Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Conference: Leveraging training & skills development in SMEs (Warsaw, Poland)


13 December 2010
Warsaw, Poland


This conference reviewed the results of an OECD case study on training and skills development in SMEs in the Zaglebie sub-region of south-east Poland. Policy makers, industry representatives and SMEs debated the best way of leveraging training and skills development.

This case study is part of a international project by the LEED Programme which seeks to identify ways to overcome the barriers to workforce development in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).


A video summary of the results and conference is available in both English and Polish:

 Skills development in SMEs (Polish case study) [EN]

 Rozwój umiejętności i szkolenia w MŚP [PL]



The Poland case study report is available for download:

Leveraging Training:Skills Development in SMEs. An analysis of Zaglebie sub-Region, Poland.
(pdf, 1.59 MB


Rozwój umiejetnosci i szkolenia w msp: Analiza subregionu Sosnowieckiego, Polska.
(pdf, 2.75 MB


Published December 2010.



Human resources and skills are a crucial element to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs are in turn key to economic development, employment and job creation. However SMEs face continuing barriers to developing their human resources. Training & skills development is significantly lower in SMEs than in large enterprises – up to 50% less training.

The pool of SME workers requiring further education and training is significant. However, SMEs often find it difficult to support formal learning activities due to their low critical mass.

Small enterprises are more inclined to participate in knowledge intensive activities as a way of learning new operational techniques and procedures that will help them to be more innovative and creative. These competence building activities are largely performed in-house, are interactive and can involve external resources from other companies or organisations.

The dynamics of these alternative ways of learning and upgrading skills are largely unknown. This current project seeks to bring clarification on the way they are performed and their impact on the innovativeness and competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises and its workforce (both for high-skilled and low-skilled employees).


For futher information visit the links below or contact the project co-ordinator Dr Cristina Martinez.





10:00 – 10:30   


10:30 – 10:45   


Mr Waldemar Slugocki, Undersecretary of the State, Ministry of Regional Development

10:45 – 11:30   

Keynote: Dynamics of Learning in SME’s: Good practices at the transnational level.

Dr Cristina Martinez–Fernandez, Project Co-ordinator, OECD LEED Programme

11:30 – 12:00   

Country report presentation – findings for Poland

Mr Michal Kubisz, OECD Country Expert

12:00 – 12:15   

Coffee break

12:15 – 13:45   

Panel discussion on the recommendations for Poland in light of the future of small and medium entrepreneurship policy at the national and structural funds level



Mr Pawel Chorazy, Director of Department for ESF Management, Ministry of Regional Development



Prof. Urszula Sztanderska, Warsaw University

Ms Agnieszka Rybioska, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego

Mr Robert Strauss, DG Employment, European Commission delegate for LEED programme

Ms Sylwia Wasniewska, Department for the Economic Development, Ministry of Economy, Polish Agency for Enterprise Development

Mr Zygmunt Mierzejewski, Trade Union’s Forum

13:45 – 14:15   


14:15 – 14:30   

Key conclusions from the conference

Ministry of Regional Development

14:30 – 15:30