Labour Market Internet Guide
The technical administration of the platform is subcontracted to a commercial party. Different national and international parties collaborate with the platform to create content.
The Labour Market Internet Guide is an integrated online platform. It provides various functionalities in order to electronically support a multi-staged counselling model adopted by the national employment service.
Counsellors are supported in the delivery of one-to-one guidance, e.g. by utilising an online self-assessmet tool utilised for jointly reflecting with the clients on their personal capabilities and aspirations. Job placement is facilitated as well, e.g. by the interconnection of personal client profiles with a vacancy data base. Online exchange between job seekers and empoyers is possible as well. A self-service area is directed towards job seekers and those generally interested in the labour market. Adult users, let them be unemployed or interested in occupational development, are e.g. supported by automated matching of their personal profile with job opportunities, thereby relying on a self-assessment tool. Young people leaving school and their partnes are supported by a career guidance online tool (Job Compass).
The platform represents a single-entry point to LMI and related online tools. A range of occupational information is made available through the platform such as pre-recorded video material on occupations coupled with text itrems and illustrative pictures. Together, these provide an overview of the historical development of a given occupation, frequently used terminology and core activities typically performed. This is augmented with information on current wage levels and trends in labour demand. For some occupational fields, large employers are presented as well.
Further to this, various databases are featured, either in terms of mere information provision or in terms of feeding interactive online tools. These include databases on norms concerning regulated professions, required experience for regulated professions, personality types, a competence model and others. Parts of the information generally available are specifically tailored towards pupils, students, their parents and school counsellors. A self-assessment tool is linked to the matching of occupational profiles with the personal profile of the user, ultimately helping the client in developing a realistic self-picture about job-related competencies and aspirations.
Upon registration, an online guidance tool is available. Based on a set of electronic questionares concering personal skills, qualifications, work experinec health status and the like users can creat a personal profile. With respect to adults looking for job opportunities, the system matches the personal profile with current job vacancies posted by employers. With respect to registered pupils and students, the system matches the personal profile with occupations and educational institutions that prepare for a particular occupation in questions. Registered employers can actively search a database of registered job applicants, including a personal profile published in the system upon prior consent of the profile owner. Employers can directly contact those candidates meeting their selection criteria. The system is designed for supporting both self-service and blended couselling by professionals.
- The platform features online content in different formats including text based information and multi-media content.
- Users are enabled to systematically explore the online environment through a flexible menu structure, while interactive online features enable deeper insights into selected occupational fields.
- Personal information stored in the electronic profile can be utilised in combination with an offline job application. A printed version can be retrived for utilisation in a postal job application. Alternatively, the profile can be used when replying to suitable job offerings electronically.
- The functionalities are partly enabled by interlinking the ISTP platform with external information systems.
- The number of unique visitors increased from about 10 000 per month in 2012 to 200 000 monthly visitors today. In 2016, the number of job advertisements was 10 000 - 12 000 per month.
- Anecdotal evidence suggests that the bureaucratic burden seems to have been reduced significantly for citizens, employers, and business entities; the access to the services provided by the District Offices seems to have improved as well.
- Evaluation process: Repeated rounds of user testing have been carried out during the development phase of the ISTP platform. Outcomes were fed back into the development cycle. Beyond these activities, no dedicated user evaluation or systematic impact assessment has taken place yet.
- Political willingness to continuously invest in the improvement of labour services with help of ICT;
- The leading role of the Central Labour Office in translating process related requirements emerging from day-to-day counselling practices and related workflows into technical requirements to be met by the technology developers;
- Involvement of a range of stakeholders in a dedicated body supervising an operational implementation team and various thematic expert teams;
- The coupling of technology innovation with service delivery process innovation;
- Efforts made to ensure that all staff involved in the ICT-supported delivery of the services has the necessary skills, and feels comfortable using the ICT infrastructure;
- Achieving a high level of usability of the user interface.
- A great deal of legacy technology encountered by this modernisation project along its way in terms of pre-existing data bases and data processing systems, ultimately requiring a step-wise integration strategy in order to lower the risk of loss of service (and data) continuity
- Availability of financial resources required for the development of digital solutions throughout the step wise integration process.
- A noticeable share of the population currently not having access to a suitable online connection.
- Measures to address a comparatively high level of unemployment have been on the Slovakian policy agenda for many years.
- There was a perceived need for modernising, optimising and expanding the delivery of a comprehensive range of consultancy services addressing job seekers and employers.
- Emphasis was put on enabling individualised support specifically tailored towards the client’s needs, with a view to facilitate the jobseeker’s activation and employability.
- Legally defined duties of the public employments service had to be taken into account.
Between 2015 and 2018 the costs related to the operation, maintenance and further development of the platform mounted to EUR 3 462 912.00. These are covered by the Minsitry of Labour, Social afaires & Family of the Slovak Republic.
No quantitative information is available on the human resources involved in the incremental development process of the ICT platform and the related service process changes.
The ISTP online platform is part of the intra-organisational ICT system of a country-wide network of District Offices. The system supports the delivery of social and employment services in accordance with legally defined public duties. The portal's maintenance is subcontracted to an external service provider.
- The implementation of the platform was augmented by a massive training effort directed towards the targeted user groups, including professionals working at local labour offices, the so called District Offices, and employers;
- Assisted access through public computer terminals is available to visitors of the District Offices;
- Awareness rising measures were and are still conducted by the central office, e.g. at relevant events and through information materials.
Penetration levels of social media are envisaged to deserve further attention in the future. Currently, hyperlinks to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are merely used for directing users to the ISTP platform, but such media may become increasingly relevant for maintaining a relationship between the District Offices and their clients. However, a carefully planned strategy may be required to be pursued to avoid risks potentially associated with a more extensive utilisation of social media technologies.