National Project: Forecasting of Developments of Labour Market Needs
2014-2015, with implementation of some activities until 2020
The instrument has been formally concluded, but forecasting activities will continue until 2020.
Forecasting of labour market is an aspect of employment policy.
The instrument aims to address skill mismatch in the economy. The project implements statistical models as tools for systematic monitoring of labour market needs, developments in skills mismatch, and skills supply/demand ratios at regional level, as well as with respect to graduates.
The instrument maps labour market demand and supply, and measures the degree of matching in order to inform policy decisions within the government (at the national and regional level).
Aim of policy instrument
Main responsible body
Central Office for Labour, Social Affairs and Family
Central Office for Labour, Social Affairs and Family is legally defined to be in charge of forecasting of labour market needs. The project itself is implemented by a private data agency called Trexima. Professional associations and employers are consulted and involved in the data collection process.
European Social Fund, Operation Programme Employment and Social Inclusion are the funding sources. The cost of the instrument is approximately €2.4 million.
Beneficiaries include public policy makers (labour market policy, social policy, education and training policy), Public Employment Service, employers and employers’ associations, schools and universities. The instrument provides respective beneficiaries with labour market intelligence that facilitates more informed decision-making. Policy makers use labour market forecasting to adapt labour market and training policy (Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs; Public Employment Services) and education and training policy (Ministry of Education). Employers benefit from the practice by being able to influence and benefit from a more favourable structure of secondary vocational education. Schools and universities can reflect the output of forecasting in the structure of their programmes.
Use of labour market intelligence
Forecasting is based on extensive micro-data collection and subsequent analysis of labour market demand, supply and mismatch at the level of regions, occupations and for young graduates. The analysis results in a document, which entails detailed information about expected development of occupations within sectors and regions. This output, for example, informs preparation of lists of fields of study in under/oversupply, which are used by regions to govern the structure of secondary VET.
Project is funded by ESF. No special incentives were used within the initiative.
Frequency of updates
Prognoses are prepared on an annual basis.
No major adjustment was needed, as the forecasting project was preceded by another national project that focused in detail on designing the methodology for labour market and skill forecasting and the underlying data collection.
Mistrust or lack of general awareness of the project's functions. Methodology has not been widely discussed with the wider expert base, e.g. academics in the field. Low capacity of some stakeholders (e.g. regions) hampers full use of the instrument.
The interest of stakeholders in direct need of the project outcome.
In the Slovak policy context the project is novel, but in various other countries forecasting is routinely done.
Evidence of effectiveness
The estimated level of impact of the instrument is so far moderate. Some results are directly used for policy-making (e.g. regulation of IVET), but other aspects of analysis are at the moment less promoted (e.g. attractiveness of tertiary fields of study). The analytical outputs serve as partial input into various processes in the skill governance, such as the preparation of the lists of fields of study in an under/oversupply. For full impact, increased capacity of the involved actors and stakeholders as "end-users" to work critically with relatively complex data might be needed.
Engagement of stakeholders
The law describes the role of different stakeholders, such as validation of forecasting outputs in National VET Council and their use by regions, etc.
The project uses standard econometric methods to forecast labour market developments, and also includes qualitative elements. The outputs are validated and used by bodies within the Slovak skill governance structure, which is context-specific.
Forecasting activities have been planned until 2020. The continuation of the project is unclear after that.