Project “Studies of the Ministry of Welfare” for the National Program “Studies of the Labour Market” from the European Union Structural Funds No VPD1/ESF/NVA/04/NP/220.127.116.11/0001/0003 University of Latvia Agency of the University of Latvia “Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the University of Latvia” Baltkonsults, LTD
Professional Activities of Graduates of Higher and Vocational Education Institutions after Graduation
Study co-financed by the European Union
UDK 331.5 Au 370 “The Professional Activities of Graduates of Higher and Vocational Education Institutions after Graduation”. UL: Riga, 2007, XIV + 210 pages
Project “Studies of the Ministry of Welfare” National program “Studies of the Labour Market” of European Union Structural Funds No VPD1/ESF/NVA/04/NP/18.104.22.168/0001/0003
Layout prepared by LU Akademiskais apgads Literal Editor Ieva Racko Cover design by Agris Dzilna Layout designer Andra Liepina
ISBN 978-9984-993 0-3-4
The Professional Activities of Graduates of Higher and Vocational Education Institutions after Graduation
GROUP OF RESEARCHERS This study, under the guidance of Professor Juris Krumins, was performed by researchers of the Faculty of Economics and Management of the University of Latvia (UL), the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of UL (IPS UL) of the Agency of UL and company “Baltkonsults,” LTD and involving doctoral students, experts from the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) as well as from other areas. Study foreman: Dr. habil. oec. Juris Krumins is Pro-rector of UL and Professor of Socioeconomic demography. Issues that are in his professional interest are as follows: development of the nation, health and inhabitant quality, education management, employment and society development in countries of the Baltic Sea region.
During the accomplishment of this study, the following people took part – From UL: Executive researchers – professor Dr. oec. Zigrida Gosa (specialist of inhabitants’ educational issues), associated professor, Dr. oec. Signe Balina (specialist of sample study issues), study coordinator – Inese Leduskrasta, doctoral students – Kitija FreijaKarlsone, Inta Jaunzeme, Zane Leduskrasta, From IPS UL: Executive researchers – Dr. soc. Ritma Rungule, Mg. art. Ilze Trapenciere, Dr. soc. Silva Senkane, researchers – Mg. soc. Ilze Koroleva, assistant Marcis Trapencieris, candidates for a doctor’s degree – Mg. soc. Sigita Snikere, Mg. soc. Inta Mierina, MA, economics Maris Goldmanis. From the company “Baltkonsults,” LTD: Executive researcher – candidate for doctor’s degree Galina Kanejeva, researchers – Mg. geogr. Jolanta Guza, doctoral student Gatis Kristaps
The following specialists took part in this research: Professor Dr. habil. oec. Baiba Rivza (Minister of Education and Science), Arija Konstantinova (Councilors of Minister of Education and Science), Gunars Krusts (Director of Vocational and Continuing Education department of MES), Anatolijs Melnis (Deputy Director of Higher Education Department of MES), Dace Viksne (Expert on regional higher education, Latvian University of Agriculture (LUA)), Maris Rukers (personal data protection expert, UL). Qualitative sample surveys and expert interviews of graduates of higher and vocational institutions were performed by IPS UL (executive specialists – Aleksandrs Aleksandrovs, Vija Stepa, Ilze Abele, Silga Priekule, Ieva Karklina). iii
The Professional Activities of Graduates of Higher and Vocational Education Institutions after Graduation
SUMMARY The study sampled the main problems and barriers of professional operation after graduation of graduates of Latvia’s higher and vocational education institutions for 2002/2003 and 2004/2005 academic years (a.y.). Life event history analysis has been used in the researched and it requires a special data collection format with precise history start and finish time. Data analysis was performed using software SPSS for Windows 15.0, MS Access 7.0, MS Excel, Stata SE 9.2. Multi-factor logical regression models as well as “survival” analysis methods were used in order to determine factors and differences of graduates’ aligning with their profession. Quantitative analysis, experts’ interviews and discussions provide a possibility to make conclusions regarding the necessity for the education institutions’ graduate monitoring. It is necessary to strengthen career education and consulting for improvement of professional preparation. Key words: Life event history analysis, continuation of education, work carrier, improvement of qualification, monitoring of professional activities.
The Professional Activities of Graduates of Higher and Vocational Education Institutions after Graduation
TABLE OF CONTENTS GROUP OF RESEARCHERS ............................................................................................iii SUMMARY .......................................................................................................................... iv TABLE OF CONTENTS ..................................................................................................... v INDEX OF TABLES .........................................................................................................viii INDEX OF FIGURES ......................................................................................................... ix LIST OF ABREVIATIONS ................................................................................................ xi GLOSSARY ........................................................................................................................xiii INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................. 1 MAIN CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS .................................................. 4 1. BIBLIOGRAPHY OVERVIEW ................................................................................... 12 1.1. Overview of legal provisions and policy documents ............................................................. 12 1.1.1. General documents of field policy planning ............................................................... 12 1.1.2. Higher education and lifelong learning ...................................................................... 14 1.1.3. Vocational education .................................................................................................. 15 1.2. Data regarding graduates of higher and vocational education institutions ............................ 16 1.2.1. Review of database of higher education institution graduates .................................... 16 1.2.2. Review of database of vocational education institution graduates ............................. 17 1.3. Review of previous studies .................................................................................................... 18 1.3.1. Studies made in Latvia ............................................................................................... 18 1.3.2. Studies made in the European Union and other countries .......................................... 30 1.4. Theoretical foundation and urgency of the research............................................................... 35 1.5. Study hypothesis ..................................................................................................................... 39
2. STUDY METHODOLOY .............................................................................................. 41 2.1. Assessment of graduates’ database ........................................................................................ 41 2.1.1. Higher education ......................................................................................................... 41 2.1.2. Vocational education .................................................................................................. 42 2.2. Creation of sample and sample errors .................................................................................... 44 2.2.1. General cluster and sample frame ............................................................................... 44 2.2.2. Volume of sample ....................................................................................................... 44 2.2.3. Stratification ................................................................................................................ 44 2.2.4. Sample design and design weights ............................................................................. 45 2.2.5. Response rate of sample units ..................................................................................... 46 2.2.6. Correction of no response ........................................................................................... 48 2.2.7. Procedure for elimination of sample errors ................................................................ 49 2.3. Methodology for graduates’ survey ....................................................................................... 49 2.3.1. Survey method ............................................................................................................ 49 2.3.2. Survey instrument ....................................................................................................... 50 2.3.3. Field work process ...................................................................................................... 51 2.4. Data analysis methods for graduates’ survey.......................................................................... 52 2.4.1. Linear regression ........................................................................................................ 53 2.4.2. Logical regression ....................................................................................................... 54 2.4.3. Duration (survival) analysis ........................................................................................ 54 2.5. Expert selection and methodology for experts interviews ..................................................... 56
2.5.1. Tasks for experts interviews and experts selection criteria ........................................ 56 2.5.2. Process and general conclusions of interviews............................................................ 57
3. RESULTS OF GRADUATES’ SURVEY ..................................................................... 58 3.1. Life course of graduates after graduation from educational institution ................................. 58 3.1.1. Occupation of higher education institutions’ graduates after graduation ................... 60 3.1.2. Occupation of vocational education institutions’ graduates after graduation ............. 62 3.1.3. Description of current situation .................................................................................. 64 3.1.4. Unemployment and non-alignment with labour market ............................................. 70 3.1.5. Alternative life courses: work abroad ......................................................................... 73 3.1.6. Analysis of demographic groups ................................................................................ 76 3.2. Starting of professional career ............................................................................................... 86 3.2.1. Alignment with labour market during studies ............................................................ 86 3.2.2. Finding of work after graduation ................................................................................ 89 3.2.3. Alignment with labour market according to acquired education................................. 98 3.3. Correspondence of current work to acquired education and choosing of work that does not correspond to acquired education ..................................................... 106 3.3.1. Correspondence of current work of higher education graduates with acquired education ............................................................................................ 106 3.3.2. Correspondence of the current work of vocational education institutions’ graduates with acquired education............................................................................ 110 3.3.3. Reasons for choice of work that does not correspond to acquired education ........... 112 3.3.4. Work remuneration and its determining factor analysis ........................................... 116 3.4. Continuation of education after graduation .......................................................................... 124 3.4.1. Formal education ...................................................................................................... 126 3.4.2. Informal education .................................................................................................... 128
4. RESULTS OF EXPERTS’ SURVEY .......................................................................... 130 4.1. Operation of vocational education institutions and alignment of their graduates with the labour market ......................................................................................................... 130 4.1.1. Possibilities for graduates to find work and main difficulties starting work in their profession ........................................................................................... 130 4.1.2. Youth not working in their acquired specialty, work abroad and unemployment .... 133 4.1.3. Connection between labour market demand and supply of education system .......... 135 4.1.4. Cooperation of local governments and employers .................................................... 137 4.1.5. Financing and material technical supply of (for?)vocational education ................... 138 4.1.6. Prestige of vocational education ............................................................................... 138 4.1.7. Specialists necessary for the future labour market .................................................... 139 4.2. Operation of higher education institutions and possibilities of their graduates to align with labour market ................................................................................................. 140 4.2.1. Possibilities for graduates to find work and main difficulties starting work in their profession ............................................................................................ 140 4.2.2. Employment of graduates of academic programs ..................................................... 142 4.2.3. Changes in educational programs ............................................................................. 142 4.2.4. Not working in acquired profession, unemployment, and work abroad ................... 143 4.2.5. Problems of educational system ............................................................................... 147
5. CONCULSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION ........................................................ 149 5.1. Factors of education ............................................................................................................. 150 5.2. Demographical factors ......................................................................................................... 152
5.3. Professional operation factors .............................................................................................. 153 5.4. Mediated factors .................................................................................................................. 154
