STED was applied in FYR Macedonia in 2011 in combination with ILO technical assistance on Local Economic Development (LED). Sectors covered were the Tourism and Food Industries.
Workshops with representatives from relevant government and education institutions as well as employers' and workers' representatives from the respective sectors were organized in Skopje in September 2011 to discuss and validate initial findings and promote skills dialogue among stakeholders.
Only few companies in the food industry have been successful in building up sustainable export relationships and integrate into international value chains. The sector needs a clear strategy for enhancing its international competitiveness. Capability gaps at the enterprise level include brand development, international marketing and entry into international supply chains, as well as compliance with international food quality and safety standards.
Among the strategic skills gaps that should be addressed as part of a sector strategy are management and entrepreneurship skills, safe food handling and operation skills, handling of state-of-the-art machinery, process analysis and design, production chain management, food science and food engineering.
Recommendations include the design of appropriate training on the above mentioned topics to managers, technicians, and production workers, and integration of these topics into the relevant education curricula. Continuation of the ongoing reform process of technical education with a stronger focus on labour market applicability of the skills taught is encouraged. A reform of the legal provisions on seasonal work could help to address the negative impact of high seasonality in the sector on skills formation among workers.