Description

Timespan

2012 - till now

Stage
Fully operational

Foundations

Policy area

Skills, vacancies and training matching website.

Policy goal

The policy goal of Education and Work is to create a user-friendly tool communicating to the general public the concepts of the National Register of Qualifications, namely the Vocational Qualifications. It also serves as an intermediary platform connecting information on skills and corresponding work opportunities. The portal provides users with the opportunity to match their skills and qualifications with corresponding job titles and vacant positions. It also works the other way around: giving information on available training courses, exams and certificates for those interested in gaining skills required for specific jobs.

Mismatch
Explicitly designed to address skill mismatch

The website is a communication platform between job seekers, employers and training providers.

Aim of policy instrument
Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Národní ústav pro vzdělávání (National Institute for Education) - abbreviation NÚV

Stakeholders

Ministerstvo školství, mládeže a tělovýchovy (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports) - financing NÚV

Funding

Operation of the portal is covered by the NÚV budget, whose funding is provided by the Ministry of Education.

Intended beneficiaries

Job seekers: the website provides guidance in job decisions; what skills are need for the selected profession; where to find training courses or assessment/certification authorities; and provides list of available vacancies.
Employers: the website allows posting of current vacancies
Training providers: the website allows posting of training courses

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

The website was developed during the National Register of Qualification project (vocational qualification). During the project implementation, a need arose to support practical utilisation with a focus on job seekers (to help them understand which skills are required for particular profession and how they can obtain these skills) and employers.

Financial schemes

The website was developed during the National Register of Qualification project (vocational qualification). Currently, it is financed through the NÚV budget.

Frequency of updates

The content of the website is updated regularly (registrations, uploads of vacancies and training).

Development

The website is developed continuously and new functionalities were added during implementation to ensure the use is friendly and intuitive.

Barriers

Not identified.

Success factors

A key supporting factor was an approved system of vocational qualification.

Monitoring

No target indicators set. Key monitoring descriptors are the number of users (currently about 10,000 users are registered).

Innovativeness
Slightly innovative

The website interlinks job seekers preferences (professions sought) with relevant vacancies and training courses.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

The portal functions as expected. There are about 10,000 users (job seekers) registered on the portal. Registered users have the opportunity to select professions they are looking for or are interested in. The system allows users access to information on the skills required for the selected profession, training courses and vacancies available (these can be filtered based on user preferences). About 800 professions are described in the system. The portal also offers vacancies (about 68,000 opened in October 2017), which are either downloaded from the vacancy portal of the Labour Offices or posted by employers themselves to the website. About 6,000 various training courses are also available and linked to selected professions.

Engagement of stakeholders

The engagement of stakeholders (mostly funding) depends of the effectiveness of the tool, which broadly speaking is the number of active users. There are many other opportunities for job seekers to find a job or training on-line (similar websites, social networks etc), but the value-added of the instrument is that it clearly defines required skills for particular professions using the standards of the National Register of Qualification and National System of Profession.

Transferability
Easily transferable

Transferability of the instrument requires access to defined profession standards, databases of job vacancies and training courses.

Sustainability

Probably, it is interconnected with the vocational qualification scheme.

Description

Timespan

2010-2015: Project VIP Kariéra II ("Kariérové poradenství v podmínkách kurikulární reformy" - "Career Counselling in terms of Curricular Reform")
Ongoing: usage of outputs

Stage
Fully operational

Foundations

Policy area

The instrument provides data and information needed for career/field of education decision making and the improvement of career guidance/counselling.

Policy goal

The instrument addresses the need for relevant decision making data and approaches to help students or their parent to choose an appropriate field of education (secondary level) or specific school. The reason for setting up the scheme is to satisfy the demand for relevant data and support for the career decision making of secondary level students.

Mismatch
Part of broader programme, yet with explicit focus

The instrument focuses not only on students, their parents and career counsellors at schools, but it aims at building/enhancing the career guidance system as a whole. Key outputs of the instrument are an information portal www.infoabsolvent.cz and accredited e-learning courses for career councillors.

