Project “Matching supply and demand of skills on the labour markets in transition and development countries” (ILP-MATCH WP11-40-17)

Nikoloski, Dimitar (2012) Project “Matching supply and demand of skills on the labour markets in transition and development countries” (ILP-MATCH WP11-40-17). European Training Foundation (ETF). (Unpublished)

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The past two decades the FYR of Macedonia has gone through the process of transition that has affected every domain of the political, economic, and social life in the country. The initial transitional recession has inter alia manifested salient effects on the labour market performance. Generally, the transitional reforms initially had negative effects on labour markets, which were manifested in declining participation rates and in persistent high unemployment. The processes of ownership restructuring and sectoral reallocation assumed a large-scale transformation of state owned firms into privatised ones and, a reallocation of a substantial part of the labour force from the manufacturing and agricultural sectors towards the expanding service sector. The experience in almost all transition countries, including the FYR of Macedonia shows that the creation of new jobs in the emerging private sector was not initially strong enough to absorb the mass of workers laid-off from the restructured state-owned firms. At the same time, the mismatch between the skill requirements of newly created jobs and effective skills owned by the workers has become a substantial problem. Consequently, the labour markets in early transition became less dynamic with a relatively stagnant unemployment pool leading to increases in unemployment and especially long-term unemployment. The initial ‘transitional unemployment’ differed in several aspects from other types of unemployment in that it was characterised by pronounced labour market segmentation, long average duration of unemployment and a low probability of exiting unemployment into employment. Recently, the problem of skill mismatch on the Macedonian labour market has received a considerable attention by a number of relevant institutions. In this context, the role of the government has been particularly evident after the adoption of the National Employment Strategy (NES) 2015 and the National Employment Action Plan (NEAP) 2011-2013. These two documents represent significant milestones in planning the development of the supply and demand of labour in the FYR of Macedonia. On the national level the main actors involved in the debates and policies about the skills requirements and matching are the Ministry of labour and social policy, Ministry of education and science, the Vocational and Educational Training Centre (VET Centre) and Employment Service Agency (ESA). Moreover, a number of non-government organisations with their projects have contributed to the debate about the perceived problems of matching and mismatch in education/training and employment. Most of these projects focus on the above mentioned deficiencies of the Macedonian labour market including the problem of mismatch between the demand and supply of labour and lead to formulation of guiding principles for the labour market policies. According to the empirical analyses in Macedonia exists substantial mismatch between supply and demand of skills. As a consequence, many employers find it difficult to hire workers with required skills despite high unemployment. A widespread adopted meaning of the notion ‘skill’ in the FYR of Macedonia include the formally acquired knowledge and experience that enables efficient performing of working activities. These skills are called ‘hard’ skills and might be acquired within the system of formal education or by non-formal providers of education. Besides the knowledge and experience gained during the process of formal and non-formal education, the notion of skills in the everyday communication implicitly encompasses the ‘soft’ skills that are largely acquired outside the school system. The ‘soft’ skills are strongly influenced by the family and social background and are perceived as significant determinant of the successful participation on the labour market. A common perception is that the problem of matching between education/training and employment in the FYR of Macedonia has to be tackled appropriately in order to attain a balance between supply and demand of skills on the labour market. For this purpose it is necessary to develop a wide platform that will include all relevant factors such as policymakers, employment service agency, educational and training institutions, social partners such as employers and trade unions and researchers.

Item Type: Other
Subjects: Scientific Fields (Frascati) > Social Sciences > Economics and Business
Divisions: Faculty of Economics
Depositing User: Mr Dimitar Risteski
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2020 21:17
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2020 21:17

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