National Project III-2/A: Education and Training for Labour Market
January 2010 - June 2014
This particular project has been finalised due to being funded by ESF. However, education and training for the unemployed continues to be provided through different national projects.
Education and training is provided to jobseekers in the framework of active labour market policies.
The project provides a funding scheme, as well as a project platform for the provision of training (change of skill profiles, up-skilling, re-skilling) for the unemployed, who find themselves possessing skills not required by employers. The specific policy goals are:
- Providing job seekers with new vocational skills and practical experience for the purposes of gaining employment in a matching occupation.
- Facilitating the entry and re-entry to the labour market after breaks in employment, by gaining skills that correspond with current labour market needs and with the needs of specific target groups.
Both the legal basis found in the background of the project rationale and the project documentation state explicitly that the principle goal is to address skill mismatch (or to prevent/mitigate its negative effects).
Aim of policy instrument
Main responsible body
Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family
The Central Office for Labour, Social Affairs and Family (national) is responsible for the implementation of the project, ensures management and coordination of the activities as well as communication with the managing authority (regional offices).
Regional Offices of the Public Employment Service (7 regions) (Labour Offices) ensure the implementation of the practice in accordance with their territorial jurisdiction specified in the Act on Employment Services.
The cost of instrument is €10 million. The policy is funded by European Social Fund: Operation Programme Employment and Social Inclusion.
Unemployed with problems matching skills to current labour market needs. They are expected to benefit in the form of gaining new skills or qualifications.
Use of labour market intelligence
LMSI was not sufficiently used to inform the project. The project did not explicitly rely on robust data to inform decisions on course provision.
Funding was given to labour offices based on the number of participants. No special incentive scheme existed.
Frequency of updates
No updates were envisaged or implemented.
No apparent adjustment took place in the course of the implementation of the project. The main goal in terms of the number of participants was not achieved, a much lower number of unemployed were targeted by the tool (less than 50%).
Several factors could have contributed to setbacks in the implementation, among them are delays in receiving funding, which might have deterred labour offices to use the tool more extensively. Furthermore, Slovak legislation sets quite strict criteria for being able to participate in the retraining project, i.e. a participant must have already gained upper secondary education, which prohibits participation to a large number of unemployed who might be in most need of assistance. The other factors that can lower the impact are: differences in skill assessment mechanisms, as well as social groups with no or low interest in further training. An evaluation that would identify the barriers was not performed.
Among the main factors that contribute to the impact of the project are: national scope and implementation by public institutions, legislative background, and direct reach to target groups.
Progress was measured in terms of the number of jobseekers participating in the instrument. However, the effectiveness of the tool during the process of implementation was not rigorously evaluated.
ETLM draws on the traditional notion of “re-qualification”. In this sense, it should not be regarded as completely novel to the Slovak system.
Evidence of effectiveness
The impact of the instrument is mixed. Evaluation of the instrument by Stefanik (2014) found different effectiveness results for different regions in Slovakia, and an overall negative effect of the measure for the whole of Slovakia. The author attributes this to problems in the implementation of the measure (e.g. estimating treatment effects of a training programme in Slovakia using propensity score matching). Only less than 50% of originally planned participants were targeted by the tool.
Engagement of stakeholders
Social partners were not explicitly involved in this measure. Key actors were labour offices, accredited institutions to provide courses, and the unemployed. The training did not have direct link to employers.
The concept of ETLM follows exactly the related legislation. Therefore, the project design as a detailed framework would not be easily transferable to a context outside the legislation. However, the actual principle of targeted re-skilling of the unemployed can be regarded as easily transferable.
The instrument has continued in a changed format in the framework of following national projects in the field of re-qualification, but investment in education and training for the unemployed remains very low in Slovakia relative to international standards. An example of the continuation of the instrument is the National Project "Restart", which provides education and training to long-term unemployed.