Education for Employment

The project addresses the high youth unemployment rate in North Macedonia (33%), caused by the mismatch of the skills provided by the education system and those required by the economy. The project will support the Ministry of Education and Science and the private sector to strengthen the newly established dual school- and company-based vocational education and training system.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
North Macedonia
Vocational training
Employment & economic development
Vocational training
Employment creation
Education policy
01.07.2022 - 30.06.2026
CHF  5’941’000
Background The mismatch between the skills provided by the education system and the requirements of the economy results in low employability and long transition of youth from school to the labour market. For many youth, the inability to find decent employment after completing education is one of the factors that contribute to for emigration. Formal VET in the past offered low quality school-based practical training and very limited work-based learning; on the other hand, skills shortage is one of the top obstacles for growth for the private sector.
Objectives Young women and men gain decent employment due to market-oriented skills
Target groups

Target group: the key system actors: (1) the education sector institutions: Ministry of Education and Science, the VET Office, VET schools, municipalities; and (2) the private sector: economic chambers, branch associations, and private companies.

End beneficiaries: mainly youth (15-29), but also any employed women and men in need of upskilling to find more decent jobs. Special efforts to include more women.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Improved vocational education and training system effectively and efficiently capacitates youth for the labour market

Outcome 2: Companies and business support organisations co-create and ensure the marketrelevance of vocational education and training


Expected results:  

-Regulatory and institutional framework of the VET system, is improved

-Capacities of the key public institutions and private sector actors (associations,

companies) for dual VET implementation are strengthened

-Awareness of youth, especially women, on dual VET as promising path to gainful employment is increased

-Active labour market measures for employment are more market oriented

-Companies are more engaged in VET

Results from previous phases:  

Non-formal vocational skills development: The effectiveness and efficiency of the active labour market measures on training were improved, enabling unemployed have access to market-relevant training, and successfully find employment. Thanks to the better market-orientation of non-formal training 5‘336 persons (71% youth, 48% women, 15 % vulnerable) were trained, out of whom 2’729 (51% of the trained) employed.

Formal VET: a nationwide introduction of dual VET in the school year of 2021/2022. E4E facilitated the cooperation between the public institutions and the private sector, resulting in 1’400 students enrolled in dual VET, and obtained practical training in over 200 companies.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Foreign state institution
  • Central State of South East
  • Other international or foreign NGO North

Other partners

Helvetas, the Macedonian Civic Education Centre as a local subcontractor and the

Economic Chamber as a strategic partner

Coordination with other projects and actors EU Delegation (several complementary projects), KfW (Regional Challenge Fund), AHK (support to dual VET)
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    5’941’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’682’992
Project phases Phase 2 01.07.2022 - 30.06.2026   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.09.2016 - 31.12.2022   (Completed)