Overview of the Lithuanian approach
A systematic approach to skills anticipation is under development in Lithuania with the aim of reducing the mismatch between the skills gained through education and training and those in demand in the labour market. The Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Social Security and Labour and the Ministry of Economy together with the Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (MOSTA) are responsible for skills anticipation. The government is also developing a National Human Resources Monitoring (NHRM) system incorporating labour market forecasts and a wide range of data that give an indication of the current demand for skills. The goal of the NHRM is to provide evidence-based and data-driven recommendations on the policies that concern education, labour market and human capital.
Short-term forecasting is undertaken by the Lithuanian Labour Exchange (Lietuvos darbo birža prie Socialinės apsaugos ir darbo ministerijos). This provides a forecast of skills demand one year ahead. This feeds into the Skills Barometer that gives a regular update on the skills most in demand. Efforts are being made to improve the country’s longer-term skills forecasting capability.
The dissemination of skills anticipation results takes place through policymakers, government ministries, researchers, and public websites, etc. Target audiences include the general public through guidance counsellors, local public employment services (PESs), higher education and vocational education institutions, as well as the social partners.
Stakeholders such as trade unions and employers are involved in several of the bodies that have a role in skills anticipation. The role of stakeholders, primarily educational and VET institutions, unions and employers is also important mainly through translating information from skills anticipation activities into standards and learning outcomes in higher education and VET, as well as influencing the relevance of government policy and legislation. It is apparent that in the higher education sector that skills anticipation data is of importance when developing new courses.
Several skills anticipation activities take place in Lithuania. A more comprehensive means of skills anticipation has been introduced with the development of the national skills monitoring processes (NHRM) system[i], introduced in 2016. The NHRM provides a comprehensive process for assessing current and future demand and supply of skills. Short-term employment forecasting has been in place since 1995 and is undertaken by the Labour Exchange (the Public Employment Service). It provides an employment forecast for the year ahead. It is based on an analysis of economic and demographic indicators and data from employer surveys. It is used to provide vocational guidance to jobseekers and to determine vocational training needs. Its results are used to produce The Barometer of Employment Opportunities that provides, amongst other things, the top 10 occupations most in demand in the labour market.
In 2013, the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Economy launched an initiative entitled The map of competence demand. The underlying idea was to oblige employers to provide information about the skills composition of the occupations in which their employees worked using the country’s occupational classification, and to compare these data with those available on the supply of qualifications. In this way a better understanding of the match between qualifications attained and jobs filled can be obtained. The State Social Insurance Fund (SODRA) board is responsible for data collection from companies. In addition to the above, the project Human resources demand forecasting and links between qualifications and occupations monitoring system development also commenced in 2013. Commissioned by the Ministry of Economy and funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) for two years, the project investigated how skills forecasting is undertaken in other countries with view to implementing a forecasting model for Lithuania.
Over time, skills anticipation in Lithuania has provided a greater role for stakeholders to contribute information and opinion on skills mismatches. The process has also sought to engage with higher education and vocational education and training (VET) institutions for the education system to better adapt to current and future skills needs.
Skills anticipation in Lithuania aims to improve knowledge of current and future skills demand and supply, and thereby reduce skills mismatch in the labour market. Improved knowledge of developments in the supply of, and demand for, skills is required to enable firms, individuals and educational institutions to make evidence-based decisions regarding investing in skills.
Aside from the establishment of the relevant agencies, Lithuania does not have a regulatory framework for skills anticipation. Steps are being taken to enhance the regulatory framework with legislation defining the role of the social partners in skills anticipation (see section “The role of stakeholders”).
The NHRM regulates, amongst other things, the continuous data collection and analysis to allow the education sector to make evidence-based decisions in assessing current and future skills demand.
The Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (MOSTA) was a public institution established to provide evidence-based information and guidance regarding adoption of decisions on formation and implementation of research, higher education and innovation policy relevant to the public. Following the reorganization of the Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (MOSTA), the Government Strategic Analysis Center (STRATA) has been established
The Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour and the Ministry of Economy together with STRATA are responsible for skills anticipation. The Ministry of Education oversees the work of the Education Management Information System (Švietimo Valdymo Informacinė Sistema), and the Register of Diplomas and Certificates, while the Ministry of Social Security and Labour governs the Board of the SODRA and the Lithuanian Labour Exchange. The Human Resources Division of the Ministry of Economy is responsible for the management of the Lithuanian Classification of Occupations. In October 2018, Lithuanian Labour Exchange was re-organised in a new public body, the Lithuanian Employment Service (UZL) to improve the quality of services provided to jobseekers and employers, as well as to optimise the activities of the institution. UZL has a dedicated unit working on skills intelligence, the Monitoring and Analysis Division[ii].
