How “Youth guarantee” scheme works
This program is implemented across Europe (not the EU, only). In 2021 also Western Balkans countries decided to join. In 2018 North Macedonia has been the first country outside of the EU to join this EU initiative and to implement a rapid reaction program focusing on young people, mostly jobseekers.
In general, when the European Council on 21 April 2013 adopted the first Council Recommendation for the Member States on establishing the Youth Guarantee (2013/C 120/01), the core action has been described as “a good-quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education”. The target group has been defined as “all young people under the age of 25 years”.
Some of the EU countries decided to implement ‘Youth Guarantee’ on two levels: (a) system and (b) rapid response provision. Implementation of the Youth Guarantee program thus covers not just the ‘rapid’ provision of employment service to young jobseekers, but also system reforms improving the delivery of “good-quality” vocational education and training as well as “good-quality” jobs.
Youth Guarantee in North Macedonia
And now, here is the ‘Youth Guarantee’ as an immediately delivered employment service implemented by the Employment Service Agency of the Republic of North Macedonia. The Youth Guarantee measure allows young people up to the age of 29, who are not employed or involved in education or training (NEET), to receive a suitable job offer, continue their education, or be involved in any of the active employment programs and measures, in a period of 4 months after they register as unemployed persons in the Employment Service Agency.
Step by step
The Youth Guarantee starts with the measures for activation of young people who are registered for the first time as active job seekers.
The first step is registration itself, done in any regional employment centre across the country.
After being registered in the register of unemployed persons, job seekers are immediately referred to their first interview with a counsellor of the Employment Service Agency, who profile their employability, using a control questionnaire and prepare Individual employment plans. These plans define the activities that enable the young unemployed person, in a period of 4 months, to be re-involved in the educational process (not in regular education) or to be involved in any of the active employment measures or services, which will enable to increase his employment opportunities or to be offered suitable employment that suits his education and skills.
Activities include group and individual counselling; providing job search assistance services; motivational pieces of training; involvement in any of the measures for labour market integration (employment, education, and training measures).