Innovative ideas to curb youth unemployment

FYR Macedonia: website launched to guide youth in career choices

Occupational Outlook is a web platform designed to inform young people about the occupations and sectors that offer sound career prospects in the medium term. The site is product of an ILO project to bring more young people into productive and good quality jobs.

News | 11 April 2018

Since the beginning of the transition to a market economy twenty years ago, the situation of young people in the labour markets of South East Europe (SEE) has been particularly difficult. Despite progress in economic development, democratic reforms and integration into global markets, job creation in these countries has been very low. In all SEE countries, young people experience high rates of unemployment and inactivity. When they work, they are more likely to hold temporary or atypical jobs or be engaged in the informal economy than adults.

The former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia is particularly affected by high youth unemployment rates (40.6% in 2016) and employment in the informal economy (35% of total youth employment in the same year). Young women, the low skilled, youth living in rural areas are even more likely to be exposed to unemployment or informal employment. Gender gaps in labour force participation, employment and wage levels persist, despite the higher educational level of young women compared to their male peers.

An important and low-cost way of improving youth labour markets is to give guidance and information for young job seekers on education choices and employment opportunities. It helps youngsters to make a good decision when it comes to choosing their future occupations if it is based on information about professions and sectors with the best employment outlook.  The Macedonian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, together with the ILO launched the Occupational Outlook website to provide easy access to this information.

Occupational Outlook (www.zanimanja.mk) offers insight into eleven occupations that have positive job prospects in the medium term, such as bookkeeper, home caregiver or baker, with seven more occupational profiles to be shortly added. By 2021, the tripartite working group producing the information for the website plans to increase the number of available occupations to 72.  For each profession, the Outlook provides a job description, conditions of work (pay, work schedule, work environment, work hazards); education, training and work experience requirements, and job prospects. The website is packed with information and draws a lot on media attractive for young people (social media, brief videos, photos). Students, young graduates just entering the labour market and young unemployed are the target group, they hear about Occupational Outlook through adverts placed at the most popular websites for youth. Since its launch in early February until mid-April, the site had 16,700 page views, indicating robust interest in the information it offers.