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Finland

Finland

3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.3 Skills forecasting

Last update: 10 June 2024
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  1. Forecasting system(s)
  2. Skills development

Forecasting system(s)

The Finnish National Agency for Education, under the Ministry of Education and Culture, in co-operation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, have a statutory task in anticipation activities and is supported in this role by the Skills Anticipation Forum (in Finnish), established in 2017 to support interaction between education and working life. As mentioned in an online leaflet entitled ‘Anticipation of skills and education needs in Finland’ published by the Ministry of Education and Culture (2019), the regional anticipation is carried out in regional councils and centres for economic development, transport and the environment (ELY Centres). Education providers, higher education institutions, chambers of commerce, labour market organisations, research institutes and companies also produce forecasts.’ 

In the data collection 'Skills anticipation in countries', published by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training Cedefop of the European Commission, the function of the skills forecasting system are at length described in a country report entitled Skills anticipation in Finland (2023, update)As a summary, the report describes the Finnish system in the following way: ‘The aim is to steer the education system – both vocational education and training (VET) and higher education (HE) – to meet the needs of the labour market. This is being achieved by making skills anticipation more comprehensive, with input and feedback from the government (central, regional and local) and increasingly also from stakeholders including employers, trade unions, and labour market intermediaries as well as education institutions and their staff and students. Skills anticipation in Finland considers sectoral, occupational and geographical differences, and includes skills assessments, skills forecasting, skills foresight, and employer surveys.’ The report continues: ‘The core tools of skills anticipation in Finland are the VATTAGE and MITENNA models. The VATTAGE model, the cornerstone of skills anticipation in the country, provides forecasts up to 2025 based on a model of the Finnish economy, while the MITENNA model provides the basis of anticipation of education needs and future oriented development of education.’

Skills development

As mentioned in ‘Anticipation of skills and education needs in Finland’ published by the Ministry of Education and Culture (2019), foresight and anticipation results are used in education policy decision making and in the development of education. At a strategic level, the results are used by organisations such as: 

  • Ministry of Education and Culture when issuing authorisations to provide education, in the direction of higher education institutions and when deciding on degrees. 
  • The Finnish National Agency for Education when drawing up the national qualification requirements. 
  • education providers and higher education institutions in targeting their own education provision.

Based on the aforementioned Skills anticipation in Finland (2023, update) published by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training Cedefop of the European Commission, in Finland ‘skills anticipation influences government policies on VET, higher education and adult education. Forecasts of future skills demand have an impact on decisions about education supply. The funding that higher education institutions receive from the Ministry of Education depends on the results from the long-term labour force assessments, the VATTAGE (economical) and MITENNA (educational) models. Skills anticipation results feed the so-called performance agreements that set the priorities and qualitative and quantitative targets that the institutions need to meet. Skills anticipation also has an impact on curriculum planning in VET and higher education institutions.

There is, however, room for improvement, related to strengthening the links between skills anticipation results and the development of education strategies at sub-national levels; ensuring greater coherence among the various exercises taking place across the country; and providing user-friendlier labour market information to support informed decisions of school leavers and job seekers.

Dissemination of the data generated by skills anticipation exercises is an important element of the overall approach. There is a drive to make the outputs from anticipation exercises accessible to a wide audience (policymakers, employers, jobseekers and young people, etc.) through a range of channels including reports, workshops and online publications. Despite the focus on dissemination of skills anticipation data, there is a need to improve the user friendliness of the existing database to better inform students, job seekers and employers.’