Description

Timespan

Since 2014, still in operation.

Stage
Fully operational

Foundations

Policy area

The tool was designed to regulate the structure of initial VET programmes according to the labour market needs.

Policy goal

The policy goal is to better adjust the IVET system to labour market needs, in order to supply occupations in demand to the labour market and to prevent unemployment of IVET graduates. The intervention aims to better align supply and demand in the labour market. The instrument contributes to this by changing funding incentives for selected fields of study in IVET, to steer regulatory decisions of regional territorial units, which are founders of IVET schools in Slovakia.

Mismatch
Explicitly designed to address skill mismatch

Lists have been implemented in order to better align the structure of education/IVET to labour market needs.

Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Ministry of Education, Science and Sports

Stakeholders

Professional associations are consulting the process of preparing the list, as well as social partners represented in the National Council for VET, who validate the lists. Regional strategies for VET (prepared by higher territorial units) and sectoral strategies for VET (prepared by sectoral councils for VET/professional associations) are taken into account when preparing the lists. The Central Office for Labour, Social Affairs and Family and CVTI (Centre for science and technical information and data) are also involved, mainly in the form of providing data inputs for the preparation of lists. The lists are prepared by public servants at the Ministry of Education, as stipulated by a decree, and no special funds are allocated to prepare the lists. The process engages various stakeholders and/or their outputs (e.g. regional VET strategies), and is fairly participatory. This implies an inbuilt monitoring process. The lists are regularly updated, which implies their evaluation.

Funding

No extra state funds are dedicated to the preparation of the lists, but the instrument adjusted the per capita funding formula, which is based on whether a given field of study is oversupplied (10% less) or undersupplied (10% more). Students with strong school performance can receive stipends if they enrol in undersupplied fields of study. The preparation of the lists is a task of public servants at the Ministry of Education, with data inputs from institutions such as Central Labour Office and CVTI, as stipulated by respective law and decree. No special funding has been allocated to this practice.

Intended beneficiaries

Provided that the regulation is effective (which has not been shown so far), the key beneficiary are firms that should be able to find more appropriately educated workforce in terms of the specialisations entering labour market. Students also benefit in the long run, as they should have easier school-to-work transitions. The state also benefits, as the regulation saves on costs related to youth unemployment, retraining costs, etc.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

The lists are based on several related data inputs. The key indicators are: graduate unemployment rate, replacement demand for a particular field of study, the number of students currently enrolled in a field of study, regional VET strategies, and sectoral VET strategies. These data are combined, discussed and debated, in order to produce widely agreed lists of fields of study, which are then considered in the IVET funding scheme.

Financial schemes

Funding of IVET programmes is linked to the lists. The per capita funding formula is adjusted to be higher/lower depending on whether a given field of study appears on the list in an undersupply/oversupply.

Frequency of updates

Frequency of updates is not specified, but the last adjustments were made two years apart. Adjustment are linked to labour market and legal developments in the country.

Development

The tool was launched in 2014, formalised in a ministerial order in 2015 and re-adjusted in 2017. The new 2017 ministerial order decreased the thresholds of the graduate unemployment rate used to determine under/over-supplied fields of study. Furthermore, within VET fields, it defines as over-supplied all those fields of study where no dual education is offered. The new directive expanded the stakeholders involved in the process to include all major ministries, in addition to major stakeholders involved in the skill governance structure. The adjustments were made due to the changing situation in the labour market, where graduate unemployment rate has fallen, as well as to reflect the new VET law, which introduced elements of dual VET into the Slovak secondary education system.

Barriers

Not aware of any barriers to the implementation as such, as it is a ministerial order and engages a wide range of actors. A soft barrier is a weak link between the tool and information accessible to pupils entering secondary education, which would enable them to make better informed choices about the selection of their fields of study.

Success factors

The instrument engages a wide range of stakeholders, which increases its acceptance. Financial incentives tied to the list make regions more likely to adapt the structure of initial VET (through the number of entry classes) according to the lists.

Monitoring

Indicators presented in an analysis of the instrument made by Education Policy Institute compares the number of entry classes suggested by schools and the number approved by the regional authorities. It shows a partial impact of the instrument.

