Anticipating Developments and Adapting the Educational Offer to the Demand of the Labor Market - Cristina Mocanu
There is more and more talk about the need to correlate education systems to the requirements of the labor market, this being not only a national policy priority, but also a European and global one. The economic and financial crisis of 2007-2008 left deep traces at European level in terms of youth unemployment and inactivity rates, and these traces do not seem to have been erased so far.
The extent to which initial education leads to the employment of young people and especially to their adequate employment has become one of the dimensions of the quality of education systems. Obtaining a qualification required by the labor market, leading to a fast and (ideally) adequate employment is promoted as a solution to increasing the difficulties and obstacles that young people face in the transition from school to work.
The labor market knows a very fast pace of development and change, in accordance with the dynamics of economic development. Under the impact of globalization and the extensive use of new technologies, which are changing at an ever-increasing rate, new occupations appear, and the old, traditional ones change their content at an alert pace. These changes, and especially the pace at which they occur, require education systems to anticipate what the labor market will require when new graduates leave the education system and enter the labor market. However, as the pace of change increases, the anticipation of developments is achieved over shorter time horizons (3-5 years), sometimes insufficient to project an educational cycle, and these projections may have a higher or lower level of confidence.
Vocational training does not end at the end of initial education, becoming necessary to develop systems of continuous vocational training to support the training of adults throughout life, to increase their employability and adaptability to rapid changes in the content of occupations and in general on the labor market.
Education, employment and social protection policies operate in the same macroeconomic context and in the same socio-cultural context. Different macroeconomic contexts and experiences (including historical and political) of a nation lead to different economies, characterized by different levels of productivity, added value and innovation, different mechanisms of dialogue and social partnership, different characteristics of the demand for labor force in terms of knowledge and skills and last but not least by different policy decisions on education, labor market and social protection reforms.
The need to increase the relevance of initial training to the requirements of the labor market is practically generated by the need to increase productivity and well-being. A well-trained workforce and in line with the demands of the economy is a productive workforce, which can support the development of a competitive and diversified economy (ILO, 2011) and implicitly sustainable social protection systems. However, the solution of all problems is not at the level of the education system. Labor market institutions must also be adequately developed and all actors must work together to create adequate mechanisms for generating well-being. For example, even if the young labor force leaving the education system is adequately prepared, if employment legislation is far too protective, curbing the entry of outsiders into the labor market, then human capital losses are inherent and the benefits of adequate education are exploited. only partially. Also, the public employment service must be efficient, precisely in order to facilitate a better and faster meeting of the demand with the offer, especially at the level of the groups of young people who have lower levels of employability.
The theme of this paper is deeply interdisciplinary, prioritized in public discourse especially by policy makers, and promoted as a panacea for most of the problems of the education system or the insertion of young people on the labor market. It is a topic that is based mainly on empirical data / approaches, although there are theoretical frameworks developed in recent decades, but not integrated in a unitary approach. There are theoretical and methodological frameworks developed both in economics, but also in sociology, management, marketing, etc.
Non-correlation is intrinsic to the way economies work, but there are no studies to conclude on the level of imbalance that could be considered natural, benign, and what is that level of imbalance from which the economy, individuals (companies or individuals) or communities are affected by its negative consequences.
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