6. POLICY ALTERNATIVES FOR PROMOTION OF PROFESSIONAL OCCUPATION OF GRADUATES AFTER GRADUATION ..................................... 158 6.1. Improvement for (of?) career education system (alternative I) ........................................... 160 6.1.1. General characteristic of alternative ......................................................................... 160 6.1.2. Political and economical possibility of the alternative ............................................. 166 6.1.3. Financial analysis of the alternative ......................................................................... 168 6.1.4. Socio- economical analysis of the alternative ........................................................... 169 6.1.5. Possible implementation risks of the alternative and their elimination activities ..... 170 6.2. Creation of the monitoring system of students and graduates (alternative II) ..................... 171 6.2.1. General characteristic of alternative .......................................................................... 171 6.2.2. Political and economical possibility of the alternative ............................................. 178 6.2.3. Financial analysis of the alternative ......................................................................... 179 6.2.4. Socio- economical analysis of the alternative............................................................ 179 6.2.5. Possible implementation risks of the alternative and their elimination activities ..... 179 6.3. Increase of motivation to work for educatees and graduates in the chosen profession (alternative III) ................................................................................................... 180 6.3.1. General characteristic of alternative .......................................................................... 180 6.3.2. Political and economical possibility of the alternative ............................................. 185 6.3.3. Financial analysis of the alternative ......................................................................... 185 6.3.4. Socio-economical analysis of the alternative............................................................. 186 6.3.5. Possible implementation risks of the alternative and their elimination activities ..... 186 6.4. The comparison of policies of alternatives .......................................................................... 187 6.5. Analysis of the effectiveness of alternative expenses........................................................... 188 6.6. The summary of analysis of political alternatives ............................................................... 191 6.6.1. Conclusions and provisions for improvement of career support system .................. 191 6.6.2. Conclusions and provisions in the implementation of student and graduate monitoring system ......................................................................................... 192 6.6.3. Conclusions and provisions for the improvement of the motivation of students and graduates for employment in the chosen profession ................................. 193
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................................................................................ 195 REFERENCES .................................................................................................................. 196 INDEX OF APPENDIXES ............................................................................................... 202 CONTENT OF CD ........................................................................................................... 202 APPENDIXES ................................................................................................................... 203
INDEX OF TABLES Table 1
Unused and useful contacts with respondents ................................................. 44
Useful contacts with respondents and reasons for not responding .................. 46
Educational and work course of graduates of higher education institution after graduation: distribution according to thematic fields of education ........ 78
Graduates education and work course after graduation from vocational education institution: distribution according to thematic fields of education ...... 80
Net value of salary (Lats) of higher education institutions’ graduates depending on correspondence of education: distribution according to thematic fields of education ...................................................................... 117
Net value of salary (Lats) of higher education institutions’ graduates depending on gender: distribution according to thematic fields of education ... 118
Net value of salary (Lats) of higher education institutions’ graduates depending on gender: distribution according to education level ................... 119
Net value of salary (Lats) of vocational education institutions’ graduates depending on correspondence of education: distribution according to thematic fields of education ...................................................................... 121
Net value of salary (Lats) of vocational education institutions’ graduates depending on gender: distribution according to thematic fields of education ... 122
Continuation of formal and informal education (%, from people who have acquired the corresponding educational level) .. 125
Financing sources for continuation of education .......................................... 127
Number and content of people consulted by Professional Career Counselling State for the period from 2003 to2005....................................... 161
Ranges of the political alternatives according to the criteria of assessment ...... 188
Results of the analysis of the effectiveness of alternative expenses .............. 190
INDEX OF FIGURES Figure 1
Life course of graduates after graduation and now (%) ................................... 58
Life course of higher education institution graduates graduation (%) ............. 60
Further course of education of higher education institutions’ graduates (%) .. 61
Life course of vocational education institutions’ graduates after graduation..... 62
Further educational course of vocational education institutions’ graduates (%)..... 63
Current occupation of higher education institutions’ graduates (%)................ 64
Current occupation of higher education institutions’ graduates of various education level (%) .......................................................................................... 65
Future plans of higher education institutions’ graduates (%) .......................... 66
Current occupation of vocational education institutions’ graduates who have acquired various education levels (%)............................................. 67
Current occupation of vocational education institutions graduates (%) .......... 68
Future plans of vocational education institutions’ graduates (%) .................... 70
Current activities of unemployed higher education institutions’ graduates (%) ..... 71
Current activities of unemployed vocational education institutions’ graduates (%) ................................................................................................... 71
Work abroad after graduation (%) ................................................................... 73
Countries were graduates have worked or are now working (number of people)........................................................................................... 75
Work during studies of students of various educational fields (%) ................. 82
Work during studies of students of various education levels (%).................... 83
Work during studies of pupils of various thematic education fields (%)......... 86
Work during studies of pupils of various education levels (%) ....................... 87
Work course of graduates after graduation from higher education institution (%) .................................................................................................. 89
Requirements regarding work course after graduation from higher education institution (%).................................................................................. 90
Aligning with labour market of graduates from various thematic fields after graduation from higher education institution (%) ................................... 91
Kaplan–Meier survival function for duration (months) of graduates of higher education institutions for searching of work .................................... 92
Survival function for duration (months) of work search of higher education institutions’ graduates parameterized as general gamma function .................. 93
Risk function for duration (months) of search for work of higher education institutions’ graduates parameterized as general gamma function .................. 93
Work course of graduates after graduation from vocational education institution (%) .................................................................................................. 95
Connection between requirements for work and work course after graduation from vocational education institution (%) ..................................... 95
Aligning with labour market of graduates from various thematic fields after graduation from vocational education institutions (%) ........................... 96
Relation of work during studies with acquired qualification (%) .................... 99
Wish of graduates after graduation to work according to the acquired education (%) ................................................................................................... 99
Sufficiency of information about employment possibilities in the selected field: higher education institutions’ graduates............................................... 100
Correspondence of work acquired after graduation or during studies to education (%)............................................................................................. 101
Connection of requirements for work that is acquired after graduation or during studies with education (%) ............................................................. 102
Awareness of employment possibilities in the selected field related to correspondence of work acquired after graduation or during studies with education (%)......................................................................................... 102
Sufficiency of information about employment possibilities in chosen field: graduates of vocational education institutions (%) .............................. 103
Wish of graduates to work according to their education after graduation (%) ... 103
Correspondence of work acquired after graduation from vocational education institution or during studies with education (%) .......................... 104
Correspondence of education with requirements for work with work that has been acquired after graduation or during studies in vocational education institutions (%) .............................................................................. 105
Correspondence of education with awareness about employment possibilities in the selected field after graduation or during studies (%)....... 106
Correspondence of current work with acquired higher education ................. 107
Correspondence of current work with acquired vocational education .......... 110
Net salary (Lats) of graduates of vocational education institutions in various regions of Latvia .......................................................................... 122
LIST OF ABREVIATIONS AIC – Academic Information Centre a. y. – Academic year LHE – Law of Higher Education (project of law) LHEI – Law of Higher Education Institutions PAGHVEIAG – Professional activities of graduates of higher and vocational education institutions after graduation CSB – Central Statistics Bureau DU – Daugavpils University ME – Ministry of Economics ESF – European Social Fund EU – European Union MI – Ministry of Interior LE – Law of Education MES – Ministry of Education and Science MC – Ministry of Culture ISHEIL – Information system of higher education institutions of Latvia ECL – Employers’ Confederation of Latvia LCCI – Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry EISL – Education information system of Latvia UL – University of Latvia IPhS – Institute of Philosophy and Sociology MW – Ministry of Welfare LAA – Latvian Academy of Arts LUA – Latvian University of Agriculture LAP – Liepaja Academy of Pedagogy LV – Newspaper “Latvijas Vestnesis” LVL – Latvian Lat CM – Cabinet of Ministers NDP – National Development Plan NVA – State Employment Agency LPE – Law of vocational education DIR OCMA – Department of Inhabitants’ Register of Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs
CO – Classification of occupation PCCSA – Professional Career Counselling State Agency RHEI – Rezekne Higher Education Institution RTTEMA – Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy RTU – Riga Technical University SPD – Single Programming Document (or Development Plan) MA – Ministry of Agriculture
GLOSSARY Candidate for finals – person who is completing a secondary education institution; senior year pupil at a secondary school. Graduate – person who was completed education institution. Academic studies – educational activities freely chosen by a person when studying theoretical base of a certain science according to the program of bachelor or master degree. Higher education – level of education after secondary education that is done in science or art or in science and art fields based on personal development in chosen academic or professional or academic and professional division of studies as well as preparation of scientific or professional activities. Work career – consecutive change of individual’s status of professional activities as the result of formal and informal education that is approved by acquired qualification or position. Life history event analysis – study about individuals during changes of various statuses, including time period between various statuses. Formal education – system that includes basic education, secondary education and higher education stages and which program acquirement is certified by state’s approved educational or professional qualification document as well as document of educational and professional qualification. Education – a process of systematic acquisition of knowledge and skills and development of attitudes, and result thereof. The educational process includes teaching and training activities. The result of education is comprised of the totality of the knowledge, skills and attitudes of a person. Number of education years– one of generalizing education level characteristics that similar to expected lifespan sets summarizing number of education years during one’s life. Education institution – an institution established by the State, local governments and other legal or natural persons, its task being the implementation of educational programs, or an undertaking (company) for which implementation of educational programs is one of the types of activity Stage of education – completed education stage that involves organized and consecutively accomplished acquiring of education. Thematic field of education – forth classification level of Latvian education classification. Educatee – a pupil, trainee, student or auditor who is pursuing an educational program at an educational institution or with an educator working in private practice. In the study educatees who are acquiring vocational secondary education are referred to as pupils but students who acquire higher vocational or academic education are referred to as students. Cohort – part of population (group of people) where individuals in a certain period of time (usually a year) had one and the same event of socially demographical characteristic (for example, acquiring of qualification when completing education institution).
