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Under a new measure in 2015, people with special needs are being encouraged and assisted to sell their creative works in souvenir shops around the country.

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FYR of Macedonia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.8 Social cohesion and cultural policies

The government believes that achieving sustainable economic development is possible only through good social protection of the most vulnerable categories of the population. Economic development and social justice are essential for improving the living standard of the Macedonian citizens. The general social policy is divided into several groups: Employment and the labour market; Decent life for pensioners and social partnership; Protecting disabled persons; Caring for and protecting the Roma; Social inclusion etc. 

Some of the priorities are:

  • Employment Preparation Programme through training, re–qualification or further qualification of unemployed persons, for the purpose of acquiring knowledge and skills, in order to increase their capacities;
  • project: "Self–Employment of 3 750 Persons" with a credit of 3 000 EUR, that is, 4 000 EUR for bankruptcy workers. Repayment period is 4 years, with a one–year grace period and 1% interest rate;
  • programme for mobility of the workforce within the country, in which priority will be given to those with completed higher education, but it will also include persons with other levels of education up to 34 years of age, which will be employed at a distance of more than 60km from their place of residence with financial support amounting to 3 000 EUR. (except in Skopje and public institutions);
  • subsidising the employment of 800 disabled persons with financial support totalling 20 average wages, i.e. 40 average wages for completely blind persons, and persons with physical disabilities who are in need of a wheelchair;
  • subsidising employment of 2 000 single parents and disabled people;
  • spa recreation for a total of 40 000 Macedonian pensioners in the period 2012–2015;
  • opening day care centres for children with special needs; and
  • opening counselling centres for: parents and children, children at risk, working with victims of domestic violence, drug use prevention among young people, working with people to break the circle of violence;

There are also special measures for young people:

  • support for first-time employment of young persons under 27 years of age;
  • scholarships for 500 of the best high school students and 1 000 of the best college students and postgraduates;
  • employment for college and high school students for three months during the summer period; and
  • assistance for young people to collect employment information and to apply for employment (Youth Electronic Portal – YEP).

In May 2015 the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy signed a Memorandum entitled "Inclusive and Creative", which fosters mutual concern for people with special needs. It was pointed out that this Memorandum will enable people with special needs to be accommodated in daily centres of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy to sell their creative works. Namely, their creative works will be exhibited for sale in 20 souvenir shops throughout the country and will be specially marked as "hand made". This project will encourage the creativity of people with special needs and their inclusion in everyday life. 

Chapter published: 06-10-2015

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