EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Latvia: ERM comparative analytical report on Recent Policy Developments related to those Not in Employment, Education and Training (NEET)

  • Observatory: EMCC
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 06 February 2012



About
Country:
Latvia
Author:
Raita Karnite
Institution:

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

The notion NEETs is not used in Latvia, nevertheless wide range of services is available for this population category within the general education and employment programs and specific youth-oriented programs. Significant concern about the youth problems is in state institutions, and, to a less extent, in local governments and social partner’s organisations. The overall approach is to engage youth in activities that increase their competitiveness in labour market. Employment policies target unemployed or persons under risk of being unemployed. Training and active labour market measures are applied. Future tasks include improving motivation to work among young people and information about existing measures.

1. Introduction

1.1 What is the level of interest among the different stakeholders in your country (policy makers, the media, employers and trade unions) in the issue of NEETs? What are their reasons for having a high/ low level of interest in the topic? (Expected length 100 words)

The notion NEETs is not used in Latvia. Policies/measures are targeted to general population or to youth in general, or to “drop outs”. Nevertheless, the youth problems are recognised in Latvia.

Youth employment is joint responsibility of the Ministry of Welfare (unemployment prevention policy) and Ministry of Education and Science. In 2011, the State Employment Agency (Nodarbinātības Valsts aģentūra, NVA), a subordinated institution of the Ministry of Welfare for implementation of the unemployment prevention policy, has added three new programs to several existing before aimed at improving youth employment. Mainly active labour market measures are applied. NVA works in close cooperation with local governments and social partners. Local governments and national level employers’ organisation Latvian Employers’ Confederation (Latvijas Darba Devēju konfederācija, LDDK) have implemented their measures independently or in cooperation with NVA.

1.2 Using the following table, please identify which sub-groups of NEETs are of particular concern to the different stakeholders in your country. Please indicate the relative importance of each group to the different stakeholders; for each group please state whether they are felt to be of ‘significant concern’, ‘some concern’, or ‘no concern’ to the different stakeholders.


Table 1 – NEETs sub-groups
 

Public/media debate

e.g. the extent to which the issue is discussed within the news media

Mainstream Policy

e.g. the range of policy documents tackling the issue, the amount of investment committed to tackling the problem

Employers

e.g. the extent to which this issue is raised as a concern, e.g. through lobbying / pressure on the government, involvement in the design and/or implementation of relevant policies

Trade unions

e.g. the extent to which this issue is raised as a concern, e.g. through lobbying / pressure on the government, involvement in the design and/or implementation of relevant policies

Young people who are unemployed

Some concern

Significant concern

Some concern

Significant concern

Young people who are in ‘precarious’ or unsuitable employment (e.g. temporary contracts, forced self-employment, part-time work, or jobs which are not commensurate with their level of qualifications)

No concern

Significant concern

Some concern

Some concern

Early school leavers – young people who have dropped out of education before obtaining an upper secondary level qualification

No concern

Significant concern

Some concern

Some concern

Young people with qualifications which do not meet labour market needs

Some concern

Significant concern

Significant concern

Some concern

Teenage/ single parents*

No concern

Some concern

No concern

No concern

Migrants and minority groups*

No concern

Some concern

No concern

No concern

Young people with disabilities

Some concern

Significant concern

Some concern

Some concern

Young people from workless families

Some concern

Some concern

Some concern

Some concern

Young people from disadvantaged areas

Some concern

Some concern

Some concern

Some concern

Young people with tertiary education who have been unsuccessful in accessing the labour market

Some concern

Some concern

Some concern

Some concern

Other (please specify):

.

       

* The problem is not topical in Latvia.

1.3 Are there any policy measures in your country targeted at those NEETs with tertiary education? If yes please describe these briefly (expected length 100 words).

There are no policy measures that are targeted specifically at those NEETs with tertiary education, but these people are eligible to any of implemented policies/measures. Some of them are specifically focused on people who have vocational or higher professional education or skills.

For instance, NVA has introduced a measure that targets unemployed persons who have vocational or higher business education or have obtained necessary business management skills in training and re-training programs. NVA provides consultancy and irreparable financial support in order to start entrepreneurship and to run business at least two years.

NVA has introduced also training and working practice for inspectors’ assistants in NVA institutions where higher education is a preference for applicants.

