The system of skills needs forecasting consists of two main components; a quantitative and a qualitative one. The quantitative component is based on a complex econometric model including both national and regional aspects. The qualitative input evaluates additional factors such as so-called soft trends to refine the parameters of the quantitative model.
The project is carried out by a large team that includes regional platforms, i.e. teams of experts in each region who ensure that specific regional circumstances are considered. These platforms will also help to disseminate the project outputs at regional level and aid their implementation in regional labour market and education policies.
A methodology for regional studies was developed; it summarises region-specific statistical data and qualitative information, and serves as a basis for assessing demographic and economic factors related to current labour market developments. The first versions of these studies for individual regions were elaborated in cooperation with project partners and regional platforms, including additional consultations, and will be updated annually.
Sectoral studies constitute another important outcome of the project. They identify the main trends and factors that affect specific sectors in the coming years, particularly in terms of employment and skill needs. The studies are designed to detect qualitative trends such as technological and political developments, which are difficult to determine through quantitative methods, but can be the main force for change in a sector’s development.
These studies serve as a tool for interpreting and/or fine-tuning the outputs of the statistical model. They are also a distinct output, summarising the current situation in a sector. A total of 15 sectors were included in the pilot phase of the project. The studies were based on expert opinions from relevant industries, interviews and focus groups, complemented by research, literature reviews and available statistical data.
The main concern for the future is the sustainability of the system after project completion. This will be supported by the project outputs and the networks at regional and central levels. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs strives to provide organisational and financial means to make labour market projections a standard component of active employment policies.
The project was implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in 2017 and is reaching its final stage. The outputs of the first projection and other deliverables will be published on the new website throughout 2020. They are intended for public administration bodies in initial and continuing education, career guidance, employment policies and for companies as well as the wider professional community to help anticipate better future priorities in human resource development.