Qualification – degree, diploma or other document that certifies successful accomplishment of approved formal educational program. Qualification in vocational education is coordinated with Classification of Occupation (CO) Increasing of qualification – improvement or acquiring new knowledge, skills and abilities certified by degree, diploma or other document. Latvia’s Education Classification – part of unified state economical classification system. Main task of it is to ensure creation of unified educational statistics data base as well as compatibility with UNESCO approved International Standard of Education Classification (ISCED 97) in 1997. Continuing of education – continuing of education after a break in the same or next stage of education. Lifelong education – contains all educational stages in the life of a person based on internal or factor caused by necessity to acquire and amend knowledge and skills; opens possibilities for members of society to acquire education all their life by raising their qualification according to requirements of labour market as well as their interests and necessities. Informal education – educational activities organized according to interests and demand beyond formal education. Net salary – salary after tax deduction. Profession – type of activity of the individual in field of manufacturing of products, distribution and services as well as in education, culture and art where employee needs a certain education, knowledge, acquired skills and abilities. Classification of Occupation– standardized list of professions that states basic tasks and basic qualification requirements corresponding to profession in order to ensure accounting and comparison of labour force according to international practice. Professional operation – operation that in general or in separate type of it in corresponding academic or professional operation fields regulating legislation norms have certain requirements for accomplisher of professional operation regarding education, documents approving qualification, usage of academic or professional operation titles. Monitoring of professional operation – providing, accounting, analysis and usage of information provided according to legislation norms or free – will regarding professional activities in interests of individuals, employees, employers, education institutions and entire society. Vocational education – practical and theoretical preparation for activities in certain profession and acquiring and improving of certain stage and level vocational qualification. Vocational studies – educational activity freely chosen by a person when acquiring theoretic base, skills and abilities of any practical field according to corresponding program of vocational studies. Mastering of content of this program prepare for practical work in chosen profession (occupation). Regulated professional operation – operation that in general or certain types of activities have set special requirements in legislation norms for professional work accomplisher regarding education, documents approving qualification, usage of academic or professional operation titles. xiv
INTRODUCTION The Study “Professional Activities of Graduates of Higher and Vocational Education Institutions after Graduation” (PAGHVEIAG) is a part of the project “Studies of the Ministry of Welfare (MW)” of the European Union Structural Funds National program “Studies of the Labour Market as the first component in the study group “Labour market analysis and prognosis.” The general objective of the studies of MW is to prepare a complex of employment and social policy promoting activities in the context of the long-term development of the state and regions. The time frame for the PAGHVEIAG study was from August 5, 2005 to April 30, 2007. The direct objective of the PAGHVEIAG study was to determine the possibilities of higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates to align with the labour market in their acquired professions, identify barriers, problems, alternative career development courses, and their causes. Thereby, it is necessary to accomplish a scenario analysis of regularity of education institutions’ graduates regarding their life course, working career and continuation of studies. The objective of the study determined the study necessities of legislation norm effects, assessment of the education process and its participants and qualitative evaluation, as well as employers and social environment. The following study tasks were initiated in order to reach the objective: x To analyze policy documents and legislation norms in the context of the correlation of education institutions, their students, graduates, social partners, and employers; x To perform opinion analysis of the main participants of the education process in the context of promotional activities of education, employment and social policy; x To perform quantitative data analysis of a sample survey of the education institution’s graduates activities and professional careers after graduation. The study also had raised tasks of alternative analysis for field policy: to compare state budget expenses in every case of the specific alternative, assess co-operation possibilities of the private sector, to analyze possibilities to gain EU Structural Funds for optimization of field development financing. The objective of the Latvia employment policy is to increase the employment level, enabling the criteria set by the European Employment Guidelines to be met. For achieving this objective, Latvia has available EU financial instruments, as well as the European Social Fund (ESF). On December 18, 2003, the European Commission approved a National Development Plan or Single Programming Document (SPD). This document states the basic principles for usage of EU structural funds based on analysis of Latvia’s economy, development strategy and priorities for the leveling of socio economical conditions for the period 2004 to 2006. The third priority of SPD “Human resource development and promotion of employment” is directed towards ensuring the development of labour force competition ability and quality development, as well as social solidarity and economical development, employment possibilities and increasing of employment levels. Tasks named for this objective are an improvement of education and a practical teaching training system, accomplishment of active
employment policy and the integration of the socially rejected risk group in the labour market that have determined the urgency of this research. For acieving the Lisbon strategy and European Employment Guidelines (employment level until 2010 – 70%, including an employment level of 60% for females and an employment level for persons of 55 to 64 years of age of 50%) are hard to achieve for Latvia as well as to accomplish and firstly it is necessary to increase the capacity of the institutions involved in the development and implementation of employment policy – MW, MES, Ministry of Economics (ME), State Employment Agency (SEA), Professional Career Counseling State Agency (PCCSA), social partners and other interested parties. The Latvia National Development Plan (NDP) for 2007 to 2013 that is the basic document for state development envisages that society will be created based on knowledge, educated and innovatively employed producing high added value products and services ensuring a welfare increase that in 2010-2015 will be similar to the average living standards in EU countries. Prior to the accomplishment of the National program “Studies of the Labour Market”, information was collated and studies accomplished about the professional operation of graduates from higher and vocational education institutions after the graduation within the framework of the state statistical program as well as according to the incentive of Ministries, State agencies and other institutions and in the scope of various local and international projects. However, due to a weak legislation norm base and insufficient financing, this work was not systematical and detailed enough. Data about graduates of higher and vocational education institutions are aggregated by education institutions and annual reviews are published by MES and the Central Statistics Bureau (CSB). Various aspects of graduates’ professional activities have been analyzed in Labour force and Profession surveys as well as other studies that were mainly small volume surveys accomplished by various institutions. PAGHVEIAG provides for the first time an overall and wide overview covering the graduates of higher and vocational institutions of Latvia in the aspect of cohorts, and thereby creating preconditions for the creation of a regular monitoring system of graduates. This kind of monitoring is being accomplished in several Nordic Countries (Norway, Finland and Sweden) as well as in the scope of EU countries’ cooperation projects. The results of the study are analyzed in the aspects of gender, age and language of education and region. Limits of the sample study do not allow the possibility of acquiring representative information about professional operation of graduates after completion of their education in the scope of small profession groups, and in sections of districts, regions and civil parishes. This possibility can only be ensured by full observation of the population – a population census and monitoring of graduates that is based on comprehensive databases and registers. The PAGHVEIAG study results extend the competency of state institutions, as well as private institutions and social partners, academic personnel and society in general regarding the professional operation of higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates, continuing further education and other life course aspects after completion of education. The study has been amended with analysis of various aspects of graduate’s professional activities
gained from other research. Life event history analysis has been used in the study and it requires a special data collection format with a precise start and end time of the event. Data analysis was performed using software SPSS for Windows 15.0, MS Access 7.0, MS Excel, Stata SE 9.2. Multi-factor logical regression models as well as a survival analysis method have been used in order to determine the factors and differences of the graduates’ involvement in their profession. Data analysis has been enriched by experts’ opinion acquired during qualitative studies. PAGPEIAG is to be regarded as a project of political analysis because the assessment of an impact of alternatives of field policy has been performed within it. The final report of this study is amended by information that is recorded on CD: questionnaires from a sample of higher and professional institution graduates, a file of sample study results with description of variables sizes and appendixes. A CD is available at the Labour Department of MW.
