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Current employment policy is defined by the Employment Policy Strategy 2020 (EPS 2020) agreed by the Government and implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MPSV).
The manner of policy intervention into the labour market is rather more supportive than restrictive and due to free-market ideology has only limited possibilities for governing the situation on the labour market.
Following the Strategy Europe 2020, there is a national employment policy target to reduce the youth unemployment rate (15-24 years) by one third compared to 2010, concretely to 12.3%.
In this subchapter, we will investigate the main actors and their fields of competences, responsibilities and actions as well as their vertical distribution at regional and local level as the Czech Employment Policy is decentralised.
Government of the Czech Republic
This is the central executive power in the state with the competence of accepting and implementing state policy, and it is accountable to the Parliament.
As an initiative and conciliation body on the labour market and employment policies the Government has the so-called Tripartite in the form of the Economic and Social Agreement Council. The Secretariat of the Tripartite is part of the Governmental Office.
The Government also delegates the preparation, implementation and evaluation of Employment Policy to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs , the entrepreneurial area to the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the educational aspects to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Ministerstvo práce a sociálních věcí)
Among other areas, this is the central state authority responsible for Employment policy, its preparation, implementation and evaluation.
The Ministry is ensuring the state service in the field of Employment based on the Act no. 435/2004 Sb., on Employment.
For the exercise of its jurisdiction given to it by this Act, for the purposes of employment the Ministry keeps a central register of:
- Applicants for employment,
- Job seekers,
- People with disabilities,
- Registrations of authorisation to exercise artistic, cultural, sporting and advertising activities of children
- Work agencies
Within the scope of employment policy, it has three relevant directly managed organisations: The Employment Office of the Czech Republic (Úřad práce ČR), The Czech Social Security Administration (Česká správa sociálního zabezpečení) and The State Labour Inspection Office (Státní úřad inspekce práce).
Further, it is a founder of semi-budgetary organisations relevant to employment policy such as The Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs (Výzkumný ústav práce a sociálních věcí), The Occupational Safety Research Institute (Výzkumný ústav bezpečnosti práce), The Technical Inspectorate of the Czech Republic (Technická inspekce České republiky). There was also The Fund for Further Education (Fond dalšího vzdělávání – FDV), that termited its activities and is closed since 2019.
Within the Ministry, there is no special unit dedicated directly to Youth. However, there is Section no. 2 on social and family policy with relevance to young people and especially children. This section comprises among others the Department of family policy and ageing policy and the Department on the protection of children's rights. However, the Employment policy is in the competence of the Section no. 4 on Employment and non-insurance social benefits section.
Ministry of Industry and Trade (Ministerstvo průmyslu a obchodu)
This is the central state authority in the field of business and entrepreneurship, especially within Business and Investment Promotion in the areas of Manufacturing Industry and of Industrial Research and Development, including the use of European funds and Promotion of Small and Medium-Sized Companies with the exception of regional business support and trading matters.
In the field of entrepreneurship the Ministry has three relevant subordinated organisations: The Investment and Business Development Agency CzechInvest (Agentura pro podporu podnikání a investic CzechInvest), CzechTrade (Česká agentura na podporu obchodu CzechTrade) and The Business and Innovation Agency (Agentura pro podnikání a inovace - API).
The mainstream policy on supporting business and entrepreneurship is on the support of small and medium-sized enterprises, start-ups and innovations which could be highly relevant to young people, to motivate them, help them or to guide them to start their own business.
Economic and Social Agreement Council (ESAC)
This is a joint voluntary bargaining and initiative body between the government, labour unions and employer unions, with those responsible for social dialogue in the country. It is composed of three parties, representatives of Government, entrepreneurs/employers, and employees; each party hosts 7 members and the ESAC is chaired by the Prime minister.
Employment Office Czech Republic (EO)
This is an organisation under the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and its main responsibility is the implementation of the employment policy. As the Employment policy is decentralised in the Czech Republic it also has Regional Employment Office bureaus which are the main actors on a regional level in coordination with Regional Authorities.