Aim of policy instrument
Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Národní ústav pro vzdělávání (National Institute for Education) - abbreviation NÚV

Stakeholders

Ministerstvo školství, mládeže a tělovýchovy (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports) - financing NÚV

Funding

Initial development of the instrument was financed by public funding using EU co-financing. The total cost of the project VIP Kariéra II (2010-2015) was 58 million CZK (EU co-financing 85%). This funding was used for setting the scheme, datasets, portal infrastructure system, distant and on-line learning, counselling, etc. Operational costs of the portal and additional services are financed through the annual NÚV budget, which is funded by the Ministry of Education. Funding for school career counselling system still needs to be found.

Intended beneficiaries

Pupils and students of the elementary and secondary schools and their parents.
Career counsellors at schools.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

The instrument uses a) statistical data (number of enrolled and graduated in specific fields of study, unemployment of graduates etc.) b) specific analyses on applicability of graduates, etc. c) skills requirements by employers for specific professions. The system combines various sources of information (including a database of competencies, national register of qualifications, national system of professions, list of schools, etc) to ease the decision making process.

Financial schemes

Except for data and information provided by the portal, an advisory service is available for pupils (or their parents) and school career advisers via the Centre for Career Counselling, which is a unit within NÚV. About 50-100 queries are answered per month (usually via e-mail or telephone, occasionally face to face). This service is free of charge and funded by NÚV budget.

Frequency of updates

Datasets and analysis are updated and added annually.

Development

The instrument was developed (design, methodology, processes etc) during the project which lasted 2010-2015. Due to a long time devoted for designing, the instrument is fully operational.

Barriers

Not identified.

Success factors

The access to existing databases and analyses.

Monitoring

A key indicator is the number of users of the portal www.infoabsolvent.cz (average 15,000 visitors per week) and the number of queries to the Centre for Career Counselling (varies between 50-100 per month).

Innovativeness
Very innovative

The instrument made data, information and career guidance easy accessible in a structured way and in a user friendly format.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

The information system was developed in a shape as intended. Web portal www.infoabsolvent.cz has an average of 15,000 visitors per week and the Centre for Career Counselling, run by NÚV, carries out some 50-100 queries per month. The portal itself is designed in a user friendly format that allows choosing relevant information depending on the type of user: a) pupils of the elementary schools and their parents, b) students and graduates of secondary level schools, c) teachers and career counsellors at schools, d) employers and public sector users. Besides various data and analyses the system also provides quick test to advise the appropriate field of education.

Engagement of stakeholders

The performance of career counselling at elementary and secondary level schools is still poor and not well developed. Capacities (time, skills and financing) for providing these services at schools are insufficient. A National Agreement was signed in Oct 2015 by Confederation of Industry, Confederation of Trade Unions, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and Ministry of Industry, in which the role and need of school career counsellors are described as a high priority. The Regional Governments (Krajské úřady) are responsible for public secondary level education performance, to find instruments and funding for school career counselling scheme.

Transferability
Not easily transferable

The instrument might be transferrable in the field of career guidance and evidence-based approaches. Transferability requires available datasets on graduates and their employment.

Sustainability

The information portal will be operating in the coming years. The system and framework of school career counsellors still need to be designed and funding allocated.

Description

Timespan

The period varies depending on particular regional authority conditions. In some regions these schemes were launched in 2009, some regions launched them more recently.

Stage
Fully operational

Foundations

Policy area

Most of existing regional scholarship programmes are designed to motivate children to enrol for specific vocational education (secondary level).

Policy goal

The key problem that the instrument aims to address is a low number of pupils/students studying specific fields of secondary education (especially technical/vocational fields). In many regions, there is a long track record of a low number of students studying technical fields at the secondary education level, because many children (and their parents) prefer general or administration/business fields of education. This results in the shortage of a qualified workforce for particular sectors and also causes the outflow of qualified training staff from vocational schools, which could be a threat for vocational education in the future.