Mentoring is also chiefly oriented on people having professional education. Mentoring is provided by private organisations in cooperation with the state institutions – Association “Līdere” (Biedrība “Līdere”) in cooperation with NVA and SSE Riga Mentor Club (REA Mentoru klubs) on the basis of ESF program in Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (Latvijas Investīciju un attīstības aģentūra, LIAA).

Specialists of NVA admit that unemployed with tertiary education are the most dynamic group among the unemployed because employers prefer educated people. The major task regarding such unemployed is to inform employers about them.

2. NEET Policies and Measures

2.1 Measures to tackle early school leaving

Data in section 2.1. is provided by the Ministry of Education and Science (interview with Mr. Dmitrijs Kuļšs, Mr. Edgars Grīnis, Ms. Jeļena Muhina).

Preventive Measures to tackle early school leaving

In Latvia, early school leavers are defined according with the Eurostat definition as persons aged 18-24 without upper secondary education or vocational qualification who do not continue studies.


2.1.1 Please provide a short overview of your country’s approach to preventing early school leaving. Where does the focus of policies and measures to prevent early school leaving lie?

The policies/measures to prevent early school leaving are focused on achieving quantitative objectives formulated in Europe 2020 strategy and related national policy documents. National objective (formulated in the National position of Latvia regarding quantitative goals of Europe 2020, adopted on 4 May 2010), is to reduce proportion of early school leavers to 14.3% of people in age group 18-24 in 2015 and 13.4% in 2020. This should be achieved by preventive actions in two directions: (1) by improving accessibility of education, and simultaneously closer attendance monitoring in schools, and (2) by introducing progressive education technologies; as well as compensation actions, such as second chance education.


2.1.2 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to prevent early school leaving in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).


Table 2 - Early School Leaving: Preventive measures
Early School Leaving: Preventive measures
Name of measure

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Measure 1:

Improving accessibility of education

By optimisation of network of the general and vocational education institutions and organisation of transport services it should be provided that every individual in relevant age may attend education institution that delivers high quality education services. Individual approach to education process (correction classes, education at home, and distance education) provides education for people who can not attend education institutions due to health or other reasons. It is planned to introduce module system in vocational education.

National

Unilateral

National state funding combined with funding from ESF

General measure

No

Measure 2:

Improving education quality

Education standards of general education are being revised in order to improve quality of education and to avoid factors that groundlessly increase futility. New standards are introduced in secondary schools.

National

Unilateral

National state funding combined with funding from ESF

General measure

No

Measure 3:

Database on options in national education (Nacionālās izglītības iespēju datu bāze, NIID)

The database assists young people in the process of choosing appropriate study direction and institution, fit more precisely to their needs.

National

Unilateral

National state funding combined with funding from ESF

General measure

No


2.1.3 Please provide a more detailed description of the preventive early school leaving measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:


  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?
  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?
  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?
  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?
  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?
  • What activities are involved?
  • What are the success factors?
  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

Monitoring of the state education system

The measure is aimed at obtaining precise data on current status of education system and its potential participants (institutions, students, and teachers). It includes creation and maintenance of the State Education Information System (Valsts izglītības informācijas sistēma, VIIS). The System is tied to the State Population Register so that changes in population are immediately reflected in VIIS and available for policy makers in education. This gives possibility not only to adjust better to population changes, but also to control participation in education. The measure is supported by the Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers Nr. 89 (adopted on 1 February 2011) that sets forth the obligation that the education institution should immediately inform local governments and parents if a student does not attend school for longer period.

This is national scale unilateral measure, funded by national state. It is general measure which also has an impact on population that may be classified as NEETs. It is not specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group, yet it includes special purpose education and all minority schools (26.2% of all students).

Implementation of the information system started in 2007; in 2009, data was filled in, and the first layer of the system was opened for use in 2010. The system is not terminated.

VIIS is a mainstream project, run by the Ministry of Education and Science.

The target is education policy, therefore all young people benefit from it. The success factors are precise data that helps to improve decision making and control over education process, to identify problems and problematic groups among students and teachers.

As an evidence of success specialists of the Ministry of Education and Science mention that comparison between data from the State Population Register and VIIS revealed remarkable difference between number of population in the relevant age and those attending schools. The register founds background for additional research and policies/measures.

Reintegration measures to tackle early school leaving


2.1.4 Please provide a short overview of your country’s approach to the reintegration of early school leavers. Where does the focus of policies and measures lie?

