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Foreign experience

This project was inspired by the extensive experience of developed countries gained in the past. In countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany or Canada forecasting of skills needs is considered to be an important part of services provided by labour market institutions and this topic receives considerable attention. Our project, its outputs, the systemic framework and links to other partners at the Czech labour market draw on proven foreign experience.  

The main reasons why these countries forecast future skills needs: 

  • The need to address new problems in the labour market: specifically price-based competition from cheaper economies in Eastern Europe and Asia;
  • Outflow of large employers and loss of jobs;
  • The need to increase competitiveness via the continuing training of employees;
  • The need to know potential risks and opportunities – to avoid being taken by surprise by technological, economic and market trends that affect the labour market. 

How are forecasts of skills needs used in these countries? 

  • To describe how demands on employees will change in upcoming years and to provide information about these changes for the professional as well as general public ;
  • To promote occupations that show a strong growing trend or those in short supply, and to raise awareness of the relevant employment opportunities ;
  • To ensure better targeting of instruments of active employment policy (AEP) ;
  • To evaluate the quality of the system of vocational education and training and to propose possible changes;
  • To improve guidance services provided by labour offices – occupational trends, labour market changes ;
  • To set up a system of green cards – what occupations will have to be “imported”? ;
  • To provide a foundation for the drawing up of strategies for the development of the labour market and the education system.

In foreign countries the process of forecasting skills needs most frequently combines three components:

  • Detailed monitoring of the labour market and its existing bottlenecks (for example Ireland) ;
  • Quantitative projections – a statistical/econometric model of future employment in sectors and occupations, most frequently with a 5-to-10-year outlook  (for example the Netherlands) ;
  • Qualitative forecasting (sector studies) – based on in-depth expert interviews, the Delphi method, development scenarios… (for example Ireland).

The approaches used as part of each of the components vary and produce different types of output. Each of them also has different strengths and weaknesses.  

Some projects that are being implemented in the Czech Republic deal with some of the aforementioned activities. The most important part of the value added by our project is that is covers all three components and that it seeks to make the maximum use of the existing projects and to put them together in order to establish one functional entity. 

Useful links to foreign portals concerned with labour market monitoring and skills needs forecasting. 

 European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training

 Ireland: The Expert Group on Future Skill Needs

 United Kingdom: Sector Skills Councils Alliance

Warwick Institute for Employment Research

Future Skills Scotland

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