Promoting sustainable employments
In recent years, UNDP has focused on supporting the country’s commitment to reducing unemployment and generating new jobs as an essential step in increasing social inclusion. This support yielded a range of measures to create jobs and provide skills that the long-term unemployed and other vulnerable groups – such as people with disabilities, members of the Roma community and youth – need to start up their own small businesses.
The Self-Employment Programme is designed to assist long-term unemployed people in starting their own private businesses, offering training, mentoring, coaching and small start-up grants. Since 2007, more than 11,000 new businesses have been created, 35 percent of which are run by women entrepreneurs and 31 percent by young people. A remarkable 70 percent of the companies created through the programme have remained active beyond the initial five years, and many have expanded, employing new staff. In 2017, the Self-Employment Programme accounted for 14.7 percent of all new private-sector firms registered in the country.
Support to small and medium enterprises
This measure provides activities that help to identify micro and small companies that have shown positive financial results and have the potential and interest to improve the quality of their existing products or introduce new products and services. Since the introduction of this measure in 2010, 786 SMEs have expanded thanks to the support received, resulting in the creation of 1,191 new jobs.
Community works programme
Partner municipalities have used the programme to provide care services for previously under-served groups, including preschool children, elderly people and children and adults with disabilities. Since the Programme began in 2012, over 2,000 unemployed persons have performed part-time jobs serving more than 50,000 residentsin 56municipalities.
Self-employment for persons with disabilities
This measure was initiated in 2015, with the aim of encouraging unemployed people with disabilities to enter the mainstream labor market by starting their own companies. To date, 230 such firms have been registered. UNDP is working in close partnership with civil society organizations and associations of people with disabilities to design other workable models for the economic inclusion of people with disabilities. At the same time, UNDP is actively supporting the deinstitutionalization process.
Vocational training for prison inmates
Since 2016 UNDP has been working with the Directorate for the Execution of Sanctions and the Ministry of Education and Science to make certified vocational training a standard part of the prison experience. So far, 230 inmates a have successfully completed courses to become cooks, bakers, locksmiths and argon welders. TThe program is designed to help inmates re-enter society with realistic prospects to land a job and thus avoid recidivism.
Rebuilding of the kindergarten in Suto Orizari
The only kindergarten in Suto Orizari was completely destroyed by fire on 28 February 2017,displacing the 200 preschool-age children and 100 street children who used the facility. With the funding secured from Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNDP has started to rebuild the kindergarten in line with “build back better” principles. A new expanded facility will incorporate the highest standards for energy efficiency and accessibility, ensuring that children with disabilities enjoy equal access with their peers.
Bridging the gap between university and jobs
UNDP helped to establish four Youth Info Clubs at the state universities in Skopje, Tetovo, Bitola and Stip in an effort to reduce the often frustrating gap between studies and gainful employment.These clubs provide a forum for students to meet with business representatives and explore internship, volunteer, and entrepreneurial opportunities. More than 6,000 students have so far used the clubs, and more than 80 business entities have engaged in “business to youth” contacts in an effort to find suitable employees.
Primary education for adults
18 percent of adults in the country lack a completed primary education, and thus face obstacles in securing jobs and such necessities as a driver’s license. In response, UNDP is working with the Ministry of Education to develop an alternative equivalency curriculum for adults covering eight main areas of basic knowledge. This approach is currently being tested among juveniles in detention facilities and in the Roma community.