On Wednesday, October 17th, members of AmCham’s Workforce Development Committee met with the Director of the State Employment Agency, Vlatko Popovski. Mr. Popovski presented the government’s ambitious plans to improve the quality of their databases and services as well as reduce widespread fraud generally believe to be in the system. He assured members that by August 2013, companies could expect vast improvements in the Agency’s services. AmCham members applauded the Agency’s introduction of electronic registration of employees some years ago as well as their intention to introduce individualized assessment and career planning of the country’s registered unemployed population. They expressed concern over the choice to engage only psychologists on a volunteer basis to achieve this enormous task, given that many professional career counselors already working in the country (and throughout Europe, for that matter) have degrees in the social sciences. They also questioned the quality standards that could be expected from volunteers.
The group also discussed the need to improve the consistency, accuracy and reliability of job announcements. Mr. Popovski said companies will still be required to file formal job announcements for those positions they intend to fill internally (e.g., via a promotion). Members said eliminating this requirement would help reduce skepticism among some applicants that announced positions aren’t really competitive.
Finally, Mr. Popovski said the Agency was working to upgrade its internal staff and introduce a variety of anti-fraud measures to ensure a reliable and accurate approach going forward. He noted that particular emphasis was being placed on employees working “under the table” while officially being registered as unemployed. Given that the Agency works directly with the private sector to identify candidates for open positions, AmCham members asked that the Agency also introduce strong measures to discourage discrimination among job candidates on the basis of factors not related to job qualifications.
Category: Advocacy News