The OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, the OECD Centre for Skills, and the Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM) of the European Commission, are co-operating to provide technical support to Member States through the Technical Support Instrument.
The project "Supporting employers in promoting skills development in Latvia" aims to support the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia to design a new regulatory framework, which will support and incentivise employers to up-skill and/or re-skill their employees.
The importance of investing in skills development is growing for Latvia. Globalisation and the digital and green transitions are transforming jobs, how societies function and how people interact. The pandemic has accelerated the digital transition, showing the urgent need for resilient labour markets based on an increased adaptability of individuals to gain new skills. At the same time, skills imbalances (especially shortages of digital skills) hold back the capacity of Latvian firms to innovate, adopt advanced technologies and promote productivity.
Notwithstanding these trends, the level of participation in adult learning in Latvia remains relatively low. Only 6.6% of adults reported participating in education and training over a four-week period in 2020, compared to the EU average of 9.2%. Employees’ participation in training is highly dependent on the will of their employers, but enterprises in Latvia lag behind their European counterparts in providing re-/up-skilling opportunities for their employees. Enterprise investment in continuous vocational training as a percentage of total labour cost in Latvia (0.8%) is the lowest in the EU, well below the EU average (1.7%). Only 35% of employees participate in education activities during paid working hours. Moreover, micro and small-sized enterprises, which employ approximately 57% of the Latvian labour force, have less capacity to provide employee training than large firms.
Against this backdrop, this project links directly to the national priorities of Latvia to develop a sustainable support system for adult learning. The Latvian Law on Education foresees support measures for employers to promote education and training for employees, and the regulatory framework for this support needs to be developed. This project will contribute to the development of a policy package and a regulatory framework to support employers to invest in skills development, which will form the basis for a socially responsible and sustainable use of resources for adult learning. Furthermore, Latvia’s Development Plan and Education Development Guidelines also prioritise increased adult learning participation, including for workers. The project is also in line with the EU priorities on a green and digital Europe, key principles of the European Skills Agenda, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Project outputs and activities
The project will involve extensive consultations with Latvian stakeholders, in-depth data and policy analysis, and peer-learning from best practices in countries facing similar challenges. These analyses, consultations and peer learning will result in:
The project is expected to conclude in August 2023.