MAIN CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Increasing the educational level of the population is closely related to development of the economy, increase of material welfare of inhabitants and national development and a decreasing of poverty and unemployment. A well-considered and consequent education policy promotes the raising of the employment level and work effectiveness by decreasing differences with economically more developed countries and objective figures set by the EU. Increasing the involvement of education quality and inhabitants in all education levels especially focusing on the role of vocational secondary education and life-long learning and ensuring a labour market with employees of appropriate qualifications is a vitally important task for increasing the competitive ability of the labour force and socio-economical development of Latvia on the whole. A tense demographical situation that is characterized by an insufficient generation change level and negative migration balance in relation to the educational differences by gender, age and place of residents is a threat to the balanced and sustainable development in the regions of Latvia and country as a whole. Continuing differences in living standards in comparison to other countries in conditions of a growing education level may increase the risk of a “brain drain” to countries with larger economical strength and thereby decreasing the economical development based on innovations and intellect. According to expert opinion, the main problems of the higher education system are as follows: it still has to compensate for insufficiencies in secondary education (language of instruction, teaching science subjects, development of communication skills), youth has a low interest in natural and engineering sciences (little entrance competition and an insufficient number of specialists after gradation), often the higher education institutions’ infrastructure does not correspond to modern requirements. Vocational education experts stated the following problems in the professional qualification of graduates: inadequate preparation for using the latest technologies, a too narrow specialization of training programs, psychologically unprepared graduates for labour relationships and labour discipline, some of the graduates have too high requirements for the work position, dissatisfaction with work conditions, unwillingness to work for low remuneration, difficulties to find work due to difficulties of lack of social communication in the case of changing their place of residence. Due to the fact that surveys of the graduates of education institutions in Latvia have been done in small sample volumes they are not sufficiently representative and their conclusions can be only be made regarding the field in which these studies have been prepared. In the economically developed countries, the study of education institutions’ graduates is widely developed and they are performed regularly. In the countries of Central and Eastern Europe studies of this kind are irregular and fragmentary. Analysis of norms and regulations and experience accomplishing the study of professional operation of higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates provides a base for the 4
possibility of proposing hypotheses that existing databases of graduates, data acquiring base and accounting is sufficient and promotes assessment of the quality of education acquired by graduates and further professional operation. The current system of indicators according to which operation of graduates is researched after graduation does not ensure a comprehensive picture of their life history event, work career, professional development, education and employment policy change effecting monitoring. Therefore, by using the methodology of the performed study and created database it is necessary regularly to perform a study of graduates of higher and vocational education institutions after graduation in order to find out their correspondence to the necessities of the labour market, to help higher education institutions to improve the quality of their education programs and increase studying and production internship effectiveness. Authors of the study have provided an alternative “Creation of an effective monitoring system of students and graduates of higher and vocational education institutions based on labour market necessities”. It suggests suggests essential improvements to the Education Information System of Latvia (LEIS), as well as the Information system of higher education institutions of Latvia (ISHEDIL), laws and regulations and functional effectiveness adopting the positive experience of the EU. Creation of a monitoring system development has to be tended towards a greater involvement of employers, education institutions and their graduates in order to balance supply and demand and improvement of education quality, on achievement of the information society’s creation objectives as well as the achievement of analytical and prognosis objectives that are especially important for making policy decisions and the distribution of resources. By implementing a resource system, the developed indicator system of this study should be taken as a base that is able to ensure evaluation of education and professional operation of graduates of higher and vocational institutions and analysis of their influencing factors. It is necessary to create a register of students and graduates of higher and vocational education institutions in Latvia with MES as a data processing system manager that according to the procedure set by laws and regulations and request of various users prepares and issues summaries of the required information. The data processing system manager of the operator could also be another institution that would perform similar functions to LEIS and ISHEIL. In order to do that it would be necessary to make amendments to laws and regulations envisaging to state first name, last name, ID number, title of the education program and the acquired academic degree and qualification of students and graduates. The data processing system manager would submit data annually to CSB that would update addresses and telephone numbers and would regularly perform surveys of a graduates’ sample – two, five or ten years after acquisition of their last diploma. Results of the survey have to be published. Based on the laws and regulations, a database of students and graduates would be used for regular studies of graduates’ professional operation and effectiveness studies of education policy activities that could be performed by MES, CSB, higher education institutions and science study institutions.
Aligning with the market of higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates according to the acquired profession is affected by several factors – both objective (demand of specialists in the market, skills acquired during studies, provided remuneration etc.), and subjective (dissatisfaction with chosen profession and unwillingness to work in it, requirements towards work in general etc.). During the study, the result analysis hypothesis suggested at the beginning were verified regarding the effect of various factors corresponding to aligning with the labour market of graduates and correspondence of their professional operation with their acquired education. According to the suggested hypothesis, system results of multifactor regression allow making a conclusion regarding statistically significant influence (95% level) about professional operation of higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates after completion of studies. In the existing economical situation, the possibility of higher education institutions’ graduates to align with the labour market continuing permanent work started during studies is significantly determined by the stage of education and thematic field, type of studies (fulltime or part-time studies), financing (studies paid by state budget or self-financed studies), graduate’s age, ethnicity and place of residence. The time for finding a job after studies is significantly affected by the thematic field of studies, financing (studies paid by state budget or self-financed studies), and work during studying, gender and age of the graduate. Correspondence of the higher education institution’s graduate to the acquired qualification after graduation is significantly affected by remuneration expected in the acquired education stage and thematic field, the specific field of thematic education (education, teacher training and education sciences, agriculture, health care and social welfare, legal sciences, engineering sciences and technologies) and stage (academic bachelor degree), language of studies, continuing of studies directly after completion of the previous education stage, age of the graduate and education of graduate’s parents. The amount of remuneration is significantly affected by the stage of education and thematic field, year of graduation, language of studies, work during studies, work abroad, place of residence and education of parents. Opportunities for vocational education institutions’ graduates to align with the labour market while continuing a permanent position acquired during studies in the existing economical situation is significantly affected by the stage of education and thematic field, age, ethnicity and place of residence of the graduate. The time to find work after studies is significantly affected by the thematic field of studies, work during studies, gender and age of the graduate and education of their parents. Correspondence of the graduates’ work with the acquired qualification after graduation from the vocational education institution is significantly affected by the remuneration expected in the acquired educational stage and thematic field, specific level of education (vocational training) and thematic field of education (health care and social welfare, manufacturing and processing), work abroad, age of the graduate and the place of residence. The amount of remuneration is significantly affected by the stage of education and thematic field, financing (studies paid by state budget or self-financed studies), work during studies, work abroad, gender of the graduate, place of residence and education of parents.
