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Observatory of Occupations of the Central PES

Policy Instrument

Observatory of Occupations of the Central PES

Observatorio de las Ocupaciones del SEPE
Spain

Description

Timespan

The identification of training needs of occupations is summarized into an annual report on forecasting and identification of skill needs (Informe annual de prospección y detección de necesidades formativas). This report has been published since 2015. However, the Observatory of Occupations was created in 1988, with the name of permanent observatory of the occupations evolution (Observatorio Permanente del Comportamiento de las Ocupaciones).

Stage

Fully operational

Foundations

Policy area

The instrument consists mainly of qualitative research, in order to identify the skills that are demanded for concrete occupations in the labour market.

Policy goal

The instrument addresses the problem of skills mismatch in the labour market. The policy goal is that the training delivered within a ALMP framework is correctly matched with labour market demands. Thus, the final goal is to improve workers' employability and competitiveness in the economy. The rationale is to carry out qualitative research about selected occupations in order to identify skill shortages and the main changes in skill demands (due to technological change, changes in regulation, etc.). This information should be taken into account for the design of training provision, within ALMP. Training provision within ALMP is structured through training courses for unemployed and professional certificates (VET managed by the PES).

Mismatch

Explicitly designed to address skill mismatch

It is the main goal of the Observatory.

Administrative level

National

Main responsible body

Ministry of Employment and Social Security, through the Central PES (SEPE). SEPE’s information brochure about the observatory in English is available here.

Stakeholders

Ministry of Employment and Social Security: Main responsible body; provides funding for the Central PES.
Central PES: Responsible body (the observatory is a department within Central PES); funding (allocation of resources across departments).
Regional PES: takes into account the information provided by the Observatory to implement training actions.
General Employment Council: follows the observatory conclusions to design training for employed and unemployed workers (as stated by Art 2 de RD 694/2017).
Foundation for Training and Employment (Government body responsible for life long training for employed workers): takes into account the information provided by the Observatory to implement its training strategies (together with other sources of skills intelligence).
Education authorities (General Council of Vocational Training): takes into account the information provided by the Observatory to update the VET provision (together with other sources of skills intelligence).
Social partners: plays a role in advising and consulting about the skills that are needed for the researched occupations.
Training providers: adapts the training courses that they offer to the findings published by the Observatory of Occupations.
Education centres (universities and reference centres of VET): plays a role in advising and consulting about the skills that are needed for the researched occupations.
Universities: takes into account the information provided by the Observatory to update the contents of their diplomas.
Qualified workers and Human Resources managers: plays a role in advising and consulting about the skills that are needed for the researched occupations.

Funding

The source of the funds is the budget of Central PES, which is within the budget of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security. No concrete data is available at the moment about the exact share of the Central PES budget that is delivered to the Observatory of Occupations. The Observatory has a team of around 70 workers. 10 work full time on Central PES HQ at Madrid, while the remaining 60 work part time at the regional network distributed across all Spanish provinces.

Intended beneficiaries

Beneficiaries are workers that receive training within the ALMP framework. University and VET students are indirect beneficiaries, as the design of their diplomas should be improved through the findings of the Observatory.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

Approximately 200 occupations that are growing at a quick pace are selected every year, using quantitative data of contracts. Other occupations are selected as well following sectoral research reports carried out by the observatory. The skill gaps of these approximately 200 selected occupations are analysed by regional groups of the regional network of the observatory, who contact experts from the observatory network. Experts include: employers, HR managers, trades unions and business associations representatives, high skilled workers, excellence centres of TVET training and universities. At least three experts are interviewed to define the skills gaps of each occupation. Concrete skill gaps are recorded into a database and published in a “Yearly Report on forecasting and identification of skill needs”. In addition, a parallel process is carried out to contrast this information. The observatory collects information on job offers published on the Internet by the employers for these occupations. The information of both methods should match. Occupations are based on the National Classification of Occupations (CNO 94). The level of detail of the occupations studied by the observatory reaches 8 digits. Skills identified can be specific for the occupation or transversal (legal knowledge, languages, general ITC skills). The research takes into account if there are variations for the skills needed for the same occupation across different provinces.

Financial schemes

The Observatory of Occupations is funded through the Central PES budget.

Frequency of updates

The content of the instrument is updated every year, when new occupations are selected to be researched. “Yearly Report on forecasting and identification of skill needs” is published every year. So far, three reports have been published. The reports in Spanish and in English summary of the 2018 edition are available here.

Development

The approach has not been adapted or adjusted during the implementation of the policy instrument.

Barriers

The dissemination of results and the information found by the observatory. This information is not as known as it could be among employment counsellors, teachers or unemployed. This lack of dissemination also limits the extent information is taken into account in the design of contents of training courses for employment.

Success factors

The participation of a broad set of interviewed agents to provide qualitative information; the relevance of the experts that provide qualitative information; the use of a homogeneous methodology, which enables comparisons across time and between regions; the information obtained is checked with job offers published on the internet; and the connection of the Observatory with other authorities within the Government, who can make a good use of the findings of the observatory.

Monitoring

The main indicator is the number of occupations studied every year. This is around 200 occupations per year.

Innovativeness

Slightly innovative

The instrument is structured through a double methodology: first, interviews to experts; second, contrast of the information obtained from interviews with job offers published on the Internet.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

No evidence of the effectiveness and impact of the instrument is available, as no effectiveness study has been carried out. There is no information about to what extent the information found by the observatory is applied by employment counsellors or to which degree is taken into account in the design of the contents of training courses. Similarly, there is no feedback to know with certainty to what extent the information found has an impact on employment indicators.

Engagement of stakeholders

The observatory has a regional network structured through province groups. Each group includes staff from the observatory and experts to be interviewed (employers, HR managers, trade unions and business associations representatives, high skilled workers, excellence centres of TVET training and universities). Interviews with group members are carried out on a yearly basis. Each expert is not interviewed every year, interviews rotate among experts of the networks.

Transferability

Easily transferable

The qualitative methodology of research of skills needs by occupation can be transferred to other national and regional PES. This methodology is based on the interview of a broad set of agents (social partners, HR managers, qualified workers, university and VET centres), which provides more complete information through several perspectives.

Sustainability

The instrument is permanent and has a central role in the system of identification of skills needs in Spain.