Innovativeness
Very innovative

Lists appear to be a fairly unique mode of regulation of IVET. They increase the capacity of central government in regulating IVET, which is formally the competence of regions. Regulation is soft in the sense that it is not binding, but financial incentives are aligned to the lists to make regions more likely to follow the lists. Success has been only partial - regions appear to be more successful in regulating fields of study in an oversupply, and less successful in attracting students to enrol in the fields of study in an undersupply.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

The instrument is only partially effective. The analysis of the instrument made by Education Policy Institute points to methodological and data gaps, which hamper accuracy and impact of the instrument. Since the introduction of the instruments, regions have been more active in adapting the number of entry IVET classes. They have been more successful in decreasing the number of classes in the fields of study that are in oversupply, but less successful in attracting students to the fields of study in undersupply. Benefits are weaker due to insufficient career guidance, which would transmit information to pupils.

Engagement of stakeholders

Engagement of stakeholders is stipulated in the ministerial order.

Transferability
Not easily transferable

The instrument responds to a particular governance structure of secondary education in Slovakia and is related to specific problems linked to it, such as difficulties to effectively regulate the structure of IVET.

Sustainability

The instrument is part of a broader system of skill governance of the country. In spite of the critique, it is likely to continue, possibly with further changes and adjustments in the methodology.

Description

Timespan

January 2010 - June 2014

Stage
Other

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.

Foundations

Policy area

Education and training is provided to jobseekers in the framework of active labour market policies.

Policy goal

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.

Mismatch
Explicitly designed to address skill mismatch

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
Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family

Stakeholders

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.

Funding

The cost of instrument is €10 million. The policy is funded by European Social Fund: Operation Programme Employment and Social Inclusion.

Intended beneficiaries

Unemployed with problems matching skills to current labour market needs. They are expected to benefit in the form of gaining new skills or qualifications.

Processes

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.

Financial schemes

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.

Development

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%).

Barriers

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.

Success factors

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.

Monitoring

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.

Innovativeness
Not innovative

ETLM draws on the traditional notion of “re-qualification”. In this sense, it should not be regarded as completely novel to the Slovak system.

Sustainability

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.

Transferability
Easily transferable

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.

Sustainability

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.

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.

Description

Timespan

December 2014 - December 2015

Stage
Other

The project implementation period has ended, however, the NRO information portal is still in use.

Foundations

Policy area

The definition of occupational standards within this instrument is an aspect of employment policy, but this instrument was designed to influence education and training on all levels, but especially in CVET.

Policy goal

The instrument addresses the skills mismatch in the economy and aims at linking employers' demands for skills with labour supply (via education and training). This instrument is the third (final) phase and continuation of previous projects National Register of Occupations I and II. After defining occupational standards that reflect employers needs for skills, and linking them to education and training (first and second phase), this instrument was finalised by the creation of the information portal with job classifications.

Mismatch
Explicitly designed to address skill mismatch

This instrument is designed to define occupational standards in a tripartite setting (with social partners and the state), with a view to connect it better with education and training activities.

Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family

Stakeholders

The Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family is in charge of the coordination of the project. The project itself is implemented by a private data agency called Trexima, with an active participation of social partners (employers associations, trade unions). Representatives of the Ministry of Labour, Trexima, social partners, other Ministries, Government Office, regional governments, Statistical office and Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family are all members of the NRO Steering Committee, which manages and coordinates the activities of all stakeholders involved. Twenty-four sectoral councils were also created in the framework of NRO, overseen by the Alliance of Sectoral Councils. Sectoral councils are voluntary, independent professional associations of experts (various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, social partners, individual businesses, municipal and regional representatives, and schools), who monitor the labour market and define needs in the respective sectors of the national economy and their transfer to the system of lifelong learning.

Funding

European Social Fund, Operation Programme Employment and Social Inclusion are the funding sources. The cost of the instrument is €4,972,371.

Intended beneficiaries

Beneficiaries include the unemployed, disadvantaged unemployed, job seekers, groups of people endangered by job losses, students and graduates of secondary and higher education institutions. The definition of occupational standards and employers' demand for skills and competences allows all of the mentioned beneficiaries to check whether they fulfil the criteria and tailor their education and career in accordance with labour market needs.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

Sectoral councils define occupational standards based on input from employers, who define their expectations in terms of skills and qualifications. The register of occupations (job classifications) and the register of competences is then created and published on the information portal/webpage. Beneficiaries can use this information to check if their competencies match the requirements specified by the relevant sectoral councils.

