Skopje: Regional public employment services work together to improve measures leading to reduction of unemployment
Skopje – Labour market statistics officials from the Public Employment Services (PES) of the Western Balkan economies agreed upon a set of quantitative indicators that are to be collected for the PES benchmarking analysis, at the meeting in Skopje today, organized under auspices of joint Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) regional project ‘Employment and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP)’. The agreed set of common quantitative indicators is to be analysed in order to identify good practices and enhance evidence base d mutual learning.
Emil Krstanovski, ILO national coordinator in Skopje addressed the meeting saying that it was a part of a solid tradition and relationship between RCC and ILO in implementing ESAP by building on complementary strengths of both organizations.
“Today’s meeting focused on quantitative indicators, as one set of data collection and assessment of which would lead to reduction of unemployment. There is already an agreement on certain data of this type that is to be analysed: transition from unemployment into employment by gender, age group and qualification level; Number of people leaving the PES unemployment records into employment or other; Transition into employment within 6 and 12 months of unemployment and registered unemployed and inflows/outflows. The final list will be shared with the Western Balkan PES offices for approval”, explained Nand Shani, ESAP project’s Team Leader.
Valli Corbanese ILO expert further elaborated on the topic adding that the analysis of quantitative data of Public Employment Services requires careful consideration in terms of ensuring harmonized definitions and validation of data for comparable outcomes.
Biljana Zivkovska, Head of Unit for Public Relations,Communication and International Cooperation of Employment Service Agency of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia welcomed the opportunity to discuss the benchmarking initiative in depth and in regional setting among Western Balkan PES offices, with a view to learning from each other and EU experiences.
Representatives of PES worked together with the RCC and ILO experts to refine the definitions and measurement procedures for the selected indicators and additional relevant and available indicators, including context related indicators that take into account differences in national institutional settings and economic conditions.
One of ESAP project activities is set to strengthen PES capacities through bench-learning, which is a process of creating a systematic and integrated link between the benchmarking and mutual learning activities, as the benchmarking process is all about data collection,validation and assessment. The methodological guide for benchlearning entails quantitative benchmarking on selected key indicators and qualitative benchmarking through the collection of information on performance enablers by combined self-assessment – external assessment exercise.
The regional project ‘Employment and Social Affairs Platform’, which began its implementation in March 2016 and will last for 3 years, is a regional project financed by the European Commission and jointly implemented by RCC and ILO in the Western Balkan economies (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*,Montenegro, Serbia and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). The project aims to strengthen regional cooperation and institutional capacities of national administrations, employers’ and workers’ organizations, enabling them to develop and effectively implement labour market and social policy reforms in their EU accession process.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence