Since 2017, and on their request, Cedefop has been working intensively with national authorities and stakeholders in Greece, Estonia, Bulgaria and Slovakia, to support them in strengthening their skills anticipation and matching capacities.
Effective ‘skills governance’ means developing relevant, reliable and regularly updated skills and labour market intelligence and ensuring that policy-makers use it to strengthen links between education and training systems and labour market needs. Other areas of effective skills governance include well working stakeholder cooperation arrangements (at national, sectoral and – where relevant – regional/local level) and tools that present skills intelligence in a user-friendly way.
Effective dissemination helps young people and adults make informed education, training and career decisions and supports the work of career guidance counsellors. It helps vocational education and training (VET) providers shape their programmes in line with rapidly changing labour market needs and supports employers in shaping recruitment and other HR practices.
Following an in-depth stakeholder consultation in 2017-18, the countries are currently building consensus, a key step in the reviews. National stakeholders (ministries, public employment services, employee and employer representation organisations, education providers and experts) are in the driving seat. Cedefop is assisting them in finding common ground on what could be effective and practical ways to strengthen skills governance in the coming years.
In parallel, Cedefop is gathering the views of practitioners and other key actors using the currently available skills intelligence in their daily work. By developing tailor-made online surveys in the national language, Cedefop aims to find out where they see potential for further development.
As the countries differ widely in terms of their skills governance practices, Cedefop has launched customised surveys in Bulgaria Estonia, and Greece:
- Bulgaria: tackling skill mismatch by using skills intelligence at local level
Policy-makers in municipalities are asked to share their views on current skill mismatch challenges, governance practices and local cooperation arrangements and to reflect on what they would see as promising options for change.
- Estonia: skills intelligence for better guidance and counselling
Guidance staff working for the Unemployment Fund (public employment service) are invited to report what types and sources of information they use when advising clients, share their experience with the country’s skills forecasting system (OSKA) and reflect on possible future changes.
- Greece: effectively disseminating skills intelligence
The views of a broad circle of potential users of the country’s newly developed online portal for the ‘Mechanism of diagnosis of labour market needs’ are collected to gain insight on how the dissemination, user-friendliness and customisation of labour market information to different target groups could be improved.
A survey among VET providers and employers in Slovakia is currently being developed.
The surveys will inform the process of setting policy priorities for change. Results will be presented in the skills governance review country reports Cedefop will release in 2019 and 2020. Survey questionnaires will be made available on Cedefop’s website.