Practical training in the employer’s facilities
The instrument is operational since 2008.
It deals with integration of unemployed in the labour market by method of training.
The goal of the instrument is to increase the unemployed person’s competitiveness and integration into the labour market by adjusting their skills and competences to employer demand. This is done by practical training of the employee in areas needed by the employer by organising training in the employer’s facilities. By training the unemployed person in the premises of employer, the level of compliance between skills and requirements is the highest. The trainee can start his employment as soon as the training ends, and both parties can be sure about the result of the process.
It is an instrument targeting unemployed people, whose skills and qualifications do not meet the demand of the labour market.
Aim of policy instrument
Main responsible body
State Employment Agency (SEA)
The State Employment Agency (SEA) manages the application of the instrument through the network of its territorial offices. SEA also has the functions of coordination/lead; guidance services; linking jobs with job seekers; cooperation with employers in providing services for job-seekers; skills anticipation and active labour market policy measures.
Ministry of Welfare is responsible for the governance and supervision of the implementation of the instrument.
Enterprises are involved as stakeholders responsible for the provision of workplaces.
The instrument is funded by the European Social Fund and national budget. The major part is funded from the ESF. The ESF programme will end in 2021 and the continuation of instrument will depend on political will, resources available in the budget and EU programmes of the next planning period. Precise amount of ESF funding is not available, because within the framework of the ESF project "Support for the Education of the Unemployed", the SEA also implements other measures.
1. Unemployed people whose skills and qualifications do not meet demand of the employer. Unemployed people who have expressed a wish to participate in the Practical training must be registered in the State Employment Agency (SEA), and comply with the criteria for participation:
- are not involved in other measures organized by the Agency.
- have not been employed by the respective employer at least 12 months before engaging in the practical training.
- have completed the previous practical training (including Practical training in the priority sectors) at least two years ago. This restriction does not apply to cases when participation in the Practical training was interrupted due to reasons beyond the unemployed person’s control and was shorter that a half of the planned time of participation.
- have not learned the professional competencies to be taught in this Practical training during the previous Practical training (including practical training in priority sectors).
- comply with the qualification requirements set by the employer.
2. Employer will have an employee, whose skills and competences will match the demands of labour market.
Use of labour market intelligence
The commission established by the Minister for Welfare evaluates the success of instrument at least once a year, and determines the fields in which appropriate action needs to be carried out, according to the demand of the labour market and development forecasts concerning the national economy sectors. The data on unemployment and its trends are provided by regional SEA branch offices.
Making a decision on providing de minimis support, the SEA provides the following financial support to the employer for carrying out the practical training:
1. Subsidies of the monthly wages to the unemployed person for full work time in proportion to the days worked during the month: €160 during the first two months of the period; €120 during the second two months of the period; €90 during the final two months of the period.
2. Subsidies for compulsory state social insurance payments from the subsidised part of the wage if the employer, who has signed a contract on implementation of Practical training, is a society or a foundation with a purpose to provide support to people with disabilities and employs the unemployed people in the following professions – assistant or companion to people with disabilities, hearing impaired translator, Latvian sign language interpreter, teacher of an interest group or specialised teacher for persons with disabilities. The total number of the unemployed participating in the practical training must not exceed 50% of the total number of people employed by the society or foundation.
3. Subsidy of monthly wage (equal to 50% of the minimum monthly wage established in Latvia) for the work supervisor working with the unemployed people undergoing the Practical training. One work supervisor may supervise the work of a maximum of two unemployed people.
4. Expenses for health examinations in accordance with laws and regulations on compulsory health examinations, not more than €28.46.
5. One time subsidy for personal protective equipment in accordance with laws and regulations at the beginning of work, not more than €50.
6. One time subsidy for adjusting workplaces for unemployed people with disabilities, not more than €711 per workplace.
The unemployed people have a possibility to receive financial compensation of up to €100 per month for regional mobility support, for covering the transport expenses from the declared place of residence to the location of Practical training in the employer’s facilities and back, or compensation for rent of living space or residence halls expenses in the following cases:
- The place of Practical training in the employer’s facilities is located at least 20 km from the declared place of residence.