Focus of policies/measures for the reintegration of early school leavers lie in removing obstacles that hinder graduating from school, as well as providing that unemployed people permanently improve their qualification. In general (comprehensive) education evening schools are helpful to those who should start working in early age. Distance education improves accessibility of education. Validation of knowledge and skills acquired through informal learning and non-formal education is made available in vocational education. In vocational and higher education NVA offers financial/organisational assistance in order to return in formal studies for those who have not obtained professional qualification or have not graduated from the higher education.


2.1.5 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to reintegrate early school leavers in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).


Table 2 - Early School Leaving: reintegration measures
Early School Leaving: Reintegration measures
Name of measure

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Measure 1: Validation of knowledge and skills acquired through informal learning and non-formal education

The measure enables people to formalise education that is acquired outside official education (informal education). It is envisaged that the validation of informal learning and non-formal education will be gradually available at all education levels. At the time being, the validation is possible in vocational education.

National

Unilateral

National state funding

General measure

No

Measure 2:

Distance education

Distance education is eligible since school year 2009/2010. For now, one distance education institution – the Riga Distance Education Secondary School is established, and 289 students have used option of distance education. It is planed that several more local governments will establish or support distance learning institutions.

Local

Unilateral

National state funding combined with private funding

General measure

No

Measure 3:

Module system in vocational schools

In order to offer flexible vocational education, the system being introduced that education programs are built on teaching modules that are adjusted to the changing labour market demand.

National

Unilateral

National state funding

General measure

No


2.1.6 Please provide a more detailed description of the reintegration early school leaving measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:


  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?
  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?
  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?
  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?
  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?
  • What activities are involved?
  • What are the success factors?
  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

Evening (shift) schools

The measure is focused on providing the second chance education offer in comprehensive (evening (shift) schools) and vocational education institutions for acquiring elementary and secondary education for those who should start working in early age or for other reasons have not graduated from mainstream school. Evening schools may be established as independent education institutions or as special units in general education institution. In beginning of the school year 2010/2011 there were 28 general education evening schools and 59 evening classes and external consultation units with the general education mainstream schools. It is envisaged that number of evening schools will reduce to 25 because the number of population reduces.

Evening schools is national unilateral measure. Maintenance of evening schools is responsibility of local governments and they are financed from local budgets or privately, and the education process is funded by the state.

This is general measure which also has an impact on NEETs. It is not specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group.

Evening schools have long history in Latvia. They were introduced in order to offer more flexible forms of education. Their existence is not terminated.

It is a mainstream project.

The target group are early school leavers. In beginning of the school year 2010/2011, 12,732 participants were included in evening and external courses, of which 47% were girls. 86% of participants were more than 18 years old. In 2010, 143 new general education programs were elaborated for evening schools.

The success factor is flexibility of form of education. Large number of participants proves the success.

2.2 Measures to facilitate access to employment

All data in section 2.2. from the Ministry of Welfare (interview with Mrs. Ineta Tare) and the State Employment Agency (interview with Mrs. Inese Kalvāne )

Facilitating the transition from school to work


2.2.1 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to facilitating school to work transitions. Where does the focus of policies and measures to facilitate transitions lie?

School to work transition is facilitated in two directions: (1) general job search assistance programs and advice and guidance services, and (2) work and education in trial’s regime. Job search assistance programs and advice and guidance services are core functions of NVA. On the basis of EU Structural funds project, the Ministry of Education and Science has implemented the first stage of the project aimed at development of career consulting in schools. Further implementation of the project was halted due to austerity measures. NVA in several programs offers jobs and education trials for unemployed in age groups 15–24 or 18–24.


2.2.2 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to facilitate school to work transitions in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).


Table 4 - Access to employment: Measures to facilitate school to work transitions
Access to employment: Measures to facilitate school to work transitions
Name of measure

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Measure 1:

Job search assistance (NVA)

Core function of NVA, provides multifaceted assistance for job seekers and employers on the basis of data obtained from employers and job-seekers on the basis of several databases.

National

Unilateral

National state funding

General measure

No

No

Measure 2:

Career counselling (NVA, Ministry of Education and Science)

Core function of NVA, provides individualised career consulting for unemployed, job seekers and persons under high unemployment risk.

National

Unilateral

National state funding

General measure

No

No

Measure 3:

Increasing competitiveness (NVA)

Individual consultations and workshops in groups for unemployed in order to acquire skills necessary for job seeking, psychological support, and measures that helps to adjust individuals’ skills to changing labour market needs.