The following aspects of the main coherences of professional operation of graduates after completion of studies were found during analysis of the study results. The year of graduation significantly affects not only the amount of remuneration of the higher education institution graduate in the main work – the more experience, the higher the remuneration. The year of graduation of the vocational education institution does not have a significant affect on the graduate’s remuneration. Apparently, in this market segment, career development possibilities are low and work experience is not sufficiently remunerated. The level of education statistically significantly affects aligning with the labour market already during studies – the higher the education level the more often the student starts working during studies. This trend is observed both among students of higher and vocational education institutions. The higher the education levels that the graduate has reached the larger possibility that he/she will work according to their acquired education. Students who pay for their studies themselves align with the labour market significantly more often than students whose studies are financed by the state budget. A statistically significant difference between employment of students who pay for their studies and students financed by the state budget were found in the following thematic groups: teacher training and education sciences, services, commercial studies and administration, legal science, manufacturing and processing, human behaviour, information and communication sciences. By analyzing the work course of unemployed students it was established that students financed by the state budget after graduation find work faster than those who have paid for their studies. Due to the fact that students who pay for their education mainly start working during their studies, then probably the motivation for those who have not seriously started to look for work is lower. Studies financed by the state budget (without reference to field of studies) testify to better abilities and success in studying that promotes a student’s competition ability in the labour market. 73% of the higher education institutions’ graduates work according to their acquired education. This is a high result. Among graduates from vocational education institutions, 57% work according to their acquired education and this is a satisfactory result regarding financing and prestige in vocational education. In the scale of the study, experts who were interviewed did not always provide a negative evaluation to the fact that graduates work in their acquired profession because their readiness to start working in another field certifies their ability to change profile and to adjust to a changing situation in the labour market. Graduates of several education thematic fields have a characteristic to align with the labour market at a much higher level. In higher education these areas are as following: architecture and construction, engineering sciences and technologies, manufacturing and processing, services, health care and social welfare, education of pedagogues and education sciences. In the following thematic fields, the acquired education of graduates had little connection with their work: engineering and technologies, production and processing, humanities and art. In the vocational education institutions, a higher level of alignment is characteristic to graduates of architecture and construction, health care and social welfare. Graduates work least often in accordance with their acquired education in agriculture. Students of agriculture, humanities 7
and art often have no work experience and they rarely align with the labour market after graduation and in comparison there is a higher number of unemployed amongst them. Graduates of certain educational thematic fields more often continue their education in an educational institution or increase their qualification. In higher education institutions these fields are natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies, engineering sciences and technology, architecture and construction and agriculture, but in vocational education institutions – humanities and art, natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies, commerce and administration. There is a gender disproportion in the Latvian labour market regarding the speed of finding work as well as remuneration. Men find work faster than women. Males also earn more than females – with all factors constant, the salary of males is on average 1.34 times higher than for females. There is also a link between a person’s age and alignment with the labour market. The older the student, the greater the possibility that he/she will start working during studies. Older higher education institutions’ graduates more often work according to their acquired education in comparison to younger graduates. It is related to a more deliberative choice of education program and the fact that older graduates often have already worked in the according profession and have started their studies in order to perform their responsibilities better. Among graduates of vocational education institutions this correlations is not so evident – older graduates find work slower than younger graduates. The only aspect that shows significant differences between ethnic groups is work during studies. Latvian graduates that have finished higher education institutions more often align with the labour market during their studies. For graduates of vocational education institutions the correlation is the opposite – Latvian more rarely align with the labour market in comparison to representatives of other nations. The language of instruction also affects the professional activity of higher education graduates. Graduates who have studied in the Russian language more often choose work that does not correspond to the acquired education and they earn less than those who have studied in Latvian. In the labour market the highest salary and competition ability is characteristic for those students who have studied in English. Students of higher as well as vocational education institutions that live in places with a higher level of urbanization more often align with the labour market during their studies. Graduates who live in Riga or the largest cities more often do not work corresponding to their acquired education because in these places proposals of work are multiform and attractive in other ways. The larger the remuneration, the larger is the probability that the person will work according to his/her profession. However, this correlation has exceptions. Graduates of teacher education and education sciences, health care and social welfare as well as agriculture more often choose to work according to their acquired education than would be envisaged by the level of remuneration. It could be explained by the greater loyalty of representatives from these fields regarding their chosen course of development as well as a larger ratio of more specialized knowledge that would be harder to use in other fields. However, students of law,
engineering and technology sciences more often than could be planned according to remuneration do not work according to their acquired education. However, those who work in areas according to their profession have a higher salary than of those who work in other areas. There are also exceptions in the group of vocational education institutions’ graduates. Health care and social welfare field graduates from vocational education institutions choose to work more often according to the acquired education than it would be expected according to their remuneration. However, graduates who have acquired professions in manufacturing and processing choose to work in professions that are not related to their acquired education depending on remuneration. Permanent work during studies (even if after graduation from the education institution graduates do not continue to work in the same place of work) promotes faster alignment with the labour market. Work experience and the quality of the acquired education are highly evaluated in the labour market especially regarding the theoretical and practical knowledge level. Work experience also influences remuneration. Graduates of higher and vocational education institutions who have worked during their studies earn more than those who have not worked. Experts emphasize that higher education institutions should combine theoretical education more with practical training. Further norms and regulations of MES envisage closer cooperation of education institutions with employers and professional associations by improving education programs and organizing scholarships and wider incorporating practical work – acquiring of practical skills in the beginning of the work course. Due to the fact that youth chooses a vocational education forced by their financial conditions (they wishes to acquire a profession faster in order to start working and help their parents) vocational education institutions have to provide the possibility for their students to receive remuneration for work done during internship by founding special training production companies where students could start working under supervision of specialists prior to acquiring a qualification. The continuing of education is often related to a change of educational field. According to the experts evaluation, the education system should be more flexible. It is necessary to increase the possibilities to return to the education system in order to increase qualifications or to train for a new occupation. A system of modules and a separate course system should be created as well as realizing E-education and distant education assets. Important roles are professional orientation and the sufficiency of information regarding possibilities provided by the labour market for acquiring a profession. Particularly topical is access to information (about career possibilities) during elementary and secondary education. An improvement of the situation is to be expected as a professional career education has started. It is necessary to improve career education already at elementary school, orienting pupils for selecting a profession and vocational education. Choosing a vocational education program is often affected by several subjective factors – suggestions of friends and parents, location of the education institution close to the place of residence. Motivation of vocational education institutions’ graduates to work according to their acquired education is lower in comparison to higher education institutions’ graduates. Selection of a higher education
institutions’ program is largely determined by the profession in which the graduate has already had experience. At the moment there is no collated information about corresponding professions to every thematic field and stage of education. As a result of the study, conclusions have been made and recommendations provided for a career development support system improvement for vocational and higher education institutions students and graduates. It is suggested to increase education and profession selecting consulting as well as the availability of career planning and work search by creating a career development support system of vocational education institutions on the regional level but not only in higher education – in every education institution. It has to ensure qualitative career planning and support services, envisage career education implementation in the education work program, professional improvement of teachers for accomplishment of education, preparation of career consultants in higher education institutions, the strengthening of capacity of career education support institutions. New information and career support centres in education institutions of all types have to be created and the existing ones improved using the state budget or assets of ESF. There is no necessity to create new institution for comprehensive career support system management and coordination because MES in cooperation with interested parties – MW, ME and their subordinate institutions as well as higher and vocational education institutions – are already responsible for it. The creation of career development and consulting support centres fits into the existing education system. The choice of working according to the acquired education is mainly determined by graduates’ motivation. ¾ of graduates who wanted to have work related to their acquired education have accomplished that. On the contrary, 24% of graduates who did not care about the work they should do work according to the acquired education. Reason for not working most often was mentioned low remuneration in the chosen profession (pedagogue, health care specialists), better career possibilities in other profession or inability to find work in Latvia corresponding to their acquired qualification (specialists of production and processing as well as humanities and art sciences). Graduates of the vocational education institutions often mention a choice of the wrong profession as one of reasons of not working. The higher education level of vocational education institutions’ gradates facilitates the positioning of the graduate in a position. Graduates of vocational education institutions after graduation are most often leaving for work abroad. When they return to Latvia they often work in a profession that is not related to their education acquired. After returning from abroad, graduates of both higher and vocational education institutions earn substantially more than those who have not worked abroad. There are two main reasons. Firstly, work experience abroad is being assessed higher in the labour market. Secondly, people who have worked in countries with higher salaries have higher requirements toward remuneration. Education experts provided positive evaluation for work experience abroad if the graduates work according to their acquired qualification and they plan to return to Latvia but gave a negative evaluation for work abroad if their education was acquired using state budget financing. 10
During several previous years, the number and ratio of studies paid by students has increased and there is a disproportion of student distribution regarding fields of education. A more balanced number of specialists and vacancies necessary in the labour market can be reached providing more financing for new study programs after acquiring of a license as well as those programs that are more in demand in the labour market. There is an increasing number of young people who after acquiring an elementary education continue to acquire secondary education and do not choose vocational education institutions. The preparation of qualified specialists is not sufficient for the economy. Authors of the study suggest: 1) to continue increasing the financing of vocational education institutions and thereby improving the material technical base and increasing the quality of teaching staff; 2) implement crediting system for students of vocational education institutions that would increase their possibility to choose their acquired profession demanded in the labour market. It is also necessary to increase the number of those graduates who have extinguished credits relating to extinguishing of credits towards professions that have a dominating role in the private sector, for example, engineering sciences – in the construction field. In order to ensure employees in the most necessary professions, the authors of the study suggest an implementation credit that would be related to the scholarship (approximately 170 LVL a month) for a bachelor degree, vocational education and master degree students in priority fields (natural sciences, environment sciences, engineering sciences, production and construction, health care). In order to implement this, there should be no large additional expenses necessary. It could be performed by the existing Study Foundation. Additional scholarships for candidates of a masters and doctors degree have to be ensured by assets of ESF by allocating finances not only from the state budget but also from employers who should receive tax allowances. The authors of the study suggest concluding agreements for ensuring of a certain work period in a chosen profession for those students who are full time students and who receive state financing for studies. For more active involvement of employers and the ensuring of employment legal relationships for part time students that are studying and working at the same time it is necessary to amend Section 157 of the Labour Law in order to determine in the employment agreement or collective employment agreement the employee’s rights to leave for studies or exam as well as the internship maintaining a salary or average earnings as well as being necessary to make other changes to laws and regulations.
