including Roma, should be improved.
 
The vision of VET
More than ever, VET systems are expected to fulfil a dual role in supporting sustainable development. Their economic role is to support growth and competitiveness by providing relevant and high-quality skills; their social role is to contribute to inclusive societies by educating young people and enabling adults to gain additional skills, and by providing them with the key competences and values needed to ensure their employability and active citizenship. For those purposes, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is working on comprehensive integrated lifelong learning strategies.
 
ETF role in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The ETF will continue to provide policy advice, support capacity building and foster dissemination and exchange of information at national, regional and local levels. The ETF will promote synergy among regional and national activities for increased impact and efficiency and build on previous results. It will continue to provide input to the Western Balkans Platform on education and training and, in cooperation with DG Education and Culture and DG Enlargement, foster the sharing of experience and increase synergies in education reforms in a lifelong learning context and in line with EU standards and best practice. The ETF will encourage policy debates on how to move from pilot projects to system wide reforms.
The ETF will support DG Enlargement and other EC services in preparing the countries for IPA II (2014-20). This will include preparing EU interventions in the area of private sector development and social inclusion and advising on the implementation of related multi-beneficiary programmes.
The ETF will continue its cooperation with regional initiatives such as the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). Joint activities with the Human Resource Development Task Force, Education Reform Initiative South Eastern Europe (ERISEE), and the South Eastern European Investment Committee as well as the Regional Competitive Initiative will continue. The ETF will maintain its advisory role in the Steering Committees of the South East European Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (SEECEL) and provide guidance to entrepreneurial learning and skills development interventions under the Danube strategy. This helps to enhance and maximize support in the field of human capital development in the region in the context of the Europe 2020 strategy.
 
ETF Support to the European Commission for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
IPA component IV: the human resources development operational programme.
VET strategy operationalisation.
Women’s entrepreneurial learning.
Enterprises and human capital development: education and business partnerships.
ETF specific support for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The ETF will continue to support the Ministry of Education in its operationalization of the VET strategy, with a particular focus on involvement of municipalities. It will build in particular on the findings of the Human Resources Development (HRD) review and the Bruges Process. As a follow-up to the Small Business Act assessment in 2012 the ETF will assist in the promotion of female entrepreneurs. The ETF will at all times seek close cooperation with the EUDel and EC, including expertise input to the regular progress reports, IPA I and IPA IV as well as preparing for IPA 2014+.
The context
The EU’s Enlargement policy guides the process of expanding the EU through the accession of new Member States. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, is a candidate country, and  receives support for the accession process through the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA).
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is strongly affected by the economic crisis. Poverty and unemployment (32.4% - 2009) are on the rise and populations are aging; there are high unemployment rates particularly among new entrants to the labour market and among women. Social exclusion is linked to minorities, disadvantaged groups and under developed rural areas and regions. This is aggravated by skills mismatch with labour market needs. That’s why the country is facing structural challenges in education and training that require sustained policy management.
 
Key challenges
Key challenges in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia include: achieving sustainable growth, strengthening the rule of law, including through judiciary reform and stepping up the fight against corruption and organised crime. Public administration reform is also important for the implementation of EU programmes. Social and economic inclusion of vulnerable groups, including Roma, should be improved.
 
The vision of VET
More than ever, VET systems are expected to fulfil a dual role in supporting sustainable development. Their economic role is to support growth and competitiveness by providing relevant and high-quality skills; their social role is to contribute to inclusive societies by educating young people and enabling adults to gain additional skills, and by providing them with the key competences and values needed to ensure their employability and active citizenship. For those purposes, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is working on comprehensive integrated lifelong learning strategies.
 
ETF role in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The ETF will continue to provide policy advice, support capacity building and foster dissemination and exchange of information at national, regional and local levels. The ETF will promote synergy among regional and national activities for increased impact and efficiency and build on previous results. It will continue to provide input to the Western Balkans Platform on education and training and, in cooperation with DG Education and Culture and DG Enlargement, foster the sharing of experience and increase synergies in education reforms in a lifelong learning context and in line with EU standards and best practice. The ETF will encourage policy debates on how to move from pilot projects to system wide reforms.
The ETF will support DG Enlargement and other EC services in preparing the countries for IPA II (2014-20). This will include preparing EU interventions in the area of private sector development and social inclusion and advising on the implementation of related multi-beneficiary programmes.
The ETF will continue its cooperation with regional initiatives such as the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). Joint activities with the Human Resource Development Task Force, Education Reform Initiative South Eastern Europe (ERISEE), and the South Eastern European Investment Committee as well as the Regional Competitive Initiative will continue. The ETF will maintain its advisory role in the Steering Committees of the South East European Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (SEECEL) and provide guidance to entrepreneurial learning and skills development interventions under the Danube strategy. This helps to enhance and maximize support in the field of human capital development in the region in the context of the Europe 2020 strategy.
 
ETF Support to the European Commission for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
IPA component IV: the human resources development operational programme.
VET strategy operationalisation.
Women’s entrepreneurial learning.
Enterprises and human capital development: education and business partnerships.
ETF specific support for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The ETF will continue to support the Ministry of Education in its operationalization of the VET strategy, with a particular focus on involvement of municipalities. It will build in particular on the findings of the Human Resources Development (HRD) review and the Bruges Process. As a follow-up to the Small Business Act assessment in 2012 the ETF will assist in the promotion of female entrepreneurs. The ETF will at all times seek close cooperation with the EUDel and EC, including expertise input to the regular progress reports, IPA I and IPA IV as well as preparing for IPA 2014+.



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