December 14, 2016 - A team of local PEP researchers held a national policy conference in Skopje, Macedonia, to discuss their findings on how the length of unemployment affects the chances of youth finding a job suited to their skill level. Organized in collaboration with the Association of Economic Researchers Stoke Skopje, the event attracted a number of key stakeholders including the Head of the Policy Planning and Creation Division of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, coordinators from both the Youth Educational Forum and the Social Innovation Hub, academics, and journalists from the national media.
The PEP research team organized the conference to share and discuss the findings of their study on Skills mismatches and unemployment spells: The case of Macedonia’s youth, selected for support under the PAGE initiative in 2014. In this study, the researchers analyzed data from the 2012 School-to-Work Transition Survey for youth aged 15 to 29, who were either employed or job seekers, to investigate the impact the length of the job search on how well suited the employee is for their eventual position.
The team’s analysis shows that the longer job seekers look for work, the higher the probability that they will end up in a position that does not match their education, which in turn is likely to reduce job satisfaction and productivity. Find out more about the research methods, findings, and policy recommendations in PEP Policy Brief 140.
The Head of the Policy Planning and Creation Division of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Zoran Vucev, emphasized the importance of the team’s findings, explaining that the problem of skills mismatch is likely to grow in Macedonia as job search periods are getting longer and skills and knowledge become out-dated after one year of not being used and updated, according to the International Labour Organization.
Mr. Vucev requested the team’s cooperation for future policy consultations and stated that the research paper would be used as a key study for forthcoming policy decisions at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. The team is confident that the collaborative relationship they have established with Mr. Vucev will allow them to substantially inform the policy decisions aiming to improve the links between education and the labor market.
Several key stakeholders expressed that the research would also be useful to them, particularly as it is the first study of its kind in Macedonia. Sofia Bogeva from the Social Innovation Hub (SIH) requested further meetings with the team to help the SIH support young people in becoming entrepreneurs rather than spending long periods looking for employment.
Journalists from Macedonia’s national public broadcasting agency, MRT, from Nova TV, and from The Balkan Post reported from the event.