The sc. Operational Plan for active programs and measures for employment and labor market services for 2019 is a framework of the employment policies of the Republic of North Macedonia, defined by the Government, embedded in a series of other national strategic policy documents, and in line with international strategic agendas.
The Operational plan aims at supporting the creation of new workplaces, increasing employability and labor market competitiveness of the unemployed individuals, with a special emphasis on the young and socially disadvantaged citizens. It is implemented by the Ministry of labor and social policy, the Employment Agency, in partnership with other institutions in charge.
Two of the measures consisted in the Operational plan are pertaining to the adult learning at the workplace. The main aim of these measures is to improve the skills and qualifications of the unemployed for raised competitiveness and better integration at the labor market.
The first measure in this context is Training at the workplace for a known employer. This measure is promoted via public announcement for interested companies, who need new employees. The interested potential unemployed candidates, who have at least a completed elementary education are reached through public announcement, but also additionally identified in the unemployed registry and informed by the institutions in charge. The participation in this program gives the employers a possibility to get access to potential labor forces provided by the Employment Agency and offer them an up to 3-month training program in line with their needs. The employers are obliged to employ at least 50% of the candidates after the completion of the training. The training participants, who won’t be recruited, gain access to all other measures of the Operational plan. It is interesting to underline that additional incentive of this measure is a financial one – for both parties. The employers receive approx. EUR 75,00 per participant per month in order to cover the cost of the training, while the candidates receive approx. EUR 150,00 per month.
The second measure is Vocational qualification training in line with the needs of the employer, in the frames of which the employers can apply for support to provision of a 2 to 4-month training of a certain number of unemployed candidates for a necessary qualification. The training program is developed and implemented by a selected state accredited provider. In this case, the candidates as well as the provider of the training get financial incentives: approx. EUR 150,00 per month per candidate and EUR 500,00 in total per participant for the training provider.
These measures as such are a positive example for state support of the promotion of adult learning at the workplace in general and especially among the business community. It is also a good form of mobilizing unemployed to enter non-formal education, strengthen their capacities and employability.
Thus, there are question marks, having in mind that in 2019 a total of 646 unemployed citizens will be part of the programs: how effective are and to what extent can these measures contribute combat unemployment?