Financial schemes

Project is funded by ESF. No special incentives were given in the framework of the project.

Frequency of updates

Since the end of the project in 2015, occupational profiles have not been updated.

Development

National Register of Occupations was elaborated in three stages (three ESF funded projects), which gradually enhanced the tool. Sectoral Councils, which were designed to discuss and agree on occupational standards, were re-defined in the process, responding to the needs of the economy, as well as to broaden usefulness of sectoral councils in the process of skill governance.

Barriers

Barriers include a relatively long process of preparation of NRO, partly related to how the project was divided into stages, and different political views of governments on how/whether to implement it.

Success factors

The tripartite basis/partnership principle of the instrument and relatively high commitment of engaged social partners.

Monitoring

Progress was measured by outputs in terms of sectoral councils and profiles of occupations presented in the portal. Since the establishment of the portal, it is not measured whether/how the register is being used.

Innovativeness
Slightly innovative

The instrument is innovative in the Slovak context, as it is a formalised forum for sectoral discussion on labour market needs and developments. In an international context, registers of occupations are relatively common.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

According to the final evaluation conference, the instrument was successful in terms of initiating the framework for regular evaluation of labour market trends, in order to transfer these to education and training system. However, continuation of the project has not been ensured. The instrument needs to be brought more deeply into practice in order to reap its full benefits.

Engagement of stakeholders

The law clearly specifies the role of different stakeholders.

Transferability
Not easily transferable

This instrument is country-specific, but some aspects are transferable to other countries. The most easily transferable element is an online portal with occupational standards.

Sustainability

The National Classification of Occupations continues to exists in the form of a webpage. Since the end of the project in 2015, the sectoral councils, who are responsible for the updates of occupational standards, have no formal platform to do so.

Description

Timespan

The instrument started in 2003 as an internal tool for labour offices. It has been operating as an online labour market information portal since 2013.

Stage
Fully operational

Foundations

Policy area

The instrument's aim is to tackle unemployment.

Policy goal

The policy goal of ISTP is to bring together the concept of skill-oriented guidance for the unemployed and a database of vacant jobs organised according to a standardised classification of occupations. This framework is meant to provide a job seeker with a personal skills profile that can be matched with skills and competences required for specific work positions and with actual job offers. The instrument (online guide) offers jobseekers information and counselling that is useful for finding a job that corresponds to educational attainment, experience, knowledge and skills of the user. It also presents job vacancies that can be searched and allow creating personal profile visible to employers. Employers can publish vacancies and search job candidates.

Mismatch
Part of broad policy measure of which skill mismatch is only a minor part

Based on an explicit recognition that work positions need to be matched with required skills (and vice versa). The tool, however, is more general in terms of bridging information asymmetries in the labour market and helping to match jobs to jobseekers, and career orientation of young people.

Aim of policy instrument

To gather and present complex labour market information on an online platform available for employers, job seekers, job changers, as well as young people.

Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

The Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family

Stakeholders

The project sponsor is the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic and the project coordinator is Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family. The project is supported by social partners (employers’ associations: Federation of Employers’ Associations of the Slovak Republic, National Union of Employers; and trade unions: Confederation of Trade Unions of the Slovak Republic) and regional representatives (Association of Towns and Municipalities of the Slovak Republic). The portal is run by a private company Trexima.

Funding

The initial stages of the instrument were financed by the European Social Fund, Operation Programme Employment and Social Inclusion within the national project (NP VII-2 Podpora sprostredkovania zamestnania a odborných poradenských služieb poskytovaných úradmi práce, sociálnych vecí a rodiny). At present, ISTP is financed from the state budget within the budget of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic.
The current agreement on services with Trexima, which is valid from August 2015 to August 2018, is for the amount of €3,462,912. Previous agreements on services, valid from June 2012 to September 2014 amounts to €1,458,000, and the agreement on the expanding functionality, valid from April 2013 to March 2014 to €1,943,928.