1. BIBLIOGRAPHY OVERVIEW 1.1. Overview of legal provisions and policy documents 1.1.1. General documents of field policy planning Changes in society and the economy bring forward new requirements for higher and vocational education. Education policy and legislation law and the regulation system in Latvia is made according to several conceptual documents. The Lisbon Strategy determines the economical development directions of the EU until 2010 – as one of its tasks it specifies social cohesion- employment and social integration. The Council of Europe has approved basic approaches that include general economical policy and employment issues. According to these approaches Cabinet of Ministers (CM) has accepted Latvia’s National Lisbon program for 2005-2008 (Order of CM No 648 dated October 19, 2005). The program shows the problems and main directions of operation for fulfilment of the Lisbon Strategy as well as for result indicators of the objectives. The education and skill improvement program envisages the following tasks: x Strengthening of cooperation between state administration bodies, education institutions and employers for adjusting of the education system proposal according to requirements of the labour market; x Increasing of cost effectiveness in all stages and types of education; x Improving of access to all levels of education and decreasing the number of those students that do not complete studies or do not acquire a professional qualification; x Increasing of lifelong education access and motivation; x Increasing of technological skills and natural science knowledge level; x Improving of the professional orientation system and its availability to all inhabitants in the context of lifelong education. In order to fulfilment the tasks set out in the Lisbon Strategy, the government has created the Lisbon Strategy Monitoring Board that is chaired by the Minister of Economics. The board consists of ministers involved in the Lisbon processes, Parliament, representatives of local governments and social partners. Ministries and other responsible institutions ensure fulfilment of Latvia’s National Lisbon program for 2005-2008 within the scale of the budget allocated to them. The National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2013 envisages vocational and higher education program results to be formulated in competencies according to a qualification reference framework. It is one of main tasks for creation of a single space for European higher education. The national qualification reference framework will create a referencepoint for coordinating of labour market requirements with education programs determining
the requirements of general skills, knowledge levels, attitudes and code of ethics. According to this it will be necessary to improve the quality of the profession standard and to develop clearer principles for their creation. In order to develop the economy of Latvia according to the medium-term budget objectives and priority development divisions set by CM and that are oriented towards high added value products and a society based on knowledge it is necessary to ensure educational quality and compliance with the labour market as well as integration of higher education, science and innovation that is envisages by the long-term economical strategy of Latvia (accepted on July 17, 2001 by a meeting of CM, minutes No 34) and the long-term conceptual document “A Development model of Latvia: the Human in the first place” (approved by the Saeima (Parliament) on October 26, 2005). Preparing and accomplishment of objectively orientated policy documents and legal norms in the fields of vocational education, higher education and lifelong education ensure the education of an appropriately qualified labour force and improvement of professional preparation, promote democratic processes and social integration, level disproportions in the regional development necessary for economical development. Latvia’s NDP for the period from 2007-2013 highlights the fact that the development of Latvia should be based on society’s ability to create new knowledge and use it for economic development and the increasing of general living standards. Human resource development and employment promotion is mentioned as one of priorities. Three aspects of the plan are a knowledge based economy, human resources and life quality. The functioning of the education system in Latvia is determined by the following main laws: x Law of Education (LE) (came into effect on June 1, 1999 published in newspaper Latvijas Vestnesis (LV) on November 17, 1998, No 343/344); x General Education Law (came into effect on July 14, 1999, published in LV on June 30, 1999, No 213/215); x Law on Vocational education (LPE) (came into effect on July 14, 1999, published in LV on June 30, 1999, No 213/215); x Law on Higher Education Institutions (LHEI) (came into effect on December 1, 1995, published in LV November 17, 1995); x Official Language Law (came into effect on September 1, 2000, published in LV on December 21, 1999). x Project of Law of Higher Education (LHE) is prepared and its objective is to align the higher education system according to European higher education space creation principles. According to amendments made on July 5, 2001 in the LE Education, a development concept was developed (approved with order of CM No 383 “On education development concept for 2002 to 2005” on July 17, 2002) where development objectives and operational directions for achieving them are set for education system. This concept was developed taking into account objectives and operational directions of the Long-term economical strategy of Latvia, NDP,
National employment plan and Memorandum of lifelong leaning of the European Commission and society and education development guidelines of the UNESCO program “Education for all”. With the order of CM No 742 from September 27, 2006 new Basic approaches for education development for 2007-2013 were approved. The concept envisages a study in the labour market and developing of study programs for vocational education of the first level. It was also planned to start the transition to a three year program for full time basic studies. For accomplishment of this action it was intended to have a greater involvement of employers in development of 4th and 5th level professional standards and study programmes. In cooperation with employers more than 150 professions’ standards were developed. The first level higher vocational education had a rapid development that prepares specialists for the labour market in a short period of time. On October 1 of 2006 there were 26 colleges in the country. Changes in the labour market and employment structure require a human resource development policy that promotes the competition ability of the labour force in the labour market. The competitiveness of higher and vocational education institution graduates may be ensured by both qualitative education programs and support in consulting for a sample of future profession and career. In this field, several significant policy documents and legal regulations have been approved (see References – Laws and Regulations and policy documents). During the course of accomplishment, EU countries’ experience is significant for Latvia.
1.1.2. Higher education and lifelong learning The studies crediting system that was first implemented in 1997 and implemented in 1999 with credit extinguishing procedures have to motivate higher education institutions’ graduates to work in professions that are significant for the economy. In 2002 MES approved guidelines for higher education, study and technology development guidelines for 2002 – 2010. Their main directions envisage strengthening the leading role of higher education institutions in development of education and sciences by renewing scientific potential and to develop studies in the field of innovative technologies. A single action program for lifelong learning is being created as a continuation of current education programs of the EU Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci that end on December 31, 2006 e-learning program, the Europass initiative and other activities in the field of education and training. From 2009 it is planned to add the integrated action program Erasmus Mundus as an additional program and that will continue until 2008. Objectives of the action program will be accomplished with implementation of four sector programs (Comenius, Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig) and the program Jean Monnet. A single action program in the field of lifelong learning includes time period from 2007 till 2013. On February 6, 2007 CM approved guidelines for lifelong leaning for the period 2007–2013. The objective of the lifelong learning guidelines is to create a coordinated legislation
regulation system and effective resource (including financial) management following shared responsibility and field policy correlation principles for the development of a single lifelong leaning system.
1.1.3. Vocational education Improvement of activities for vocational education has been accomplished since the middle of the nineties coordinating them with EU guidelines in vocational education. Legislation norms developed in Latvia for the improvement of vocational education and involvement of employers in the development and assessment of professionsÂ’â€™ standards and education program. Operation of vocational education institutions is regulated by the Education development concept for 2007-2013, Guidelines for education development, laws of the Republic of Latvia, regulations of CM, instructions, orders and regulations of MES as well as orders of Vocational education Centre. In addition to previously mentioned laws, the operation of vocational education institutions are based on the following laws: x On Craft (approved on February 2, 1993); x About agreement between government of the Republic of Latvia, government of the Republic of Estonia and government of Republic of Lithuania on creation of a single education space in Baltic States in general secondary and vocational education (up to higher education level) (approved on May 11, 2000, published in LV on May 23, 2000, No 182/183); x About qualification approval of regulated professionals and professional qualifications (approved on June 20, 2001, published in LV on July 6, 2001, No 105). The procedure of the vocational education program accomplishment is set by LPE. Law regulates elementary vocational education, secondary vocational education and first level higher vocational education accomplishment and allocation of a corresponding qualification (Section 3). The education system of Latvia has five defined professional qualification levels (Section 50. Second level vocational education accomplishment and allocation of corresponding professional qualification is regulated by LHEI CM determines state policy and strategy directions in the vocational education, the profession standards, organizational procedure of education scholarships, format of state approved professional qualification documents, issues criteria and procedures, admitting procedure of documents about acquisition of vocational education or professional qualification abroad as well as other related functions set by other laws. The content of vocational education is regulated by the National vocational education standard, professional standard and vocational education program. Regulations of CM also determine the procedure of how to license the vocational elementary education, industrial training, secondary vocational education, vocational oriented education, professional development and vocational continuation education programs.