National

Unilateral

National state funding

General measure

No

No


2.2.3 Please provide a more detailed description of the school-to-work transition measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:


  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?
  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?
  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?
  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?
  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?
  • What activities are involved?
  • What are the success factors?
  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?


Workplace for youngsters

This is active labour market measure. Unemployed from the target group are given chance to be employed for a trial period up to nine month in order to acquire work experience and to continue permanent employment after the trial period. Employment is based on work contract. Employer should prepare and, if necessary, to adjust workplace for needs of employee. Participants should be paid monthly remuneration not less than national minimum wage (currently EUR 285) and employer should pay all relevant taxes from this sum.

Employers will receive subsidy EUR 142 per month (EUR 213 for persons with disabilities) during the first three months period and EUR 71 per month (EUR 142 for persons with disabilities) during the second three months period, 50% of minimum wage for trainer (instructor) who works with not less than five participants, and up to EUR 711 for arrangement and adaptation of workplace.

This is national scale unilateral measure within the ESF project Complex support measures. The measure is jointly funded by national state funding and ESF.

It is a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs. The measure is not specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education or at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group.

The measure was introduced in 2011 in order to increase participation of young people in the labour market. It is not terminated. Before it, similar measure named “Providing working experience for young people” was in place since Q3 2010.

It is a mainstream project adjusted to the planning period of EU Structural funds (up to 2013).

In 2011 it is planned that 1050 people will participate.

The measure is run by NVA. The target group is 18 – 24 years old unemployed population. Preference is given to those who have been unemployed for more than six months, try to return in labour market after a child care period or are young people with disabilities.

The success factor is financial support for unemployed and employers who participate in the program. The real success of the current measure will become evident in the end of year. Since Q3 2010, 2614 participants have been involved in the previous measure.

Measures to foster employability


2.2.4 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to fostering employability among NEETs. Where does the focus of policies and measures lie?

In addition to measures focused on school to work transition, better employability is achieved by training, retraining and reorientation, and working practices. NVA offers life-long learning measures for people under risk of unemployment. Working practices are mandatory in vocational education but no so often applied in higher education. Apprenticeships and internships are rare phenomenon, introduced on incentive of employers. Employers’ organisations insist of expanding of working practices.

NVA training programs and reorientation courses are mainly general. Several measures are proposed specifically for people in age 18 – 24 years old who have not been employed and do not have professional education.


2.2.5 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to foster employability of NEETs in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).


Table 5 - Access to employment: Measures to foster employability (to include apprenticeships)
Access to employment: Measures to foster employability (to include apprenticeships).
Name of measure

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Measure 1:

Training with employer (NVA)

Active labour market measure. Unemployed persons are placed for work in enterprises in order to adjust his/her skills to the specific needs of employer and to enable her/him to smooth transition to the permanent employment. A participant is eligible for monthly stipend (LVL 70). After the trial period employer should continue employment at least six months.

National

Unilateral

National state funding plus ESF funding

General measure

No

No

Measure 2:

Support for youth volunteering (NVA)

Active labour market measure. Unemployed in age group 18 – 24 are given chance to work in NGO (associations and establishments) up to six months, receiving a monthly allowance of LVL 40 (LVL 60 for persons with disabilities). The purpose of the measure is to keep unemployed people in economic activity, to help them to integrate into labour market and to improve working skills.

National

Unilateral

National state funding

General measure

No

No

Measure 3:

Summer jobs for students of general education (NVA, local governments)

Active labour market measure. NVA has organised summer jobs for students of general education for several years, but the program was halted because of austerity measures after 2008. The popularity and usefulness of this measure have encouraged largest local governments (Ventspils, Daugavpils) to introduce their own programs in 2011. Students older than 15 years old may be engaged in seasonal works in summer holidays for a determinate period on the basis of work contract.

Local

Unilateral

Local government

General measure

No

No


2.2.6 Please provide a more detailed description of the measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country to foster the employability of NEETs (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:


  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?
  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?
  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?
  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?
  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?
  • What activities are involved?
  • What are the success factors?
  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

Subsidised workplaces (workplaces with stipend, emergency public work program)

This is active labour market measure. Unemployed are given chance to work in subsidised jobs in order to facilitate their integration into labour market. Employers are eligible for financial support to a monthly salary of the participant (50% of salary but not more than national minimum wage). The financial support includes additional items (adjustment of workplace, reimbursement for trainers work) if the participant is a person with disabilities. NVA compensates expenses connected with obligatory health checking, interpreter’s services and special equipment.