Intended beneficiaries

For unemployed people (jobseekers and voluntarily unemployed), the portal provides one of the largest job vacancy databases in Slovakia and the database of training courses, career guidance tools, as well as information on employers' demands for education, knowledge, skills and competencies related to the selected job.
Employers benefit from the free job advertisement and free access to the personal profiles of jobseekers. In addition, they can get information related to personnel management, such as requirements for the publishing of job vacancies and requirements for the qualification of labour force.
Students, their parents and school counsellors can learn what type of education is needed to perform an individual job, which schools in Slovakia provide such education and can also get advice and information on career guidance.
Public employees/labour office staff can acquire knowledge regarding the registration process of clients, creation of their personal profiles, mediation between employers and jobseekers, planning of vocational training of jobseekers, etc.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

The instrument offers four main tools: job vacancies, information on courses for education and training, job compass survey, and register of occupations. For job vacancies, ISTP collects regular updates based on materials from the local labour offices and employers (job vacancies advertised free of charge). Job seekers are then matched with offers based on their professional competence. Similarly, the job compass matches the users based on an online survey with suitable job offers. The register of occupations contains the updated information on occupations and gross monthly wages for individual jobs.

Financial schemes

Project is funded by ESF and the state budget. Users (clients) can create their personal profiles free of charge. Employers can publish job vacancies free of charge. No additional incentives were given.

Frequency of updates

On a regular basis (day-to-day maintenance). The instrument also offers a chat agent and a call centre.

Development

ISTP has been developed in 2003 for the internal needs of local labour offices as a tool for analysing the individual potential of jobseekers. ISTP assisted in choosing appropriate further education, retraining and re-qualification or in finding job offers. In 2013, ISTP was transformed to an online tool that is directly linked to 46 regional labour offices to directly match suitable candidates with job offers, and to provide a possibility of free job vacancy advertising for employers. In 2017, ISTP is a sophisticated system with one of the largest databases of job vacancies and job seekers, which in addition offers targeted career advice on jobs, an analysis of employability, and also information services related to employment. The current design of ISTP was launched in April 2017.

Barriers

Similarly to other IT systems, ISTP requires day-to-day maintenance and administration, and it also requires development of new functionalities, which is reflected in the cost of running and developing ISTP. These costs are, however, paid from public sources from the budget of the Ministry of Labour, which means that they need to be planned in advance when constructing the state budget. Another barrier to the full competitiveness of the portal is limited financial resources for media campaigns that would adequately extend information on ISTP to a wider public.

Success factors

Direct linkage to local labour offices, support from the social partners and a possibility to advertise job vacancies free of charge for employers.

Monitoring

The progress is measured on a regular basis. The most important indicators are quantitative, such as the website traffic, the number of registered employers, the number of registered job vacancies, the number of users who used their account at least once, the number of users with CVs, etc.

Innovativeness
Slightly innovative

The innovativeness lies in a complex approach to presenting the world of work from different perspectives. Job compass also entails soft skills requirements and personal characteristics, which is not a common international practice.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

The portal provides more than 80,000 job vacancies. 28,000 employers are searching for a fitting candidate via the portal and 79,282 profiles of job seekers with CVs are registered. The number of users who used their account at least once is approximately 360,000. In addition, the webpage has on average 650,000 monthly visits. From the point of view of beneficiaries, the instrument, in addition to the quantitative indicators, monitors whether the withdrawn job offer have been filled or cancelled. At the individual level, the instrument for instance monitors the number of agents (an electronic search engine for suitable vacancies) sent to a candidate. When users changes their status from unemployed to employed, the users are asked to identify areas that has helped them in practice, with ISTP being one of the options. The continuation of the portal suggests that the authorities evaluated the instrument as successful. Unexpected costs stem from the nature of the instrument (IT system), which requires day-to-day maintenance and development of new tools.

Engagement of stakeholders

The role of Trexima (provider of ISTP services) is specified in an agreement on services with the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family. The stakeholders' engagement and support arises from Slovakia’s commitments to the European Social Charter and ILO Convention on free provision of timely labour market information. Individual employers can sign up and publish job vacancies free of charge.

Transferability
Easily transferable

Similar instruments already exist in many other countries.

Sustainability

The instrument is in use (the current agreement on services is valid until August 2018), and its continuation and development is planned. The continuation of the portal is also foreseen, due to the various legislative requirements, e.g. regarding the employment of the third country nationals, in which employers are obliged to inform the labour office about the job openings 15 or 30 days prior to the employment of third country nationals (depending on the status of the third country national), and their numbers and characteristics of the job openings. The instrument is seen as a public tool for modern employment services.