3.3 Skills forecasting
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The Human Resource Development Authority (HRDA) is the responsible authority for identifying future demands in the labour market. It implements a 10-year employment forecasts on a regular basis. The forecasts aim to contribute substantially to the planning and implementation of education and training activities through the provision of employment needs forecasts in the Cyprus economy. In 2017, the HRDA released another study under the name “Forecasts of employment needs in the Cyprus economy 2017-2027” [the study is available in the provided link in both Greek and English]. The study provides forecasts for employment needs in economic sectors (3 broad sectors, 21 main sectors and 52 sectors) and in 309 occupations (173 high level occupations, 130 middle level occupations and 6 low level occupations) covering the whole spectrum of the Cyprus labour market for the period 2017-2027. In addition, in March 2018 the HRDA published a study named “Identification of green skills in the Cyprus Economy 2017-2027”. This study provides forecasts for employment and demand for labour in the economic sectors and occupations with participation in the green economy for the period 2017-2027. Additionally, it identifies the green skill needs for specific occupations of the green economy of Cyprus.
Moreover, the HRDA performs on an annual basis the “Identification of Employment and Training Needs” study (Διερεύνηση Αναγκών Απασχόλησης και Κατάρτισης κατά το 2020), which provides annual estimates for the number of persons required for specific occupations and the needs for specific skills. According to the National Reform Programme 2020, on the basis of these estimates, suggestions are put forward for the implementation of training programs. The study collects and analyses the views of social partners, other stakeholders and enterprises.
The main output of these forecasts are extended reports, which are published on the website of the HRDA. Furthermore, the HRDA participates actively in initiatives and actions that are promoted at European level in the framework of the European network Skillsnet for skill needs forecasting.
The Ministry of Finance (Υπουργείο Οικονομικών) provides projections for the growth of the economy, which include forecasts of value added, productivity and employment, and submits proposals for the required policy changes.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth and more specifically the Department of Secondary Technical and Vocational Education (STVE) (Διεύθυνση Μέσης Τεχνικής και Επαγγελματικής Εκπαίδευσης και Κατάρτισης) is responsible for the introduction, with the participation of the social partners, of new fields of study and specialisations, the design of curricula and the identification of special skills needed.
To carry out these tasks, while considering the developmental needs of the Cyprus economy and the latest scientific and technological advances, the Department of STVE has developed close cooperation with all major stakeholders such as Ministries, the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development, the social partners (employers´ and employees´ organisations), teachers and their associations, the University of Cyprus (UCY), the Cyprus University of Technology, the Pedagogical Institute (PI) and the HRDA. The findings of the research studies of the HRDA are also taken into account for the design of curricula.
In addition, the Centre for Educational Research and Evaluation (CERE) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth participates in the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), a survey recognised by OECD and delivered by ETS. PIAAC assesses the level and distribution of adult skills in a coherent and consistent way across countries. It focuses on the key cognitive and workplace skills that are needed for successful participation in the economy and society of the 21st century.
Skills anticipation outputs are used by policymakers to develop appropriate policies to support public and private organisations involved in human resource planning in adapting to the country’s skill needs. Other key users of the results from the HRDA skills anticipation studies are public and private organisations, future graduates and their families, school counsellors, general education and VET institutions (universities, colleges, and public and private schools of all levels), employers, trade unions, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth, and the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance.
More specifically, the outcomes of the HRDA forecast are used to support the acquisition of skills by young people in the following formal education programmes, as stated in the National Reform Programme 2020:
- Secondary Technical and Vocational Education (STVE) (Διεύθυνση Μέσης Τεχνικής και Επαγγελματικής Εκπαίδευσης και Κατάρτισης). A review and reform of the fields of study and specialisations offered by Secondary Technical and Vocational Education (STVE) has already been done in order to become more attractive and relevant to labour market needs.
- Evening Technical Schools. The Evening Technical Schools are equivalent to the formal STVE programmes offered in mainstream Technical Schools, adapted to the needs of adult students. Therefore, Evening Technical Schools operate as second chance schools, offering good quality mainstream VET education to adults who are early school leavers, so that they have the opportunity to re-enter the formal school system, obtain a qualification at upper secondary level, move on to tertiary education if they wish and/or re-enter the labour market as skilled workers.
- The Post-Secondary Institutes of VET (PSIVET): The programmes offered by PSIVET are especially designed, after consultation with the social partners and stakeholders, to respond to the needs of emerging economic sectors and to be relevant to labour market needs.
The outcomes of the HRDA forecast are not yet used in the non-formal and informal learning field.
As described in the Skills Panorama, the outputs are disseminated in a number of ways:
- The HRDA organises press conferences for the presentation of its forecasts and other studies;
- Special lectures are organised for secondary school guidance counsellors in collaboration with the MoEC, and for employment counsellors in collaboration with the PES;
- Findings of the forecast studies are disseminated to the public through the media such as articles in newspapers and participation in relevant radio and television programmes;
- Detailed forecasts of employment demand for around 300 occupations are provided on the HRDA website. Users may search for information on occupations of interest.