It is national scale unilateral measure, funded from national state budget combined with funding from the ESF.

This is general measure which also has an impact on NEETs. It is not specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education. It is targeted at people from a disadvantaged background and a minority group. The period of subsidised employment is up to 12 months for people from a disadvantaged background and up to 36 months for participants with disabilities.

The measure is permanently on agenda in NVA. It was introduced in order to facilitate integration into labour market. The measure is not terminated. It is a mainstream project.

NVA runs the initiative. The success factor is cooperation between NVA and employers. The success is proved by comparatively high level of permanent employment among participants.

Removing practical and logistical barriers


2.2.7 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to removing practical and logistical barriers for NEETs. Where does the focus of policies and measures lie?

The general principles of NVA activities are equal approach to all categories of clients, increasing involvement and access to services. For this reason, all NVA activities include special measures that enable people to participate regardless of his/her special condition. Additional measures are financed from NVA sources. Informal education, together with recognition system increases involvement in education for those who can not participate in education directly and in due time. e-Learning serves mainly population with disabilities.


2.2.8 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to remove practical and logistical barriers to employment for NEETs in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).


Table 6 - Access to employment: Measures to remove practical and logistical barriers
Access to employment: Measures to remove practical and logistical barriers
Name of measure

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Measure 1:

Horizontal measures throughout NVA measures

NVA measures, when necessary, include horizontal requirements such as adjustment of skulls, adjustment of workplace, interpretation services for deaf, assistants for blind, subsidized obligatory health care checking, and financial assistance in observing general requirements of working conditions. This helps to remove barriers for employment of disadvantaged people and people whose employment requires preparation actions, including training (youth, people after long unemployment period).

National

Unilateral

National state funding combined with ESF funding

General measure

No

No

Measure 2:

Informal education (NVA)

Training measure, targets unemployed, jobseekers and persons under risk to become unemployed. NVA offers programs for informal education that are adjusted to the changing labour market demands and provide theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

National

Unilateral

National state funding

General measure

No

No

Measure 3:

e-Learning

(NVA)

Training measure, focused on employed in general and more specifically on persons with disabilities. Provides opportunity to study in programs of professional education or re-training programs in the form of e-education. For instance, 480 hours’ program offers qualification of data operators for persons with basic education and users’ computer skills.

National

Unilateral

National state funding

General measure

No

No

Employer incentives


2.2.9 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to incentivising employers to recruit young people (who are NEET). Where does the focus of policies and measures to incentivise employers lie? Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Co-operation with employers forms great part of NVA core activities. In job seeking services, employers provide data about vacancies and submit requests for selection of workers. In training services, employers may encourage creation of special training programs. Employers are direct partners in several active labour market measures – they provide and arrange workplaces. The national level employers’ organisation – LDDK is a partner in social dialogue. It has started sector level expertise in twelve sectors, that includes skills building and employment issues, and promoted establishing of an internet tool http://www.prakse.lv.


2.2.10 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to incentivise employers in your country.


Table 7 - Access to employment: Employer incentives
Access to employment: Employer incentives
Name of measure

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Measure 1:

Labour fairs (NVA in cooperation with employers)

NVA in cooperation with employers organise local or international labour fairs in different locations in Latvia. The measure usually is carried out in framework or in connection with EURES activities (Work and career fairs in 2008, European work days, Youth&Work incentive).

National

Bipartite

National state funding plus private, supported from ESF

General measure

No

No

Measure 2:

ESF project in LDDK

The ESF project is carried out by LDDK in partnership with the State Education Development Agency (Valsts izglītības attīstības aģentūra, VIAA), the Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia (Latvijas Brīvo Arodbiedrību savienība, LBAS), the State Education Centre (Valsts izglītības satura centrs, VISC), the State Service of Education Quality (Izglītības kvalitātes valsts dienests, IKVD). The project envisages creation of the sector qualification system. It is focused on improving of quality and efficiency of vocational education: improving of national qualification system, revising of professions standards, creating of system of recognition of informal education, restructuring of vocational education. Twelve sectors will be revised and professional qualification systems will be elaborated for each sector.

