National adult education anticipation
Started in 2017
The target group is explicitly adult education and networks around the education of adults.
The policy goal is to increase the knowledge of the (current and future) skills required for the adult population in different businesses. That information is needed to make better informed policy decisions at all levels of the educational system, to better meet the needs of labour market. The anticipation tries also to increase the level of expertise and know-how in Finland in general. For that reason it is not only reactive but proactive. The rationale is to adjust the supply and the content of education to better meet the need of industry in a proactive manner. The anticipation material is used also by the students to make better informed decisions and by teachers to plan the content of their teaching.
Mismatch is a part of the goals, but the adult education is a boarder concept.
Main responsible body
Finnish National Agency of Education (under the Ministry of Education and Culture)
Network of experts from ministries, labour market organisations and educational institutions. Students are also represented in the network. Each expert provides insights about the educational needs and how changes are affecting skills requirements. The anticipation is funded through the budget of the Finnish National Agency of Education, who takes care of the practical work. The Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for the implementation, to the extent that it decides entrance to education, the number of the students etc, but that is carried out in collaboration with educational institutes. The Ministry is responsible for controlling the agency in general, and since anticipation is part of the law-based responsibilities of the agency, other officials could also participate in the controlling of the agency. It is important to remember that the agency may decide the model for the anticipation quite freely in collaboration with its stakeholders.
The funding is part of the National Agency's regular activity and total budget. The funding information for this individual activity is not available.
The intended beneficiaries are the adult population, educational institutions and the industry. The piloting has started in transport and logistics sectors.
Use of labour market intelligence
Improved insights into skills needs in certain sectors can be utilised to improve planning of education and training - both quantities and the content of the education.
The anticipation is funded by the agency budget funding. Network partners are not funded, but they are expected to collaborate because of their own interest.
Frequency of updates
The cycle of anticipation is four years, but the outcomes are used and distributed on an ongoing basis.
The instrument is in the piloting phase, so it is too early to assess what adjustments might be made. Compared to earlier work, more recommendations are made and more attention is paid to cross-cutting issues like learning environment. For example, anticipation gives insights into how digital learning environments can be better used.
The first barrier is how to utilize the created information. So far only a minor part of the funding of the education is based on the result. For that reason the educational institute may offer degrees in the fields, where there is low demand for labour while other sectors are lacking of labour. Even though that could be predicted, the changes take place slowly since educational institutes have no adequate incentives to take employability into account. Another barrier is the resource constraint. For instance, big data methods could be used in the anticipation work, but there are not sufficient resources.
The success factor is bringing together all relevant stakeholders in the planning phase. That enables the use of all the relevant information.
So far in the pilot, no monitoring information is available. In general, anticipation is produced as background material and its use is not systematically monitored. It is hard to estimate to what extent the anticipation has affected the content, number of starting places etc.
The innovation is the use of a wide network of stakeholders and the combination of different methodologies, like literature review, Delphi, workshops etc. Another innovation is to incorporate both industry and cross-cutting perspectives. This is meant to provide a very wide perspective for skills needed in the selected sectors.
Evidence of effectiveness
There is no evidence so far. An unexpected benefit has been that teachers have used the outcomes of the process to inform the planning of their courses. To keep within the constraints of funding, the use of modern digital tools like big data has had to be limited.
Engagement of stakeholders
It is important that different stakeholders will commit to the process. That is mainly based on the long culture of that kind of collaboration in Finland and the need of all actors to get better information for decision making.
The working model for this approach is transferable. The success would depend mainly on the kind of culture for collaboration that exists between different stakeholders in any given country.
Through legislation, there is a future commitment to the anticipation process. The model or methods used for anticipation may however change over time.