In October 2018, the government approved a common list of occupational standards (EQF levels 2-7). The list comprises occupations required by the labour market and identified in sectoral qualifications frameworks.
Around 75% of the economically active population are above 45 in Latvia. In the next 20 years, due to this ageing workforce, there will be a shortage of employees with medium-level vocational education and training (VET) qualifications, especially in engineering, manufacturing and construction.
In April 2018, 15 sectoral qualifications frameworks were officially approved, marking agreement between educators and employers on qualifications required by the labour market.
Development of work-based learning (WBL) in initial vocational education (VET) is a national policy priority. It started in 2013/14 as a pilot project addressing the incomplete legal framework, insufficient offer in traditionally school-based VET, and low involvement of employers, who, nevertheless, demanded improved VET quality and labour market relevance.
Employer interest in providing in-company training (work placements) for vocational education (VET) learners has increased from 33% in 2014 to 39% in 2017, according to an Employers’ Confederation of Latvia (LDDK) survey.
Introducing modular vocational education and training (VET) programmes helps VET become more flexible, responsive to labour market needs and attractive.
In October 2016, the Academic Information Centre – EQF national coordination point – launched a national qualifications database. It contains data on all qualifications at EQF levels 1-8 acquired in state-recognised formal education programmes.
To make the vocational education and training (VET) more responsive to labour market needs and to raise its attractiveness, the education ministry has designed a new apprenticeship-type scheme called work-based learning (WBL).