The national ReCONECT project (2020-23) aims at creating mechanisms for collecting and using data to match vocational education and training (VET) better with the rapidly changing labour market needs.

The project is implemented by the National Employment Agency and its partners: the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, the National Institute for Scientific Research in Labour and Social Protection, the Ministry of Education and its Executive Unit for the Financing of Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation, and the National Centre for TVET Development (NCTVETD).

The main project deliverables, most of which are ready to be launched, include:

  • a forecasting mechanism for labour market needs (competences, qualifications):  short-, medium- and long-term. The mechanism, developed by NCTVETD, includes a company questionnaire and a database populated with the data from 5 693 companies that provide vocational training (formal partners of IVET schools). The quantitative data are enriched with face-to-face interviews conducted in 673 companies. The results were presented in a pilot study;
  • a mechanism for monitoring VET and university graduate transition to employment. The mechanism includes questionnaires of 24 306 recent IVET graduates supported by 1 384 face-to-face interviews. The results were presented in a pilot study;
  • a VET policy evaluation mechanism.  It includes 99 indicators (contextual and IVET-related, including qualitative). The indicators were applied to the existing 2017-22 IVET learner data, including qualitative data from the Integrated Information System of Education in Romania from the Ministry of Education and the National Institute for Statistics. Specific target questionnaires were developed on the evaluation of practical training and IVET programmes, and the data were collected from IVET learners, teachers, parents and companies. The report (forthcoming) includes all indicator-related findings, as well as synthetic data and evaluation of answers from 12 718 IVET learners, 1 429 teachers, 2 376 parents and 132 company representatives.

The mechanisms are designed to improve transitions from education and training to the labour market. They will support monitoring and evaluating public policies on anticipating skill needs, training and active employment measures.

The data are stored in a newly created integrated online platform. The platform supports the synchronisation of the databases and testing, updating and monitoring of the three mechanisms. Operational methodologies are embedded in the platform to generate valid interpretations.

The platform was developed to create synergies between the VET policies and programmes, and their relevance to the labour market. Once launched, it will be the first platform to offer a systemic approach by linking all databases on graduates from initial VET, higher education (university) and CVET.

Overall, the project supports an analysis of the efficiency of the education and training system from the perspective of skill provision in accordance with the requirements of the labour market and adapting to its dynamics. It also helps to facilitate employability of graduates and to reduce their unemployment in the future.

The project is partly financed by the European Union.

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Please cite this news item as: ReferNet Romania; Cedefop (2023). ReCONECT project anticipates and monitors labour market needs, and evaluates VET policies. National news on VET


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