The government has established a Commission to coordinate the development of the NHRM system. It is comprised of seven members representing the Office of the Government, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Science and Education, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour and MOSTA. The Ministry of Education and Science also approves the indicators to be included in the NHRM.
The role of stakeholders
A number of stakeholders take part in skills anticipation activities. Employer representatives, trade unions, and education providers are involved in skills anticipation, mainly through their roles in ensuring that qualification and training programmes meet certain standards and relate to demands in the economy. Steps are being taken to better coordinate and engage stakeholders in skills anticipation. In 2014-15, the Ministry of Education and Science signed collaboration agreements with associations representing employers from the hotels, restaurants, catering, aviation, IT, apparel and textiles, and engineering sectors. The agreements fostered a closer working arrangement to solve issues linked to the legal framework for VET, VET provision, career guidance, and work-based learning (including apprenticeships).
Many bodies focus on VET in their skills anticipation activities. Cooperative bodies, such as the VET Council, and Central Professional Committee (CPC) and Sectoral Professional Committee (SPC) are regulated by laws and provide a forum for stakeholders to express their assessments, views of, and expectations for VET policy and practice. For instance, VET enrolment plans must be agreed with the VET Council.
The CPC and the SPC were developed subsequent to the 2007 law on VET. The CPC is an advisory body comprising representatives of social partners that considers strategic issues on the development of the national qualifications system. The SPC consists of at least nine members representing employers, employees, and education providers. The Committees’ main function is to advise the Qualifications and VET Development Centre (Kvalifikacijų ir profesinio mokymo plėtros centras) regarding sectoral qualifications and the competences needed to acquire them, to set priorities for the development of qualifications standards listing requirements for various levels of qualification, and to endorse qualification standards. After being approved by the sectoral committees, qualifications standards are approved by the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Economy. SPCs also analyse consistency in training programmes against the standards. The Qualifications and VET Development Centre contributes to the skill and competences policy making process by analysing the socioeconomic context and by proving information and data to stakeholders. In 2017 the Centre concluded the comprehensive policy frameworks for continuing VET. The policy reform of Continuing Vocational Education and Training Systems (Re-CVET) contributes to employability and economic growth as well as to respond to broader societal challenges.
Chambers of Commerce are involved in assessing skills needs, and the social partners are actively involved in assessing competences acquired through formal, non-formal, work-based, or informal learning. The CPC and the SPC are relatively new bodies and are likely to take time to make effective contributions to the development of standards and programmes. There is limited cooperation between stakeholders at the regional level. At the local level, the effectiveness of cooperation varies from school to school. Employer representatives help to design VET programmes according to labour market needs by participating in the management of VET institutions as members of their boards. At present, the social partners, enterprises and municipal governments participate directly in the management of a quarter of all initial VET providers, which have self-governing status.
Furthermore, the Vocational Education and Training Council (Lietuvos profesinio mokymo taryba) was established to advise national education authorities on solving strategic VET issues and includes representatives of government (Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Social Security and Labour), municipal institutions and organisations representing employers’ and employees’ interests. Similarly, the CPC coordinates strategic issues relating to the qualifications system and consists of a committee of representatives of state and municipal government, VET providers, and the social partners, such as workers’ and employers’ representatives. As noted earlier, its main responsibilities are to establish priority sectors, make suggestions regarding the qualifications structure and advise on Qualifications and VET Development Centre on qualifications and labour market needs. SPCs are there to advise the Qualifications and VET Development Centre on qualifications and competences relevant to particular sectors. They also advise on the relevance of training programmes to a sector. There are 17 SPCs that include representatives drawn from the social partners, education and training providers, and sector specific organisations.
To initiate a new study programme, higher education institutions must provide information on the need for professionals to be trained in the labour market and must provide employers with opinions on these issues. Increasing cooperation between higher education institutions and the social partners enables employers and other institutions to express their opinion directly, influence decision-making and have a direct influence on the assessment of student learning outcomes with the aim of reducing skills mismatches in the labour market. Given the emphasis on matching skills supply and demand, the higher education sector aims to ensure better cooperation between the social partners and other stakeholders.