- The unemployed person has been declared in the indicated place of residence for at least six months.
- The unemployed person sends a submission to the local office of the Agency.
Employer provides the unemployed person participating in Practical training with:
- A monthly wage that, along with the subsidy, constitutes the wage specified in the application, but not less than the amount of national minimum monthly wage.
- Mandatory State social insurance contributions.
- Acquisition of professional competence by organising the required theoretical and practical training and basic knowledge on the professional duties.
- Qualified work manager that assists the unemployed person in acquiring the professional abilities, skills and knowledge. A person is considered a qualified work manager if they have an education or more than two years of experience in the respective profession for which the training is organised.
- The ability to individually perform the professional duties and tasks, and after the completion of Practical training issues a written certification with a descriptive evaluation of the acquired professional abilities, skills and knowledge.
Frequency of updates
Review of the instrument's effectiveness is performed annually, but the progress report and employment data input is done on a more regular basis.
The main approach is constant, yet the sectors in which the training can take place is revised and approved at least once a year by a special commission of experts established by the Ministry of Welfare, which includes sectoral experts, representatives of responsible ministries and social partners. Two years ago the concept of training was shifted and the name of the instrument was changed from "Practical training" to "Practical training in the employer’s facilities" to represent the new approach. Previously there was also the list of sectors, where such training can be carried out, but now the approach has been changed and all sectors are open for necessary training. With the previous approach the unemployed people were trained either at SEA or its subcontractors (educational institutions), but new system (on the spot training) allows for a more practical approach.
Currently there are no known barriers or complications with this instrument.
The main success factor is the speed at which the person can be employed after the completion of training. On-site training allows the unemployed person to acquire the practical knowledge necessary for the particular position. The close collaboration between future employer and unemployed person during practical training also plays a major role for the success of the instrument. The shift of training focus from training providers (certificated and approved training centres) to real employers was the key success factor. This allowed the employee demand/supply chain to be shortened and gives the necessary practice for the trainee, and such a practice is often required by employer during search for workforce.
Evaluation is by the State Employment Agency and the Ministry of Welfare. The instrument is evaluated once a year by a commission. The indicator of success of this instrument is the percentage of employed people who continue to work after the completion of training. There are no other directly linked measurable indicators to this instrument.
The core innovation was the shortening of employee demand/supply chain: on-spot training gives necessary practice for trainee, which is often required by employer during search for workforce.
Evidence of effectiveness
Reports indicate high effectiveness of the measures in increasing employment and filling the labour market gap. In 2016, 178 unemployed people were involved in practical training for a total of 100 employers. It was planned to train 274 unemployed people in 2017, but by August 218 people have already been employed.
Engagement of stakeholders
Cabinet of Ministers Regulation No. 75 (adopted 25 January 2011) sets out that:
The commission established by the Minister for Welfare shall, at least once a year, determine the fields of training, educational programmes, professions and social and professional basic skills, in which, according to the demand of the labour market and development forecasts concerning the national economy sectors, training of unemployed persons, persons seeking employment and persons subject to the risk of unemployment needs to be carried out, as well as the thematic fields of the measures for raising the competitiveness. The representatives and experts of the Ministry of Welfare, the Ministry of Economics, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Agency, the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments, the Employers’ Confederation of Latvia, the Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia, as well as, if necessary, other competent State, local government, higher education and science institutions or associations and foundations) shall be included in the composition of the commission.
The instrument is easily fully transferable, because it does not require special preparation, infrastructure, complicated legal framework or additional staff training.
The instrument works well and all the necessary governmental infrastructure is in place. Instrument can be easily adjusted to labour market demands and changes in political documents. As the instrument currently is funded by ESF projects, it will run until 2021. After that it will depend on projects within the next planning period or on budgetary constraints.