Work Readiness Skills (WRS) Program
The Work Readiness Skills (WRS) Program has been developed to provide youth with the foundational skills and knowledge necessary to become healthy, productive workers and participants in civic and community affairs. This workforce readiness curriculum is designed both for secondary school students and unemployed youth, including youth with disabilities.
Apart from the Introductory module, the main 7 modules of the curriculum include:
* Personal Development: identifying values & interests; assessing attributes & skills; identifying learning styles & learning strategies; goal setting, planning & tracking progress.
* Appropriate Workplace Behaviors: identifying and practicing workplace behaviors most often sought after by local employers.
* Communication Skills: communicating in a work environment including: listening and speaking effectively; leading and working in teams; communication with the supervisors, co-workers and customer care.
* Teamwork and Leadership: Working in team; leading others; giving and receiving feedback.
* Job Seeking Skills: including learning about the local labor market; job searching skills, how to write an effective CV; preparing a cover letter; job-interviewing skills;
Safety, Rights and Responsibilities at work place: staying safe and healthy at work and in daily life; knowing and understanding rights and responsibilities of workers and employers.
* Financial Skills: developing the budgeting, savings and planning skills that help youth manage their income and expenses.
The program is adapted to be used in heterogeneous groups that include youth with disabilities and also in classrooms of youth with intellectual disabilities.
The program is available in three local languages: Macedonian, Albanian and Turkish.
Work-based learning (WBL) Program
The Work-based learning (WBL) Program for an individual takes place at an actual place of work and is a carefully planned, structured and mentored real-time work learning experience lasting between a few weeks and up to six months, and complements classroom education such as that provided through the WRS curriculum. Work-based learning (WBL) program offers hands-on workplace experience which provides the environment and the opportunities for learning work-related skills and abilities that cannot be acquired in a classroom. These are the work-based learning forms included in the program: Experiential learning; Job-shadowing; Workplace-based experience; Internship and Entrepreneurship.
This curriculum is employed in vocational secondary schools to provide opportunities for students for hands-on learning within companies. The final product contains four modules:
* Introductory Module
* Planning and Preparation
* Realization of Activities for Work-Based Learning
* Monitoring, Evaluation and Tracking of Work-Based Learning
The WBL program provides an easy to understand framework which clearly defines the different types of work based learning experiences and encourages and facilitates the development of internship programs and the opening of actual internship positions at local businesses.
The Work Based Learning (WBL) Curriculum was also enhanced with guidelines for inclusion of youth with various disabilities in WBL opportunities (company visits, workplace tours, practical instruction and internships). The guidelines provide a detailed overview of the steps for successful preparation and implementation of all WBL activities with students with disabilities. They contain tailor-made trainer tools and checklists for teachers, students and parents/guardians which will help them prepare and plan each detail for a successful practical instruction or internship in a company.
VET Teachers Training Program in companies (Externship)
The VET Teachers Training Program in companies (Externship) is one of the methods of professional development of teachers which helps the VET teachers contemporize the knowledge in their subject areas, and help them have a first-hand view on the conditions of the labor market they prepare their students for. Based on the standard, an externship orientation program for teachers was developed. This program applies the WBL approach in preparing teachers for the work-based experiences, what they should encompass, an experience evaluation and follow-up guidelines. The program contains necessary forms and instruments for all phases.
Program for Mentors in Companies
The Program for Mentors in Companies is aimed to help persons in the private sector cooperate more effectively with teachers and schools, and lead and monitor students during their work-based learning process within their companies.
The program consists of six main themes:
* Introduction to the Education System of the Republic of Macedonia
* Communication Skills
* Defining Learning Goals for the students
* Monitoring and Evaluation of Students
* Working with the adults
* Safety at the Workplace
Guidelines for mentors in companies on Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in Work Based Learning Experiences are incorporated in the Mentors in Companies Program.
Battery of Instruments for Professional Orientation (BIPO)
The Battery of Instruments for Professional Orientation (BIPO) is the first nationally developed battery of instruments for professional orientation aimed to be used with secondary school students and unemployed youth at the age of 16 and above. It was created by local experts, Professors at the Institute of Psychology – ss. Cyril and Methodius University. The draft version of BIPO was piloted in 15 secondary schools in 7 municipalities in order to obtain metric characteristics of the tests. The pilot administration took place during April and May of 2014 and 1,409 students (603 in Albanian language and 803 in Macedonian language) participated comprising a highly representative sample.
BIPO consists of three tests: a Professional interests test; a Professional values test; and a Personality inventory. It is intended to be used by the trained personnel in the secondary schools and ESA Centers for Career Planning Program, as well as by other Career Counselors who received a specialized training in the use of BIPO and the analysis and interpretation of the test results. A handbook has been created to support the whole process from test administration to data interpretation and reporting to the young person.
In addition, on-line version of the BIPO is created and available for use.