The intended target groups for skills anticipation are the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. The data generated are used to enable the education sector and policymakers to make evidence-based decisions and, more generally, to inform society about labour market developments and likely future demands for skills. Skills anticipation is also aimed at education and training institutions, career guidance counsellors, the UZL (in assisting jobseekers), as well as individuals looking to develop their skills. Young people are also a target group via the information and support that career advisers provide.
Funding and resources
Skills anticipation is largely funded by the government. The Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Social Security and Labour fund the work of their respective agencies. The ESF also co-funds developments in skills anticipation. For example, the NHRM is co-funded by the national government and the ESF.
Methods and tools
The UZL is analysing future skill demands.
Both the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Economy launched the initiative Specialist Qualification Map (Specialistų kvalifikacijųžemėlapis). The main idea was to oblige employers to provide information about employees’ occupations (according to the occupational classification) and to compare these data with education statistics on qualifications (i.e. to find out about the match between qualifications attained and those required in jobs). Data collection started in 2013.
MOSTA undertook a one-off analysis of qualification demand using data of both the SODRA Board and the State Tax Inspectorate, i.e. a pilot study related to the development of a qualifications map which contributed to the development of the NHRM and improve monitoring and forecasting of the labour market. Analysis in the one-off exercise by MOSTA disaggregated the labour market status and occupational employment of people by study type.[iii] It was intended to measure skills demand, assess the efficiency of the education system, and the balance between skills demand and supply, as well as to help identify problems specific to different regions, economic sectors, and areas of education. The pilot Qualification Map developed under the one-off exercise by MOSTA combined three national databases: the Education Information System, the Board of the SODRA, and the State Tax Inspectorate. Future development of the NHRM will include data from the Lithuanian Employment Service, the Centre of Registers, the Register of Diplomas and Certificates, and potentially other sources, e.g. the Students Register, the Register of Studies, Training Programmes and Qualifications, the SODRA database, the database of the State Tax Inspectorate, the database of the Lithuanian Employment Service and the Population Register.
Data from the Education Information System, which fed into the pilot Qualification Map described above, includes information on study/training programmes, the year the qualification was acquired, and more detailed education history data. Information on income, employment periods, and occupation is obtained from the Board of the SODRA while the State Tax Authority provides data on economic activity and residence. A preliminary analysis of the pilot Qualification Map showed the labour market conditions for graduates of various fields of study broken down by when they were hired, their occupation, and their earnings. Amongst other things the Map gave an insight into the pay gap between public and private sector employment, inter-regional migration, and gender pay gaps, etc.
As foreseen in the 2017 Law on VET, effective since 1 February 2018, MOSTA, among other responsibilities, carries out forecasting as well as prepares strategic insights taking into consideration the needs of the state, society and the national economy[iv].
The Lithuanian Employment Service produces a national forecast, a job opportunity barometer (Užimtumo galimybių barometras), and an occupations map. The job opportunity barometer is based on the forecast data, plus on evidence from employer interviews and expert opinions on employment in various occupation groups. The occupation map consisting of 155 groups of occupations was developed in 2015 by the then Lithuanian Employment Service. Based on supply and demand statistics from the previous six years, the occupation map shows projected supply of, and demand for, employment by occupation and municipality highlighting fluctuations in demand.
The national forecast, the job opportunity barometer and the occupation map are all based on an employer survey on current and expected employment demand. The forecast looks one year ahead and is used to aid planning, to help match labour supply with demand, for example, by assessing the need for vocational training. The forecast itself is preceded by analysis of economic and demographic indicators to help understand general developments in the labour market. The survey of employers is conducted by the Local Employment Service (part of the Lithuanian Employment Services) in September and October every year using a standardised questionnaire. The questionnaire includes questions on existing and projected demand for the company’s products/services, its current and future occupational needs, expected recruitment and redundancies by occupation, the training of employees, investment expectations, and other company specific details and information. The data collected using the questionnaires are then analysed to produce a national forecast of employment (including by sector and groups of occupations), unemployment, working age population, and job loss or creation. It also feeds into the job opportunity barometer published annually in December.
