The Youth Employability Skills (YES) Network is a five-year USAID funded project that targets three groups of youth aged 15-27: students in their final year in Macedonia’s secondary schools, unemployed registrants with the Employment Service Agency (ESA), and other out-of-school, unemployed and unregistered youth. The project also works directly with secondary school teachers, staff from local ESA centers, and NGOs that work with these young people.
Long-term joblessness is a prominent feature of the Macedonian labor market. Youth unemployment is at nearly 60% in an economy with low levels of aggregate demand and growth for labor. In the sectors where there has been growth, employers consistently complain that job applicants lack the necessary technical skills and require extensive on-the-job training. Weak links between skills supplied through the education system and those demanded by employers in the modern workforce mean that students and out-of-school, unemployed youth lack a system of guidance and preparation to enter the workforce.
To address these challenges the YES Network project:
- Develops an improved demand-supply dialogue in local labor markets by linking employers with VET and Employment Services organizations and professionals
- Improves the quality of labor market “supply” from the education and employment services systems
- Builds the capacity of public and private institutions to provide services to youth and respond to labor market needs through trainings and conferences
- Includes youth with disabilities in all YES Network activities.