MES develops sample regulations of vocational education institutions, issues instructions, creates and updates classification of the occupation register and performs other functions related to vocational education determined by LPE and LE. The vocational education centre also issues orders about examination procedures, content, methodology and other issues (since January 1 of 2007 this institution is named as the Vocational education Administration). Laws, regulations of Cabinet of Ministers, regulations, orders and other documents of MES regulate the operation of vocational institutions in order to ensure accomplishment of the state vocational education policy.
1.2. Data regarding graduates of higher and vocational education institutions 1.2.1. Review of database of higher education institution graduates In order to accomplish the study it is necessary to have a database of graduates from which to create a representative sample. Data about graduates of education institutions have been provided by education institutions. There is the individuals’ data processing system Audzeknu Registrs (Student Register). ISHEIL was created in the frame of LEIS to automate work process of higher education institutions and for the accounting of higher education institutions data (http://www.lais.lv). Higher education institutions have provided data to ISHEIL about individuals who have acquired a degree or qualification for the period starting from October of 2003. The database of higher education institutions’ graduates contains the following information: first name and last name; ID number; gender, date of birth; nationality and its type; education program and acquired education level; year when studies were started; number of diploma; date when diploma was issued; payment group; previous education level; year when previous education level was acquired; residence address when studies were started. Overview of graduates’ database for 2002/2003 a. y. According to the summary published by MES 20,697 graduates acquired a degree or qualification in 2002/2003 a.y. in 24 states and 15 legal entities of founded higher education institutions in basic or higher education studies (except doctoral and resident program). There is information about 18,023 graduates in the graduates’ database. This number is lower than the one published because several education institutions have provided insufficient information and information from eight higher education institutions is not accessible from the database. The differences between the number of graduates in the statistical data of MES and in the database can be explained by the different method of information aggregation. Statistical data is acquired by summarizing information from the report “Review of higher education 16
institutions, colleges in the beginning of academic year. 1 – higher education institution, college” that according to the Regulations No 368 of CM “On the process and terms for providing of information of higher education institutions about their operation to the Ministry of Education and Science” dated August 14, 2001 then the higher education institutions have to provide them to CSB before October 15 of the next academic year. In the above mentioned CM regulations it is also mentioned that information about students has to be provided in an electronic form. However, this requirement is compulsory only from 2004. The Study performers are thankful to those institutions who responded to invitation of MES to provide data about graduates for the research. Information regarding the number of graduates for 2002/2003 a.y. is provided in Appendix 1. Overview of graduates’ database for 2004/2005 a. y. According to the summary published by MES, 26,007 graduates acquired a degree or qualification in 2004/2005 a.y. in 20 states and 13 legal entities of founded higher education institutions as well as in 14 states and 3 legal entities of founded colleges in basic or higher education studies (except doctoral and resident program). There is information about 25,542 graduates in the database. The difference of 465 graduates or 1.8% from the published number of graduates can be explained in several cases by insufficient information. Information for two higher education institutions is not accessible from the database. Information about the number of graduates for 2004/2005 a.y. is provided in Appendix 2.
1.2.2. Review of the database of vocational education institution graduates Information about the number of graduates for 2002/2003 a.y. is provided in Appendix 1. Vocational education institutions have available the following information about graduates: first name and last name; ID number; gender; ethnicity; education program and acquired level of education; year of graduation; place of residence when education started. Prior to the starting of this study there was actually no single database about graduates of vocational education institutions. It is not envisaged by any law or regulation. The study performers are thankful to those institutions who responded to invitation of MES to provide data about graduates for the research. Registers and databases of students and graduates have been created in several EU countries. There It has also become necessary in Latvia to create a single database about graduates of vocational education institutions. This will allow the monitoring of education institutions’ graduates regarding their further education and professional operation. This data could be used for performing of regular studies and improvement of field policy. Overview of graduates’ database for 2002/2003 a. y. According to the data of CSB about vocational education institutions supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture (MA), MES, MW and Ministry of Culture (MC) and Ministry of Interior (MI) as well as local government and private vocational education institutions there were 12,537 individuals. In the acquired database from education institutions there is
information about 7,950 graduates. The difference of more than 4.5 thousand or 1/3 o f t h e graduate number can be explained by the fact that several vocational education institutions did not provided full information about graduates and 30 educational institutions including private education institutions provide no information about graduates. Information about the number of graduates of vocational education institutions for 2002/2003 a.y. is provided in Appendix 3. Overview of graduates’ database for 2004/2005 a. y. According to the data of CSB about vocational education institutions supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture (MA), MES, MW, MC and MI as well as local government and private vocational education institutions there were 9,963 graduates. There is information about 7,159 graduates in the database. The difference of 2,804 or 28% in the number of graduates in the data of CSB and database can be explained by the fact that several vocational education institutions did not provide full information and 23 education institutions including private education institutions provided no information. Information about the number of graduates for 2004/2005 a.y. in vocational education institutions is provided in Appendix 4. Deficiencies of the vocational education institutions database and suggested improvements Analysis of data about graduates of vocational education institutions was difficult to determine due to the non-corresponding size of vocational education institutions’ graduates in the according academic year. In reports provided to CSB (form PROF-1) vocational education institutions have aggregated information about all graduates who have completed education institution without a document approving qualification (i.e. not passing qualification exam). Graduates who were not allocated a qualification is not a group corresponding to the objective of this research. However, it was not possible to receive precise information about them. At the level of vocational education institutions detailed information is not available about the acquired education level distribution. Data summarized by CSB also includes professional improvement and vocational continuing education (Level 20 and 30 of education qualification as well as a general secondary education levelling program. These graduates were also not the objective of the research.
1.3. Review of previous studies 1.3.1. Studies made in Latvia To date, several institutions and groups of researchers have investigated development of the labour market in Latvia as well as several employment aspects of education institutions’ graduates. However, regular study of professional activities of higher and vocational education institutions has not been performed. In this section, reviews of all
published/available studies done in Latvia about course of graduates work and life are provided. Ways and courses (1983–1998). The comparative international longitudinal study of IPhS UL about the life and work course of people born between 1965-1966 is the first and until now the most comprehensive study about professional operation of graduates in Latvia. In this study 3,810 secondary and vocational education institutions’ (vocational technical secondary schools and technical colleges) graduates of 1982/1983 a.y. were surveyed. In further stages of the study (in 1988, 1993 and 1998) the same people were surveyed repeatedly using a mail survey method as well as direct interviews. In 1998 approximately 1,600 respondents participated in the survey and it is regarded as a good indicator. However, there was a risk that in the mentioned survey mainly respondents with successful life course were taking part but those included in the sample with a less successful course and those who worked abroad did not take part. Study results showed good comparison and career development analysis possibilities in relation to several factors – creation of family, professional mobility, type of the institution from which the person has graduated, ethnicity of the respondent, number of children in a family, type of populated place etc. Under the scope of the Soros Foundation Latvia, project study results have been compared with the corresponding cohort’s career possibilities in the labour market of Estonia and Lithuania (Saar, Trapenciere, Koroleva et al., 1997). Development prognosis related to the labour market in system of education (1997). In a study by the Institute of Economics of Latvian Academy of Science, ordered by MES, analysis of the Latvian labour market and employment structure was performed for the period 1990-1996. In the result of the study, the national labour market development prognosis until 2010 was developed into two variants. Youth vocational education and chances in the labour market (1997). In this study by the Institute of Economics of Latvian Academy of Sciences, the main attention was given to the chances of graduates of vocational education institutions in the labour market. Locations of vocational education institutions, students’ collection area, dispersion of schools’ graduates, dynamics of student numbers and the territorial distribution of graduates of vocational education institutions who were unemployed were analyzed. Higher education and the labour market in Latvia (2001). The objective of the study of the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (D. Pauna, K. Kreslins) was to analyze how higher education reflects in knowledge, skills, graduates’ value system and to what extent it goes together with the requirements in the labour market. A survey of 120 large and middle size employers in Riga confirmed that there is an unconformity between priorities made by employers and students at higher education institutions. Employers gave higher evaluation for communicational and social skills as well as the ability to use knowledge in practical life but in higher education institutions – theoretical knowledge. National Observatory. Since the end of 1990 the Academic Information Centre (AIC) performs vocational education analysis and its correspondence with the requirements of