Mismatch
Explicitly designed to address skill mismatch

The decision made by regional authorities is based on the evidence showing the lack of graduates with vocational education, declared by regional employers.

Aim of policy instrument
Administrative level
Regional
Main responsible body

Regional Authorities (Krajský úřad)

Stakeholders

Regional Authorities - set conditions, provide funding and evaluate results.
Regional vocational schools - administrates scholarships among students of selected vocational training.

Funding

Funding for these regional schemes is provided by the regional authority budgets, as regional authorities are responsible for the running and performance of the secondary level of education. The amount of finance allocated differs from region to region, depending on the size of the region and the number of fields of education eligible for the support. The total finance for the scholarship schemes varies between 1.5-3 million CZK per year and per region.

Intended beneficiaries

The beneficiaries are students of selected vocational training. The list of supported fields of secondary education differs depending on the specific regional need.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

Regional vocational scholarship programmes (available now in most of the 14 NUTS3 regions in the Czech Republic) were designed upon the data of long-term vacancies opened and difficult to fill in with graduates or workers with relevant skills. Discussions and surveys among employers were also used to select particular vocations to be supported by the scholarship schemes.

Financial schemes

Most of the scholarships have two parts:
a) a motivation part - usually paid monthly to all attendants of particular field of vocational education (specific condition must be accomplished by student )
b) a performance part - depending on grades attained during school year

Frequency of updates

Results of the scheme are monitored regularly (each year) by regional authorities and adjusted/modified upon findings.

Development

In some regions this instrument has been available for a longer time (from 2009). Usually, the conditions and list of supported field of education are modified annually to tackle the actual or short-term needs.

Barriers

Not identified.

Success factors

Political will of the regional councils.

Monitoring

Key indicators are a) numbers of pupils enrolled in the specific field of vocational education b) decreased not-attendance by pupils c) increased performance / better grades received. These indicators are monitored by the regional authority and reported by vocational schools.

Innovativeness
Slightly innovative

Probably not exclusively innovative, but quite effective and not too much bureaucratic finance stages to motivate some groups of children to attend vocational education.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

In general, the benefits have been as expected. The number of students from vocational schools supported via the scheme varies region by region depending on the a) number of supported branches b) conditions and finances allocated c) population of the region. The number varies between 800-1,500 secondary vocational students getting the scholarship per region each year.

Engagement of stakeholders

It is quite a cheap, but effective instrument and appreciated by local enterprises. No special regulation is needed, scholarships only depends on the political will of regional councils.

Transferability
Easily transferable

This incentive tool is probably offered in many countries or regions and requires only evidence of needs and political will to make funding available on a regional level.

Sustainability

These regional schemes will probably continue in the future. More and more regions have joined the vocational scholarship programmes recently, based on the results of regions with a longer history of these schemes.

Description

Timespan

Continuously ongoing since 2010.

Stage
Fully operational

Foundations

Policy area

Focused on understanding the skill shortages signalled by the labour market, coordinated by nationwide employers associations.

Policy goal

Public policy makers as well as social partners (associations of private employers) in the Czech Republic have been facing the problem of skill mismatch between the supply of skills of graduates from formal education and the demand for new/specialised skills continually generated in the labour market. It was decided to set up a platform for systematic cooperation between the two sides. Sector Councils are employer-led and publicly partly co-funded, and supervise expert groups, whose task is to monitor skill shortages and consult corresponding policy measures (Vocational Qualifications, National System of Professions etc). The activities of Sector Councils help to narrow the gap between requirements of employers (in terms of qualifications and competencies of employees) and the supply of workforce (both current and future), through identification of future needs and recommendations for improvement.

Mismatch
Explicitly designed to address skill mismatch
Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Svaz průmyslu a dopravy (Confederation of Industry)

Stakeholders

Svaz průmyslu a dopravy (Confederation of Industry) - leading partner, responsible for selected sector councils
Hospodářská komora (Chamber of Commerce) - responsible for selected sector councils
Agrární komora (Agrarian Chamber) - responsible for selected sector councils
Svaz podnikatelů ve stavebnictví (Association of Building Entrepreneurs) - responsible for selected sector councils
Trexima s.r.o. - coordinator
Large numbers of bodies (employers or association of employers, ministries) representing in total 29 sector boards.

