A large-scale national project has been launched to integrate the jobs and skills forecasting system (OSKA) and the professional qualifications system into one synergistic entity: the skills and professional qualifications system OsKuS.

The current professional qualifications system consists of a catalogue of qualifications, professional qualification standards, and awarding of professional certificates. For 20 years, it has served well as a mediator between education and labour market. However, in today’s fast-changing world, employers often look for a certain set of skills instead of a representative of a specific profession. The system has become too rigid to respond quickly to the changes in the labour market and in society. It also does not adapt well to new flexible learning options, such as microcredentials and non-linear learning paths.

In the project, OSKA methodology will be further developed to include region-based forecasts, big data mining and analytical capacity, and to improve the online visualisation and publication of OSKA data. The existing profession-based qualifications will be replaced by skills profiles, and digital solutions will be created for OsKuS, including registers of skills and certificates, granting of professional qualifications, skills conformity assessment, analysis and services.

According to Külli All, Head of the skills and qualifications policy at the education ministry, the proposed reform is fundamental. ‘A professional qualifications system based on universal skills and their development will be created instead of the profession-oriented system. Its digital solutions [are to] become a tool for people making work or study choices, as well as for employers, trainers, curriculum developers, and study and career counsellors.’

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Please cite this news item as: ReferNet Estonia; Cedefop (2023). Estonia: skills and professional qualifications system reform. National news on VET