The National Institute for Education (NUV)
This is an organisation under the Ministry for Education, Youth and Sports. Its core activities are conceptual, analytical and methodical services for the Ministry, but the institute also develops other activities and provides services for both practitioners and the general public as well. Among other things, it is responsible for national curricula and their content.
It provides the following services related to Youth, Employment and Entrepreneurship:
- The National Youth Information Centre: The employees of the National Youth Information Centre (NICM) provide information and consultation services for free, mainly to youth but also to adults.
- National Europass Centre Czech Republic: The employees of the client centre of the National Europass Centre Czech Republic are prepared to answer every question, for example how to document qualifications, language skills and experience from a period of study or work abroad.
- Practice Enterprises Centre (CEFIF): The Practice Enterprises Centre – CEFIF – coordinates activities carried out by a network of practice enterprises active in the Czech Republic, and provides support and consultation services to pupils and teachers involved in practice enterprises. The centre is a member of the international network EUROPEN – Pen International gathering practice enterprises from all over the world.
- Infoabsolvent.cz is an information service and analytical unit for graduates and their work opportunities. It helps by searching for education and professional pathways.
- Education and work is a web portal where job seekers can find educational opportunities or jobs.
- National Register of Qualifications is a system of nationally recognised qualifications and ways to achieve them, including through Non-Formal and Informal education.
Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs (RILSA)
RILSA is monitoring and analysing indicators of labour and social policies, namely social and economic indicators of the Czech Republic.
It is focused on:
- Long-term monitoring of issues of social differentiation and marginalization, social exclusion and poverty, as well as selected measures that help to prevent them and to restrict them;
- Long-term monitoring and evaluation of the factors that cause labour market imbalances and assessment of measures to remove such imbalances;
- Process monitoring of migration and integration policies for foreigners into the labour market and in society;
- Evaluation of social services policy in a broader perspective;
- Assessment of trends in demographic development and possibilities of family policy, follow-up with other public policies to stand for the social impacts of demographic changes;
- Evaluation of trends in the development of the capacities of public administration and governance in relation to social policy;
- Monitoring the development of social dialogue and working conditions.
Cross-sectoral cooperation happens on the governmental level including the tripartite. The mechanisms are varied according to the concrete needs and level of relevance. In the Czech administration if the cooperation is not covered by declared procedures, then there is a principle of finding the easiest way for cooperation. Many concrete projects aiming at implementing the Employment strategy have cross-sectoral aspects and cooperation included on their level of operation, usually based on the stakeholder-analysis within the project preparation.
Field and expert groups in education
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports supports the activity of various field and expert groups within education, also involving various other actors, especially from the labour market, practice and academic environment. They are coordinated by the National Institute for Education. They mediate the communication between creators of educational programmes, in particular representatives of schools, enterprises and further education institutions. They enable the involvement of social partners in the development of those programmes. It ensures the compliance of these programmes with the labour market needs.
Field groups are groups of external experts who cooperate on the development of educational programmes for secondary vocational schools. They link the National Register of Qualifications with the initial education and help create conditions for the successful implementation of the European instruments. There are several groups for different sectors. In total 25 field groups gather more than 250 external experts.
Field groups represent an important partnership; its elements relate to several levels as follows:
- National, represented by 24 field groups, their activity focuses on the key issues of a more general nature;
- International, that relates directly to the area of quality assurance in education, to the activities concerning referencing qualifications to the EQF levels carried out by the advisory group of the EQF National Coordination Point, to the activities of the expert group of the ECVET National Coordination Point focusing on the implementation and practical usage of the system;
- Sectoral, represented by 25 field groups that support the development of educational programmes reflecting the labour market demands and implementing European instruments such as EQF, ECVET and EQAVET;
- Local and regional, which is given by the possibility to establish ad hoc groups that should solve particular and specific tasks.
The main goal of expert groups is to solve tasks of a more general nature. The groups are summoned depending on the nature of the particular task that is being solved. After the resolution of the problem, the groups are dispersed. At present, there are 24 expert groups.