Funding

Most of Sector Councils' operations so far have been in design and amendments of vocational qualification standards (National Register of Qualifications - NSK) and National System of Professions (NSP). There is a funding allocated from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports budget for running the NSK. However, this is dedicated to the executive body responsible for NSK (Národní ústav pro vzdělávání - National Institute for Education), and some resources are partly channelled to Sector Councils. There is an initiative of the Confederation of Industry (leading partner of the Sector Councils network) that is proposing to include Sector Councils into creation of 2 new subsystems: Skills 4.0 (Dovednosti 4.0) and Competence pyramids (Kompetenční pyramidy). The Skills 4.0 subsystem would be a process where employers (represented by Sector Councils) together with academics, science and R&D representative, define future skills, incorporate them into the Central Database of Competences and assign them to (often new) professions and qualifications. The Competence pyramids subsystem would be a tool/mechanism for influencing the educational system and curricula to ensure graduates have new skills, often multisectoral and transferable. There is a need to identify new funding for these activities.

Intended beneficiaries

The beneficiaries of activities and outputs generated by Sector Councils are employers through continuously improved accessibility of skilled workforce, which is a domain of the Councils' operations.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

Sector Councils exploit discussions on regular basis among their members to identify current skills gaps and mismatches, as well as to identify future skills needs. They also use statistics (vacant jobs by professions) to formulate current needs and trends.
Experts nominated to Sector Councils monitor the labour market and identify developments, trends and changes in skill demand; exchange information on sectoral needs in workforce development; support further training and up-skilling of workers; analyse skill needs in particular sectors and propose the structure of new qualifications; and define Assessment Standards of new qualifications. In the medium-term, each Sector Council develops a Sector Agreement (strategic document that summarises the current situation of the sector in terms of skill needs, and proposes solutions including specific measures and the timeline for their realisation).

Financial schemes

Mixed financing of: subsidies based on calls for particular time limited projects; specific budget allocated for running of the National Register of Qualifications; and private financing. Sector councils are not legal entities and therefore are not eligible for incentives directly, only through other bodies.

Frequency of updates

Sector Councils are operational on an regular basis. The frequency of meetings varies, depending on particular Council attitudes and need. Some of them hold meetings quarterly, some once a year.

Development

The first Sector Council was set up in 2005 (Forestry), as a first initiative to address qualification needs for this particular sector. However, at that time, sector councils were rather informal initiatives inspired by foreign practices. This changed after the National Register of Qualifications (NSK) and National System of Professions (NSP) project were launched. These two programmes brought a new impulse and help to formalize the structure and responsibilities of sector councils.

Barriers

Except for the difficult financing schemes (dependent on calls for subsidies channelled through key members), no major obstacles are identified. Sector Councils are recognised bodies within the established system for identification of skills mismatch and programmes/projects addressing identified needs.

Success factors

A key factor is a close and focused cooperation of bodies and people involved: 250 people from various companies, associations and institutions are members of 29 Sector Councils, and an additional 1,500 experts are invited to tackle specific tasks.

Innovativeness
Very innovative

The approach made Sector Councils clearly and directly responsible for defining the vocational qualification standards from the employers´ point of view, thus reflecting practical needs. In this way, Sector Councils can influence the training programmes and curricula for specific qualifications and professions, and channel it to responsible institutions (e.g. Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Labour Offices etc).

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

The instrument was developed and exists as intended. 29 Sector Councils were established in total and 7 Sector Agreements signed. Sector Councils identify the problem in skills and qualifications, provide evidence and propose solutions to overcome barriers. The Sector Agreements define ways and approaches to solve the problem in specific qualification needs. Key success factor so far is establishing vocational qualification scheme.

