Overview of the Polish approach
In Poland, skills assessment activities are a core element of the Study of Human Capital in Poland (Bilans Kapitału Ludzkiego, BKL). In addition, forecasting and foresight activities are also undertaken. A number of institutional bodies take part in producing data and intelligence for skills anticipation in Poland, such as the Central Statistical Office of Poland (Główny Urząd Statystyczny, GUS), Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (Polska Agencja Rozwoju Przedsiębiorczości, PARP), the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy (Ministerstwo Rodziny, Pracy i Polityki Społecznej, MPiPS), Ministry of National Education (Ministerstwo Edukacji Narodowej, MEN), and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego, MNiSW).
The aim of skills anticipation in Poland is to support the work of the PES and provide labour market data and intelligence for policymakers at the national, regional and local levels. Results from the skills monitoring activities are also used to inform vocational education and training institutions about skills demand so that they can alter their course provision. Due to the skills shortages and recruitment difficulties they experience, employers are reportedly increasingly interested in skills anticipation findings. In the future the aim is to provide jobseekers with more data to inform their employment choices.
There is no legislation in place specifically regulating skills anticipation. The following can be identified as pertinent legislation to skills anticipation.
According to the Act on the Promotion of Employment and Labour Market Institutions, the obligation to diagnose the demand for skills and qualifications in regional and local labour markets rests with the PES. These assessments are not yet systematic or regular and they do not always follow a uniform methodology. (1) The Monitoring of deficit and surplus occupations undertaken by regional (voivodship) employment offices is a task for regional government defined by the Act on the Promotion of Employment and Labour Market Institutions (Journal of Laws of 2013, pos. 674, as amended). (2)
The national lifelong learning strategy – Perspective on Lifelong Learning – was adopted by the government in 2013. Its implementation is strongly linked to skills anticipation with its operational aims focused on developing a transparent and coherent national qualification system (and providing education and training tailored to economic needs and changes in the labour market. As such, the strategy forms an important element in developing a skills anticipation system, but it does not create one.
The MPiPS is the key authority regarding skills anticipation. It works closely with a range of stakeholders (such as the voivodship employment offices, PARP, and a number of ministries [such as MEN, and MNiSW]). It should be noted that the Ministries and agencies (including the GUS and its relevant analyses) often work independently in a non-coordinated manner.
The role of stakeholders
A number of stakeholders are involved in skills anticipation activities, including employer organisations, education and VET providers, and the PES (which is required to diagnose needs for skills and qualifications in regional and local labour markets). The labour market policy implemented by public authorities is based on dialogue and cooperation with social partners, in particular the labour market councils, established at a national, regional and local level. Labour market councils are composed of representatives of employers’ organisations, trade unions, and non-governmental organisations. Stakeholders’ involvement in skills anticipation activities includes discussing findings, as well as applying for funding and implementing projects aimed at skills anticipation in different sectors of the economy (more information on Sectoral Skills Councils is provided in section “Other skills anticipation practices” below). A number of stakeholders are involved in the collection, analysis and dissemination of data and intelligence from skills anticipation activities, including ministries, the PES (regional and local offices), employers, and education and VET providers.
Another example of stakeholder coordination in policymaking includes experts from the BKL study participating in advisory roles on employment and education committees, such as the Committee of Scientific Policy (Komitet Polityki Naukowej). The new initiatives, such as the BKL study, Sectoral Skills Councils and the Barometer of Professions (Barometr Zawodów), aim to increase collaboration among relevant institutions in the process of skills monitoring and forecasting.
At regional and local levels, skills anticipation activities are well coordinated, though they rely on imperfect monitoring data. (3) Data and intelligence are disseminated as part of the process of stakeholder engagement that takes place at these levels. Increasingly, methodologies and methods used in skills anticipation at a national level are being shared with, and taken up by, regional stakeholders. Stakeholders also play an important role in sharing methodologies and methods, so activities can be replicated at a regional and local level. The publication of tools and guidance on diagnosing the needs for skills and qualifications in regional and local labour markets by the MPiPS in 2010 is an example of such collaborative efforts. (4)
An overview of collaboration between regional labour offices, employers, and other labour market institutions demonstrated that the MPiPS, the Centre for Human Resources Development (Centrum Rozwoju Zasobów Ludzkich, CRZL), and the Governmental Centre for Strategic Studies (Rządowe Centrum Studiów Strategicznych) were the most active players among the government institutions, though the two latter centres have been abolished. (5) The MPiPS is the main body responsible for skills anticipation, and collaborates with stakeholders through different fora such as intergovernmental task forces, collaborative projects and initiatives, and Social Dialogue Councils (Rady Dialogu Społecznego) (6). However, there is no structured involvement of stakeholders (particularly the social partners), for example through a committee with decision-making responsibilities on the design/implementation of skills anticipation activities at national level, or the systematic use of relevant intelligence in policymaking. Nonetheless, the role of social partners is more prominent at sectoral level, while the development of the Sectoral Skills Councils can be expected to further strengthen their role at that level.
Where intelligence and data from skills anticipation is gathered, it is widely disseminated and publicly available on the web. It is mainly targeted at regional and local stakeholders who are considered to have the capacity to influence change. Data from national studies, such as the employment forecasts (Prognozowanie Zatrudnienia), are intended for government ministries, local government, the PES, employers’ organisations, trade unions, universities and research institutes. Anonymised micro-data from the BKL are publicly available so others are able to undertake secondary data analysis.
Funding and resources
Skills anticipation in Poland is undergoing substantial changes designed to improve employment forecasts at national and regional levels. These changes are implemented with significant support from the ESF, which introduced a number of projects described below.
The Monitoring of deficit and surplus professions and occupations (Monitoring zawodów deficytowych i nadwyżkowych, MZDIN) is a statutory task of regional and local government, and is funded by them.
In Poland, skills anticipation activities are funded by the government and the ESF, for example:
The project, ‘Analysis of processes on the Polish labour market and in the area of social integration in the context of the economic policy’ (Analiza procesów zachodzących na polskim rynku pracy i obszarze integracji społecznej w kontekście prowadzonej polityki gospodarczej), was jointly run by the CRZL and the Institute of Labour and Social Affairs
(Instytut Pracy i Spraw Socjalnych, IPiSS). In addition, between 2009 and 2014, a new employment forecast tool was developed for employment forecasting. In 2014 employment forecasts to 2022
disaggregated by occupation, sector and region were released. These initiatives received ESF support; (7)
The ESF has also provided funding for BKL, which over the period 2010-2015 informed education and training providers on the demand for skills (see section 2.4). BKL is co-funded by the ESF with a grant for the period 2010-2015; a second grant for 2016-2023 has been awarded.
The Barometr Zawodów is funded by the MPiPS and information is disseminated with support from the ESF;
A high reliance on European funding places a question mark over the sustainability of some of these changes. Some ESF funded developments may be discontinued once the funding comes to an end. For instance, the sustainability of the forecasting tool, the Prognozowanie Zatrudnienia, and the forecasts beyond 2022 remain uncertain. Nonetheless, there is evidence of further integration of activities taking place at national, regional, and local levels.