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National Project: Forecasting of Developments of Labour Market Needs

Policy Instrument

National Project: Forecasting of Developments of Labour Market Needs

Národný projekt: Prognózy vývoja na trhu práce
Slovakia

Description

Timespan

2014-2015, with implementation of some activities until 2020

Stage

Other

The instrument has been formally concluded, but forecasting activities will continue until 2020.

Foundations

Policy area

Forecasting of labour market is an aspect of employment policy.

Policy goal

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.

Mismatch

Explicitly designed to address skill mismatch

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).

Administrative level

National

Main responsible body

Central Office for Labour, Social Affairs and Family

Stakeholders

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.

Funding

European Social Fund, Operation Programme Employment and Social Inclusion are the funding sources. The cost of the instrument is approximately €2.4 million.

Intended beneficiaries

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.

Processes

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.

Financial schemes

Project is funded by ESF. No special incentives were used within the initiative.

Frequency of updates

Prognoses are prepared on an annual basis.

Development

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.

Barriers

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.

Success factors

The interest of stakeholders in direct need of the project outcome.

Monitoring

Indicators defined within the project are set-up at the level of the number of outputs (i.e. analyses/reports) produced. These have been formally fulfilled. Quality or impact in terms of use of forecasting results is not mapped.

Innovativeness

Very innovative

In the Slovak policy context the project is novel, but in various other countries forecasting is routinely done.

Sustainability

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.

Transferability

Easily transferable

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.

Sustainability

Forecasting activities have been planned until 2020. The continuation of the project is unclear after that.