Engagement of stakeholders

There is a body called Conference of Sector Councils Chairmen (Stálá konference předsedů sektorových rad), which meets annually to coordinate activities and outputs of Sector Councils. The role of Sector Councils in the system of vocational qualification is set by the law (Act 179/2006). Its regulation (regulation of the Ministry of Education, No. 208/2007) defines the responsibilities of Sector Councils, as well as the cooperation with other bodies within the vocational qualification system.

Transferability
Not easily transferable

The concept of Sector Councils was based on the successful programme of Sector Skills Councils using their best practises.

Sustainability

The structure and activities of the Sector Councils will continue over the next period. The reasons for this are a) the Sector Councils' long history and its representativeness in the vocational qualification and National System of Profession b) the legislation act No. 179/2006, setting the position of Sector Councils within the system of vocational qualification c) the backing of Sector Councils by key employer associations (Confederation of Industry, Chamber of Commerce etc).

Description

Timespan

2005 - 2008: First phase of NSK (NSK I)
2009 - 2015: Second Phase of NSK (NSK II)
Ongoing: retraining and vocational qualification authorisation

Stage
Fully operational

The methodology, identification of vocational qualifications, elaboration of standards, networking of stakeholders and processes were carried out during phases I and II of NSK.

Foundations

Policy area

Policy focuses on retraining, testing, examining of vocational qualification certification of adults in a broader sense - unemployed, job seekers, employed people intending to change or enhance their working position and graduates.

Policy goal

Provide the unemployed, job seekers etc. with the possibility of having their informally acquired skills and competences assessed and certified, thus deepening, increasing or changing their qualifications, and in effect, improving their chances in the labour market.
An increasing number of citizens find their original formal qualifications either obsolete or losing relevance in the changing conditions of the current labour markets, and their workplace-learned (i.e. informally acquired) skills gaining significance. At the same time, quick technical developments cause employers to lack required skills in their staff. Vocational Qualifications are designed according to current and actual needs of the labour market, and allow for obtaining formally recognised qualifications by demonstrating actual skills and competences rather than by absolving periods of formal education.

Mismatch
Explicitly designed to address skill mismatch

The instrument simplifies the process of acquiring selected vocational qualification and certification without the necessity of long term formal education.

Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Ministerstvo školství, mládeže a tělovýchovy (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports) - abbreviation MŠMT
Národní ústav pro vzdělávání (National Institute for Education) - abbreviation NÚV

Stakeholders

Ministerstvo školství, mládeže a tělovýchovy (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports) - responsible body, financing NSK via project funding
Národní ústav pro vzdělávání (National Institute for Education) - methodology and executive body
Ministerstvo dopravy (Ministry of Transport) – authorisation of selected vocational qualifications
Ministerstvo kultury (Ministry of Culture) - authorisation of selected vocational qualifications
Ministerstvo práce a sociálních věcí (Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs) - authorisation of selected vocational qualifications
Ministerstvo pro místní rozvoj (Ministry of Regional Development) - authorisation of selected vocational qualifications
Ministerstvo průmyslu a obchodu (Ministry of Industry and Trade) - authorisation of selected vocational qualifications
Ministerstvo vnitra (Ministry of Interior) - authorisation of selected vocational qualifications
Ministerstvo zemědělství (Ministry of Agriculture) - authorisation of selected vocational qualifications
Ministerstvo životního prostředí (Ministry of Environment) - authorisation of selected vocational qualifications
Sektorové rady (Sector Councils) - designing of selected qualification standards
Hospodářská komora (Chamber of Commerce) - designing of selected qualification standards
Svaz průmyslu a dopravy (Confederation of Industry) - designing of selected qualification standards
Agrární komora (Agrarian Chamber) - designing of selected qualification standards

Funding

The first and second phase of the NSK (NSK I and NSK II) were financed by public funding using EU co-financing (ESF). The total costs for NSK II (2009-2015) reached 580 mil CZK (EU co-financing 85%, i.e. 493 mil CZK). This funding was used for setting the system, methodology, design of qualification standards, piloting etc. Currently, running costs for NSK amendments are ensured by the annual budget of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The implementation (retraining, testing, certification, authorisation) have no specific budget, however, especially retraining can be funded by other public financing schemes, e.g. via retraining programmes run by Labour Offices.