It should be noted that the NHRM will take forecasts of skills demand into account.
The ESF-funded project Development and renewal of human resources monitoring and forecasting system was launched in 2017. To achieve its objective of improving medium-term forecasts, the project foresaw the update of information systems to monitor demand for human resources in the labour market, linking the occupational groups under the Lithuanian classification of occupations with training programmes, and other related activities[v].
Finally, skills forecasting exercises at the sectoral level are also occasionally conducted, with the support of ESF funding, to provide a future view of the need for training and skills five years ahead (based on the econometric analysis of historical trends).
Skills foresight in Lithuania at present involves developing analysis to help assess, inform and adapt higher education and VET to current labour market needs. The recent activities in skills anticipation (the qualification map/skills forecasting/NHRM) will better inform the development of skills foresight planning in the future. Higher education and VET institutions, to a degree, undertake skills foresight by assessing professional standards for economic sectors and by exploring and describing the most important qualification levels for each sector.
The PES runs foresight exercises based on interviews and surveys with stakeholders, experts’ workshops / meetings / panels[vi]. In its forward-looking approaches, the PES takes into consideration technological change (including digitalisation/automation, etc.)
Other skills anticipation practices
The Employment Service conducts annual employer surveys[vii], asking employers for one-year forecasts on changes in business activities that could affect their employees, changes in investment that could drive skills demand, and other factors determining their hiring needs for the year ahead. The PES uses descriptive statistics/stock taking and skills and jobs surveys (questionnaire surveys) to better understand skill needs. It analyses the skills supply and demand on an annual basis with a five-year horizon[viii].
Higher education institutions are required to conduct employer surveys to determine satisfaction with recent graduates, separate to the employer survey which feeds into the national forecast.
Dissemination and use
The PES offers skills intelligence outputs in executive summaries in general reports. Its staff and for customers (including jobseekers and employers) are also offered with relevant handbooks/guidebooks/toolkits[ix].
Use of skills anticipation in policy
Forecasts produced by the Lithuanian Employment Service are used by vocational education and training institutions, to provide guidance for jobseekers and to determine vocational training for the unemployed. The results of employer surveys and barometers are evaluated when (re)training of the unemployed is under design. Skills intelligence on occupations, based on the barometers, is used to identify shortage occupations; this information affects decisions relevant to the entry and employment of third-country nationals[x]. They are used by regional labour exchanges and by other institutions implementing measures supporting employment (e.g. VET providers).
According to the regulation that provides the basis for developing the NHRM, the information generated will be used to enable education providers, policymakers and other players to use this information for making evidence based decisions and to inform society about current and future skills demand.
Target groups’ uses of skills anticipation outputs
Outputs of skills anticipation are used in career guidance. The Lithuanian Centre for Non-Formal Youth Education (Lietuvos Studento neformaliojo švietimo centras) coordinates nationwide career and vocational guidance services for young people. The centre is also responsible for assistance to schools and other institutions including the training of career guidance staff. It coordinated a national ESF project (2010-15) for the development and management of a vocational guidance system in general education and VET.
Local PESs provide career and vocational guidance services for job seekers drawing upon skills anticipation outputs[xi]. They organise career information events where current labour market conditions and employment prospects are presented, based on Lithuanian Employment Service forecasts and outputs of the employment barometer.
In addition to the above services, outputs of skills anticipation are also disseminated directly to the public through the national web portal on learning opportunities known as AIKOS. The primary targets are students, employees, employers and guidance counsellors who are provided with information on education and training programmes and providers, qualifications, education and employment statistics, descriptions of occupations, as well as self-assessment personality tests.
It is difficult to assess the uses of skills anticipation results by the target groups. As skills anticipation processes are relatively new in the country, time is needed to gauge whether the information is having an impact. There is evidence, however, that in higher education the results of skills anticipation can be influential.
Please cite this document as: Cedefop.(2022). Skills anticipation in Lithuania. Skills intelligence: data insights. URL [accessed DATE]
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[i]The Government of the Republic of Lithuania. (2016).
[ii]European Commission. (2022).
[iii]Graduates from university and non-university (college) studies, different study cycles (Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, integrated studies), and vocational studies.
[vi]European Commission. (2022).
[vii]Due to the pandemic, the latest surveys took place online (European Commission, 2022).
[viii]European Commission. (2022).