3.3 Skills forecasting
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System of labour market monitoring and future skills forecasting OSKA
There is an ongoing initiative by the Government to develop OSKA - a system of labour market monitoring and future skills forecasting. The initiative is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Research and the implementing agency is the Estonian Qualifications Authority.
OSKA provides accurate and clear information on society’s labour market opportunities and needs as well as on the existing skills at the level of individuals for developing educational choices and policies in the key sectors of Estonian society. OSKA analyses the needs for labour and skills necessary for Estonia’s economic development over the next 10 years. The aim of the action is to build platforms of cooperation between employers and education providers; to analyse the development opportunities and needs of different sectors of the Estonian economy; to prepare labour market training requirements based on various activities or professions to facilitate the planning of education provision at different levels of education and by types of school as well as in the fields of retraining and in-service training.
The implementation of OSKA is overseen by the OSKA Coordination Council, which consists of the representatives of the Ministry of Education and Research, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Finance, the Estonian Employers’ Confederation, the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Estonian Service Unions’ Confederation, the Estonian Trade Union Confederation and the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund. The implementation of OSKA is funded by the European Social Fund. The web-page of the initiative is OSKA.
In addition, the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund launched in 16.12.2016 an initiative “Occupational barometer". The occupational barometer is a qualitative method of forecasting short-term labour demand by occupation. The estimates are compiled by the regional departments of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund, which involve external experts wherever possible. Labour demand forecasts look at two indicators. Firstly, an evaluation is made of how employers' demand for labour force will change in the next 12 months, and especially how employers' demand for specific occupations will change. Secondly, the balance between labour supply and demand after the next 12 months is evaluated.
There is a web map available that shows either changes in labour force demand within or balance between labour supply and demand after the next 12 months amongst different occupations. The results are shown on a map showing the changes or balance in different counties of Estonia.
Bringing labour qualification into conformity with the needs of the contemporary labour market and increasing the share of people with professional education at the vocational or higher educational level, is one of the aims of the National Reform Programme “Estonia 2020” (Konkurentsivõime kava „Eesti 2020“).
In order to cater to this need and to ensure that the education system has relevant input to develop the offer and content of the formal and adult education, the coordination system OSKA was crated. The implementation of the coordination system of monitoring labour needs and developing skills will facilitate the planning of the structure, volume and content of formal education, adult education system and in-service training, the development of curricula and career planning and will help employers in their efforts to develop the skills of their employees.
In addition, the described barometer launched in December 2016 by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund helps to raise awareness about the real links of the labour market demand and skills.