The interaction between vocational education and training (VET) systems and a rapidly changing world of work was the theme of Cedefop’s 4th Brussels-based seminar, organised with the cooperation of the Estonian EU Presidency on 8 December.
Prototype improvement, ideas for cooperation and suggestions for future actions were the main points of the European big data hackathon (#euBDhack) follow up, jointly organised by Cedefop and Eurostat, in Thessaloniki on 18 and 19 September.
Set up around the ‘Unity through balance’ motto, Estonia has assumed the six-month rotating Presidency of the European Union (EU) Council until the end of 2017.
The government supports Estonian as a second language and foreign language learning by learners in VET and higher education, to ensure better career opportunities and mobility.
The government aims to reduce the share of adults aged 25 to 64 without professional or vocational education from 28.5% in 2016 to less than 25% by 2020, and to increase their participation in lifelong learning. An obstacle for achieving this goal is low motivation and lack of key competences.
In two separate meetings, on 20 March in Athens and on 27 March in Sofia, Cedefop officially launched its EU country support programme to strengthen the governance of skills anticipation and matching.
The Employment programme for 2017-20, revised by the government in autumn 2016, stipulates a package of new measures for workers at risk of unemployment. The goal of the additional continuous training and retraining measures is to prevent unemployment, also supporting structural changes in the economy.
Year 2017 has been declared the Year of skills, aiming to developing a mind-set that craftsmanship and skills are appreciated in society and on the labour market.
The Estonian qualifications authority has completed the pilot of a new labour market needs monitoring and forecasting system (known by its Estonian acronym OSKA). OSKA is a strong analytical tool for enhancing the employability of graduates and, in the longer term, for contributing to productivity and economic growth. The first three OSKA reports on ICT, accounting, and the forestry and timber industry were published in 2016 alongside a general overview of global and domestic trends influencing the supply and demand of labour in Estonia. An additional 20 reports will cover all major sectors.
The Estonian National Audit Office (NAO) analysed the participation of adults in vocational education and training (VET) and the impact of VET on their labour market performance. The report, published in January 2016, indicates that vocational training generally has a positive impact on adult learner employability and reduces the risk of unemployment. Moreover, vocational training helps adults in Estonia engage in entrepreneurial activities.