Chambers Are Engaging the Government and Businesses to Address Workforce Reforms Needed in North Macedonia

Gretchen Birkle recognized the importance of developing solutions jointly through public-private dialogue.
Gretchen Birkle recognized the importance of developing solutions jointly through public-private dialogue.
USAID North Macedonia

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The USAID Partnership for Better Business Regulation Project hosted two forums – one in Tetovo and one in Skopje – to discuss the challenges domestic companies face with finding qualified employees in North Macedonia. The forum addressed new measures to increase employment and qualifications of young professionals entering the labor market. Kocho Angjushev, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia for Economic Affairs, Gretchen Birkle, Acting Country Representative, USAID North Macedonia, and Nebi Hoxha, President of the Economic Chamber of North-West Macedonia delivered opening remarks at the forum in Skopje.

In her remarks, Gretchen Birkle recognized the importance of developing solutions jointly through public-private dialogue. She noted, “The fact that both the private sector and the government have identified workforce development as a major issue presents an opportunity to take the unique capabilities of each and apply them to problems that neither could address fully on their own.” She added, “We want to thank the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy for their openness to be co-creators of market-oriented solutions. The joint effort with the chambers on the legal framework for internships is a good example of how public-private solutions can serve the interests of the business community, the citizens, and the government of North Macedonia.” 

Representatives from the government, private sector, and academia recognized the pressing need for qualified workers, agreed on education reform, and on job training for young professionals as potential solutions. Migration is a serious problem that alters the supply of labor and increases demand inconsistencies in North Macedonia. High profile workers, such as IT experts, medical staff, and engineers, are emigrating for better paying jobs. These challenges can be addressed through joint efforts by government and the private sector.

The USAID Partnership for Better Business Regulation Project is implemented by EPI CENTER International in partnership with the Economic Chamber of Macedonia, the Economic Chamber of Information and Communication Technologies (MASIT), the Economic Chamber of North-West Macedonia, and Union of Chambers of Commerce of Macedonia. So far, the project has been actively engaged in addressing labor regulations including the preparation of the new Law for Internships that is currently with Parliament for adoption.

The project has developed nine policy papers through the chambers that have been submitted to relevant government institutions and will continue to publish articles on https://biznisregulativa.mk/ with additional recommendations.

NOTE TO EDITORS:

The American people, through USAID, have invested more than $640 million in North Macedonia since 1993. USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. For more information visit https://www.usaid.gov/north-macedonia and USAID’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/USAIDNorthMacedonia/.

Last updated: June 20, 2019

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