Population ageing, demographic decline and learners’ study preferences are posing major challenges to Slovakia’s economy. Its labour force will not be able to meet labour market needs.
Selected results of labour market supply and demand forecasts up to 2025 presented at an Education Policy Institute (Education Ministry) workshop earlier this year aimed at informing policy-makers about this risk. A probabilistic model, estimating supply of secondary and tertiary education graduates by field of study, indicates alarming developments (see Figures 1 and 2 below).
Figure 1 Numbers of secondary education graduates by field of study until 2025
Figure 2 Numbers of tertiary education graduates (1st and 2nd cycle) by field of study until 2025
Although the labour market lacks graduates from technical studies and their wages are competitive, learner preference for social science, including humanities, is clearly dominant. For a very open and industry-focused Slovak economy − in particular mechanical and electrical engineering − this development creates a serious challenge. Policy interventions are heavily discussed, with a variety of recommendations: from strict regulations by applying numerus clausus for some studies to a softer approach based on financial stimuli for learners and improved career guidance and counselling. It is a hard task for policy-makers to find an appropriate answer, but inactivity is out of the question.
Source : Lubyová, M. ; Štefánik, M. et al. (2015). TRH PRÁCE NA SLOVENSKU 2016+ [Labour market in Slovakia 2016+]. Bratislava: Slovak Academy of Sciences and Comenius University.