May 12, 2017

Opportunities and challenges for employment of socially vulnerable persons

Dear Minister, respected Mr. Petrov,

Dear all,

Allow me to welcome your presence at today’s event organized by the Macedonian Red Cross in partnership with the Chamber of Crafts of Skopje about the project “Take action for better competitiveness on the labor market”, funded by the European Union. The objectives of this project are compatible with the objectives of the national employment strategy and a strategy for reducing poverty and social exclusion in the country and confirms the development of social programs to support the vulnerable target groups in order to improve their competitiveness in the labor market.

This project represents an additional opportunity for the Macedonian Red Cross to draw public attention to activities that contribute to fulfilling the mission of assistance and support to vulnerable groups in our country. Through this project, the Macedonian Red Cross together with its partners, for 40 people at social risk and long-term unemployed will enable them to prepare to engage in social and economic life creating income for themselves and their families, which will contribute to reducing vulnerability and social exclusion.

Of great importance is that this project provides psycho – social support to users in order to strengthen the capacity for personal growth and development, and support their families, tailored to their needs, using all available resources in the community, in order to strong support for the active involvement of beneficiaries in the project process.

To the issue of the promotion of employment opportunities, the Red Cross and Crafts Chamber Skopje organize these round tables with all relevant stakeholders in environments where the project is implemented to contribute to the reduction of unemployment of persons at social risk.

Macedonia is facing high unemployment and according to statistics of the total number of unemployed persons most common are those with lower levels of education and without qualifications. In Macedonia, according to official data, the rate of poverty among the unemployed is high. This confirms the relationship and impact of unemployment and poverty in the solution of one problem that largely affects the resolution of the other. Long-term unemployed are isolated and excluded from social and working life, implementing the project particularly contributes to their inclusion.

Considering all this, and to try the Macedonian Red Cross to show further understanding and ambition to solve these problems realizes fruitful cooperation with local governments, government institutions, civil society and the business community in the implementation of programs for social inclusion of vulnerable target groups in the communities. This project represents an opportunity to strengthen the partnership cooperation, at the same time encouraging active contribution of each relevant factor in the local communities in terms of creating employment conditions for everyone.

It is especially important partnership with the Crafts Chamber of Skopje which has experience in conducting trainings for learning crafts. It is a prerequisite disadvantaged individuals to acquire certain skills that will be more competitive in the labor market and will have greater opportunities for employment. We expect increased awareness among employers and their readiness to offer employment opportunities to people in social risk.

The key importance is the support provided by the European Union for the civil society in Macedonia for the implementation of projects that contribute to achieve tangible results and impact in increasing the social inclusion of vulnerable groups of population in the country.

I take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the Ministry of Finance and the European Union Delegation in Macedonia for the fruitful cooperation and support in the implementation of project activities.

Finally let me wish you a successful and fruitful work. I hope today’s round table will produce specific proposals and conclusions that will contribute to improving conditions and employment opportunities for these groups that would alleviate unemployment among disadvantaged individuals.

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