The vocational education and training component works with 50 vocational schools in 17 municipalities throughout Macedonia building their capacities through trainings, and through establishing Career Centers in these schools.

The Career Centers have been established as interactive spaces where students can work on their skills development and improvement, participate in various projects and preparations for competitions, have an opportunity to volunteer, and most importantly, get career guidance and counselling by a trained school team.

The VET component bases its work on the three project pillars: building students’ soft skills, improving school practical training through work based learning, and helps them with career choices through career counselling - each of these programs contributing to the students’ career education and their preparation for the world of work.

Work Readiness Curriculum

The Work Readiness Curriculum is an 8-module program that improves the employability skills of the students and helps them prepare for the challenges of the labor market.

During the participation in the program the students through different activities improve their financial skills, job searching and team work abilities as well as work on their personal development and goal setting.

This program, through interactivity and team assignments, aims to increase the employability of students, develop their soft skills and prepare them to be active job seekers.

The program so far has been implemented in 35 VET schools through free classes, and 39 secondary schools through integration in the regular curriculum.  Approximately 4476 students from all seven pilot municipalities have benefited from this program so far.

 

Work Based Learning

Work based learning program aims to improve practical skills in students and link formal education with the needs of the labor market.

The program helps the enhancement of quality of the practical training that the students need to get in the companies. It structures the process of having a work-based learning experience and offers various techniques for doing it. Its final aim is to improve the quality of knowledge and skills the student receive during their practice in companies.

Approximately 1444 students from our partner municipalities have so far been covered with the free classes’ Work Based Learning curriculum.

As a result of the implementation of this program and the challenges that the teachers faced during its application, two other programs have been developed - Mentors in Companies and Externship.

The Mentors in Companies program supports companies through training staff to work with students who come to realize their practical learning in companies, but in accordance with the school programs. The developed standards for mentors in companies  and the training manual for specialized and other personnel for conducting practical training with an employer aims to help and support the cooperation with the schools and the effectiveness of the students’ practice in companies.

The Externship program has the teachers and their professional development in its main focus. Through this program we are raising awareness of the importance of the VET teachers' professional development, orienting teachers to identify their learning needs and plan and conduct their own practical training in companies.

Career Counseling Program

The Career Counseling Program sets up a system for student career counseling in secondary schools. The career counseling helps students identify their interests, consider their abilities and opportunities at the labor market, make individual plans for their careers, and make informed decisions in their career choices.

The YES Network has drafted s competencies-based standards, which describe the competencies school career counselors’ need to possess to be able to deliver career counseling services. YES Network supported the development of a training curriculum for career counselors, school program for career planning implemented through free classes in the VET schools, manual for teachers, and a guide for parents’ involvement in the career counseling of their teenager.

The latest effort towards establishing career guidance in high schools throughout Macedonia was the creation of a platform with battery of instruments for professional orientation of secondary school students. The Ministry of Education and Science administers this platform, which can be accessed through their official web-page.

The training of already certified career counselors from the schools for the usage of this platform has just started and it is expected to end by the end of summer 2015.

This program so far benefited 287 students through individual career guidance and 565 students followed it through free classes.