For many years, Macedonia has had a weak and fragmented skills development system and vocational schools that rely heavily on theoretical teaching, lacking private sector involvement. The country is now facing a challenging task of overhauling the labor market to tackle high unemployment. The E4E@mk project supports Macedonia in establishing a strong, socially inclusive and market-oriented system of vocational education and training.
Macedonian business requires a qualified workforce. Macedonian citizens need jobs. With supply and demand in place, why are a quarter of all Macedonians – and half of the youth – unemployed?
A mismatch between the theoretical and sometimes obsolete knowledge provided by schools and the practical up-to-date skills required by employers is one of the key factors.
The E4E@mk project has an ambitious goal of catalyzing a synergy between Macedonia’s educational institutions, business, and youth. Analyzing skill gaps together with champions from the private sector. Launching public-private partnerships, such as internship programs, that target these gaps. Supporting VET-schools and private training providers in modernizing their offers. Promoting non-formal education (e.g. short courses or on-the-job training) as crucial to a successful lifelong career. Lowering barriers for vulnerable groups including Roma, people with disabilities, and women: for example, by introducing flexible schedules that suit young mothers.
To ensure long-term results that go beyond the project’s immediate impact, E4E@mk places a strong emphasis on system-wide changes. With improved educational policies and legislation and empowered local actors, Macedonia can independently enhance the chances of gainful employment for its citizens.
The project is a Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) mandate implemented by Helvetas in cooperation with the Macedonian Civic Education Center and the Economic Chamber of Macedonia.