National

Unilateral

Funded from ESF

General measure

No

No

Measure 3:

Training courses on employers’ request

(NVA)

In frameworks of NVA training and re-training programs, special training courses are organised on request of employers or employers organisation on condition that employers provide employment of trained people. NVA admits high efficiency of this measure, because it guaranties almost total employment of participants. Up to now, only some courses on request were held. A good example of such courses is training of chemists for Latvian pharmaceutical industry.

National

Unilateral

Funded from the national state budget and ESF

General measure

No

No


2.2.11 Please provide a more detailed description of the employer incentive which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:


  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?
  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?
  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?
  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?
  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?
  • What activities are involved?
  • What are the success factors?
  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

Education and career internet portal Prakse.lv

The portal unites three target groups: youth, employers and education institutions. It offers consultations on education and employment issues for youth, as well as information on vacancies for work and working practices, and education. Data on work vacancies and working practices is collected from employers and on options in education – from education institutions. Employers are invited to tell about practical employment aspects in their enterprises, and to recommend professions and higher education institutions that they consider the best for them.

This is national scale unilateral measure. This is general measure which also has an impact on NEETs. It is not specifically targeted either at NEETs who already have a tertiary education or at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group.

The portal is envisaged for registered users. In June 2011, 778 enterprises, 452 education institutions, 106 NGO and 35 276 young people have registered for access to the portal.

The portal was established in 2007 and is currently run by the association “Jauniešu konsultācijas” (Biedrība „Jauniešu konsultācijas”) in framework of the project Experience for the future. The founders of the project are the Chancellery of the President of Latvia (Latvijas Valsts prezidenta kanceleja), State Chancellery (Valsts Kanceleja, VK), LDDK, the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments (Latvijas Pašvaldību savienība, LPS) and the association “Jauniešu konsultācijas”. It is a joint public-private incentive.

The success factors are access to multifaceted and unique data base that includes not only facts but also practical aspects of employment and professions, views and opinions. The success is evidenced by number of registered users.

3. Conclusion

In Latvia, NEETs is not distinguished as a specific target group. However, education and unemployment prevention measures are organised in a way that they serve individual’s needs at different stages of pre-working and working life, including specific needs of those who might be identified as NEETs.

The success of the programs (measured as a proportion of those who were able to integrate into labour market after attending training courses or using other measures) depends on country’s economic situation. If unemployment is high, assistance does not always guarantee employment. Also the generosity of policies and measures depends on country’s economic situation. After 2008, crisis and drastic austerity measures have made corrections in offers and funding of social policies/measures. Several activities were closed, for others the level of the state support was reduced. Latvian unemployment prevention policy is based on training and active labour market measures. Especially the last ones need employers’ support, yet it is difficult to persuade employers to employ on high extra costs if the state support is low.

To some extent, the problem is softened in a way that people who have not succeeded to find job after participation in one measure may additionally participate in at least one another measure so that their involvement into organised activity and some limited income continues for longer period.

No doubt, NVA is a major service provider both for training and re-training activities and employment promotion activities. Local governments are partners. Employers have shown increasing national level activities based on ESF projects. The national level employers, trade union and local government organisation co-operate.

EU level actions may specify and promote activity in the NEETs agenda. This process is just started. Mainly EU funding is used for financing of youth-oriented employment promoting policies and measures.

Interviewed specialists were not convinced that NEETs should be more specifically targeted in national employment plans and preventing/promotion measures, including those funded from the EU Structural funds. Indeed, the group is not specified in Latvia because is difficult to identify who are these persons. Also the approach to youth problems varies in different state institutions.

The Ministry of Education recognise that preventive measures regarding early school leavers could be improved. The Ministry of Welfare admits that motivation of young people to work in Latvia should be increased. Information about introduced measures should be more adjusted to clients and provided in due time.

Raita Karnite, EPC Ltd.

References


  • interview with Mr. Dmitrijs Kuļšs, the Ministry of Education and Science;
  • interview with Mr. Edgars Grīnis, the Ministry of Education and Science;
  • interview with Ms. Jeļena Muhina the Ministry of Education and Science;
  • interview with Mrs. Ineta Tare, the Ministry of Welfare;
  • interview with Mrs. Inese Kalvāne, the State Employment Agency;
  • homepage of the State Employment Agency - www.nva.gov.lv
  • homepage of the Ministry of Education and Science - www.izm.gov.lv
  • homepage of the Ministry of Welfare – www.lm.gov.lv



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