Macedonia prides itself with its educated, highly-qualified, and ethical workforce that is available to foreign investors. The average gross monthly salary is €497. Educational standards at technical higher educational institutions in Macedonia resemble those of the Western countries. Workers are welcoming of continuing education and life-long learning, successfully completing customized vocational trainings. The Government is willing to help investors in the process of labor force training by participating in such programs.
EDUCATION GEARED FOR BUSINESS
The Macedonian educational system makes mandatory elementary and high school education as well as English language education starting in the first grade of elementary school. In addition to standard high schools, many vocational high schools in each city enable students to learn various trades. There are five public and numerous private internationally recognized universities and colleges. Both, vocational schools and universities offer tailor-made training programs in an effort to meet the specific needs of companies investing in Macedonia. In the past several years, Macedonia on average spends 6% of its GDP on education, a percentage higher than the corresponding one in most of the OECD countries.
Every year approximately 80% of high school graduates are enrolled in universities, and there was a 35% increase in the total number of undergraduate degrees in the past several years. With 45% of the population under 30 years of age, Macedonia offers a young, educated, and skilled workforce.
The average gross monthly salary in 2011 is €497 (wiiw). This amount includes the net salary, personal income tax and social contributions for pension and disability insurance, health insurance and employment insurance. The minimum salary for each professional branch is defined by Collective agreements.
Macedonian government in the past few years significantly reduced social security contributions. Further reductions are planned and their implementation depending on the general economic conditions in the country.
Source: Public Revenue Office
The recently enacted new Labor Law, prepared in accordance with the EU standards, provides increased flexibility of the labor market by offering and promoting flexible and different employment contracts and flexibility of working time. Also, reforms in this sphere have introduced training programs, support for entrepreneurs, as well as improvement of the overall business climate.
Collective agreements, concluded on the country level, regulate employment rights, and obligations and responsibilities of the employees and employers. The leading trade union organization of the employees concludes a general collective agreement.
The Law on Establishment of Employment Relations with Foreign Persons regulates the employment of foreign persons in Macedonia. According to the provisions of the Law, foreign persons, or persons without nationality, can be employed in Macedonia upon obtaining a work permit. The Employment Agency of the Republic of Macedonia issues the work permit upon an employer’s request.