The funding allocated in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports budget - for the year 2017 total 34 mil CZK- is available to ensure running of the NSK system. For future operations, there is a need to ensure funding for additional activities, particularly because of the new required skills arising due to Industry 4.0 / Skills 4.0 trends.
The implementation (retraining, testing, certification, authorisation) have no specific budget, however, retraining especially can be funded by other public financing schemes, mainly via retraining programmes run by Labour Offices (often ESF co-financed).

Intended beneficiaries

The unemployed, job seekers, employed people intending to change or enhance their working position and graduates of high and vocational schools.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

Labour market needs were the starting point for the designing of vocational qualifications and their standards. The aim of the NSK was to identify those qualifications that do not require long-term formal education. This approach was used during the first and second phase of NSK through multi-sectoral discussion with employers (associations, chambers etc.) and providers of further and lifelong education. The basis for designing vocational qualifications and their criteria is set by National System of Professions (NSP - http://www.nsp.cz/) and Central Database of Competences (CDC - http://kompetence.nsp.cz/). The qualification standard of vocational qualification is formulated though competencies, which the holder of the qualification should achieve. There are three main areas of competences described in NSP/CDC: soft, general and specific vocational skills and knowledge. The qualification standard of each vocational qualification of NSK covers only specific vocational skills and knowledge.

Financial schemes

Beneficiaries have no special incentives except of training costs covered by training programmes and certification obtained.

Frequency of updates

New vocational qualifications can be added and existing qualifications amended.

Development

The instrument was developed (design, methodology, assessment, etc) during the project (2009-2015). Due to the long time devoted for designing, the instrument is fully operational. New vocational qualification can be added (currently over 1,100 in the database), and existing qualifications amended.

Barriers

No crucial barriers identified for implementation of the instrument. Processes were described and checked during design phases.

Success factors

The key factor for the success of the instrument was setting the qualification standards for selected vocational qualifications, which were designed and approved by responsible bodies. The involvement of a broad range of stakeholders was also an important factor, as well as its anchoring within the Czech legislation.

Monitoring

The key indicator is a number of vocational qualifications obtained. Over 170,000 people have already achieved the certification via the instrument. The number is measured by the Ministry of Education.

Innovativeness
Very innovative

The instrument made the acquiring of vocational qualifications (that do not require formal education) easily accessible and thus a new and skilled labour force is more accessible for employers in specific qualifications and sectors.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

The system was developed in a shape and extends as intended. There are currently 1,194 vocational qualifications covered and archived in a NSK database (level 2- 67, level 3 - 639, level 4 - 369, level 5 - 53, level 6 - 44, level 7 - 22). For each a qualification, the standard (specific vocational skills and knowledge) is described, an assessment/exam/certification standard (form, criteria and process) defined and an authorising body selected. So far (October 2017), 171,168 NSK vocational qualification certifications were issued to job seekers and 1,359 authorising bodies certified.

Engagement of stakeholders

A National Board for Qualification (Národní rada pro kvalifikace) was set as an advisory body for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and is responsible authority for vocational qualifications. This board consists of 18 members covering public, education and employment sectors, and provides background and advice for vocational qualifications and labour market monitoring issues. The Board meets twice a year and its status is set by a law (Act 179/2006).

Transferability
Not easily transferable

The vocational qualification by NSK uses 8 qualification levels similar to EQF. These levels are covered by descriptors similar to EQF qualifications levels and the system is fully compatible with EQF. Qualification standards used in NSK are being translated into English and might be enclosed to Europass. The transferability is possible, but requires time consuming processes and involvement of a many responsible bodies.

Sustainability

The practical implementation of the instrument (i.e. training, assessment and certification of vocational qualification) will continue over the next period. The reasons for this statement are a) evidence of the need declared by employers b) legislation act No. 179/2006 setting the position of national system of qualification within the lifelong learning environment.