The Macedonian labor market suffers from low activity, low employment rates, high unemployment and mismatch between supplied labor and demanded skills. Gender participation gap is relatively large. Main factors influencing low participation of women are: traditional and cultural habits in the country, low education and skills, ethnicity combined with the education, availability and cost of child care services and care for older family members, labor market discrimination against females, etc. Young, rural and unskilled females are less likely to be active in the labor market and not always are treated equally.
The Economic Chamber of North West Macedonia in partnership with the Association for Local Rural Development and Regional Development Agency Senec – Pezinok, Slovakia are responsible for the implementation of the project “Education, Employment and Equality for Ethnic Communities Women”, funded by Operational Programme for Human Resources Development 2007 – 2013 Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).
The project will be implemented in the regions of Skopje, Polog, Kicevo and Struga.
The overall project objective is to facilitate integration of ethnic minority groups of Albanian, Turk and Bosnian women in the selected territory, into the labor market through enhancement of their employment potentials and promote equal opportunities and gender equality for ethnic women at local level through opening new learning opportunities tailor-made to their individual potentials for job acquisition.
In line with the overall objective the project specific objectives include:
- Mapping needs for increasing key competences of ethnic minority women-via training needs analysis for assessment of individual skills and level of knowledge, etc.)
- Deliver specific employment services and trainings in line with individual needs and conditions of ethnic minority women–via mapping the local employers, career counseling, coaching and mentoring and preparation of individual action plans, provision of information and assistance in finding employment, alternative training and on-the job-training at the selected employer,
- Strengthen capacities of professionals &volunteers that work with ethnic minority women
- Establish the first pilot rural Incubator in Macedonia as professional place for start-up businesses of the target group and train the Incubator´s staff,
- Setting up a network of the key stakeholders and designing a mechanism for continuous cooperation, information and exchange of good practices in the area of employment measures and practices focused on ethnic women.
The project target groups are unemployed ethnic women aged of 20-45; women from rural communities with law educational background and 16 professional staff (10 professional staff for further work with ethnic women after project accomplishment and 6 staff of the Incubator).
The main project’s results are:
- Developed and implemented general and special tailor-made training;
- Created linkages among women and potential employers and improved cooperation of all relevant stakeholders;
- Established first pilot rural Incubator for women, staff trained and capable to carry on the services to start-up women businesses.