employers (A. Rauhvargers, B. Ramina e.al.). The National Observatory has performed the following studies in the field of vocational education: x Vocational education (annually); x Tertiary education; x Role of social partners in development of vocational education in Latvia; x Who is looking for work in Latvia? (This study was performed in cooperation with The Regional Observatory on Employment and Training of Burgundy (OREF)); x Correspondence of the vocational education system in Latvia with new economical condition; x Continuing of vocational education in Latvia; x Regulated professions in Latvia; x Education and continuing education of vocational education institutions teachers; x Human resources and vocational education in the regions of Latvia. Initially, the National Observatory regularly published results of studies in editions of ““ProfesionƗlƗ izglƯtƯba LatvijƗ” (Vocational education in Latvia). However, due to insufficient financing at the moment results can only be found on the Internets web page of AIC (www.aic.lv). Now, in these annual studies, the focus is given to analysis of the existing situation and changes in vocational education policy, vocational education programs, number and content of students. The content of teachers is analyzed looking at the dropout of students and unemployed problems as well as the interstate project affect on vocational education in Latvia. Studies of the National Observatory are supported by the European Training Foundation and MES. Further in the text, information is given only about those reviews that are related to the work course of vocational education graduates and the labour market development tendencies. Report of National Observatory to European Training Foundation (1997). Prepared by I. Cvetkova, B. Martuzans, A. Rauhvargers. During this study, vocational education could be acquired in approximately 320 professions and specialties. Conclusions were made in this study about the increasing of the number of those students who study commerce, servicing professions, transport and telecommunication education programs as well as the decrease in agriculture and forestry education programs. The quality of vocational education is characterized by the employment of graduates. On October 1 1996, the State Employment Agency had registered 88,542 unemployed people and 2,775 or 3% of them were graduates of education institutions financed by state or local government and 1,798 were secondary school graduates. The report analyzed reasons for unemployment: insufficient number of work places in regions, oversaturated local labour market within the labour force of a specific profession, inadequacy of education programs to the requirements of the labour market, inability of education institutions to ensure qualitative training of professionals and specialties. In districts with the highest number of unemployed it was stated that there are also the most graduates who are unemployed. The largest ratio of unemployed from the total number of 20
students who had graduated were in local government education institutions – 57%, education institutions of MA – 30%, education institutions of MES – 21%, education institutions of MW – 19%, education institutions of MC – 7%. The largest ratio of graduates who were unemployed was in the education programs of the following fields: transport and telecommunication (34%), agriculture and forestry (33%), servicing professions and household sciences (30%), professional and industrial manufacturing (20%). In the programs for transport and telecommunication the largest number of unemployed graduates were in programs of car mechanics and crane operators. In agriculture and forestry the largest number of unemployed graduates was in professions as agriculturalist, cultivator, farmer and in the group of servicing professions and household science – tailor, sewer, cook and manager of farm-steads. In the profession and industrial manufacturing education programs the largest number of unemployed graduates was in programs of joiner, construction joiner, finishing workers, foreman of sausage preparation, and processing of agricultural products. Report of the National Observatory “Vocational education in Latvia” (1998). Prepared by: I. Cvetkova, B. Martuzans, B. Ramina, A. Rauhvargers. One of the topics of this study was the employment of vocational education graduates. On October 1 1996, the State Employment Agency had registered 88,542 unemployed people including 1,052 graduates of 1996/1997 a.y. from state and local government vocational education institutions and their proportion in the total number of unemployed was 1.2%. In comparison to 1996 the number of registered unemployed graduates from vocational education institutions had decreased. One of main reasons that facilitated this rapid decrease of unemployed graduates was changes in the law “On compulsory social security insurance in case of unemployment” (1995). On January 7 1997 amendments to this law envisaged no more unemployment benefits for those individuals who were not subjects of social security insurance i.e. also graduates of vocational education institutions. Unemployment of vocational education institutions’ graduates was analyzed in connection with the subordination of education institutions. Authors concluded that the largest ratio of unemployed from the total graduates were from local government education institutions – 12%, education institutions of MA – 11%, education institutions of MES – 8%, education institutions of MW – 4%, education institutions of MC – 3%. The largest number of unemployed graduates was in the following education programs: craft and industry, servicing professions and household sciences, agriculture and forestry. Report of the National Observatory “Modernization of vocational education in Latvia” (2001). Prepared by: B. Ramina, V. Hodireva, S. Silina. The study concluded that approximately 2/3 of employed people had secondary education including vocational (62%) but 22% – higher education. 16% of the employed had elementary or lower education. Even though the total number of employed in 2000 in comparison to 1999 had decreased, however, the number of employed females with higher education had slightly increased. Due to the changing in demand of the labour market programs provided by vocational education institutions have changed. Since 1997 vocational 21
education institutions started to provide pedagogical correction programs (for youth who after a break return to the education system and for whom it is important to acquire vocational skills and elementary education) but since 1999 the first level of higher education vocational program are also provided. In October of 2000 the State Employment Agency of MW had registered 94,270 unemployed people and 523 or 0.6% of them were vocational education institutions’ graduates from 1999/2000 a.y. Labor force survey of CSB (May of 2000). Respondents of this survey who had graduated from vocational education institutions for the period 1990-1999 questions were asked about their acquired education. From all the people surveyed who were graduates of vocational education institutions, 28% were unemployed, 42% worked in another profession and 30% worked in the acquired profession. 29% of secondary vocational education graduates were unemployed as well as 27% graduates who had acquired vocational training. According to data of CSB, 13% of vocational education institutions’ graduates continued their education in higher education institutions but 20% of all students that were matriculated in 2000/2001 academic year had vocational secondary education. Work course study of vocational education institutions’ graduates (2001) The objective of this study of IPhS UL was to study course of graduates for 1999 of vocational education institutions in order to investigate satisfaction with selected profession and acquired education as well as correspondence of vocational education level and acquired qualification with requirements of the labour market. The survey method of graduates was direct interviews. A stratified random sample was created based on the card index of respondents surveyed in 1999. From this card index, 500 addresses of respondents were randomly selected and submitted to DIR OCMA for verification. The objective of the sample volume was 468, accomplished volume – 337 persons, level of responding – 72%. The main reason for non-response was explained by the mobility of youth at this age. Labour market survey of cultural education institutions’ graduates: supply and demand (2002). Contracting entity of the study – MC, performer – Baltic Institute of Social Sciences (responsible executive: L. Jeruma). This study survey with DIY questionnaires involved 23 experts (heads and pedagogues of vocational secondary institutions of cultural education) and 23 heads and pedagogues of cultural education higher education institutions as well as computerized telephone interviews of 288 graduates of 2002 of cultural education institutions (180 graduates had secondary vocational education, 108 were graduates of the Latvian Academy of Arts (LAA)). The objective of the study was to study the demand and supply of cultural specialists for the period between 1995 and 2002. Teachers of vocational secondary education institutions characterized the labour market in the field of arts as very narrow due to the low purchasing capacity of inhabitants. The labour
market has become chaotic. And it is very hard for a craftsman to find a place in it. Employers preferred an unqualified, cheap workforce as well as chose to cooperate with too qualified people with a higher education which did not correspond to the certain work. There was an inconsequence between the qualification necessary for work and qualification of the performer. In this situation the main ways of starting work in the specialty was with a craftsman (with own workshop) or work of a visual art teacher if there was a chance to acquire a qualification as an art school teacher. Thereby typical behaviour of graduates of secondary schools of arts in all regions of Latvia was studies in the higher education institutions in relation to the acquired specialty in the field of cultural education – LAA, UL, Riga Technical University (RTU), Riga Teacher Training and Education management Academy (RTTEMA), Liepaja Academy of Pedagogy (LAP), Rezekne Higher Education Institution (RHEI) etc. Further education provided both a career and better paid work possibilities. In order to improve the readiness of education institutions’ graduates of cultural education, experts of the study suggested the following recommendations: x To change national policy regarding culture and raise its prestige in society; x To improve the material technical base of educational institutions; x To develop cooperation models between education institutions and potential employers; x To inform management of education institutions of cultural education about the results of the labour market research. Recommendations of experts regarding content of studies: x To improve the content of education programs according to changes in the labour market and implement subjects into the education program for the expansion of knowledge (for example, foreign languages, computer knowledge etc.); x Graduates of all education levels have to become more objective oriented, mobile, open for new knowledge; x Based on skills and knowledge planned in the profession standard to renew education programs of students (for example in department of functional design – to study more deeply the technological possibilities of the field and latest materials). Employment trends among graduates of UL (2001). Authors: A. Snitnikovs, S. Vanaga. The objective of this study was to determine the employment of graduates’ groups of UL. 204 graduates from 6 academic (bachelor and master degree) programs were surveyed (telephone survey – 100 respondents, questionnaires – 104 respondents). For the sample, master degree graduates were surveyed using information available from departments regarding student addresses. In this way it was possible to find only part of the students. Bachelor degree graduates were surveyed if they continued their studies in master programs. Applications of 1999/2000 a.y. were chosen in those study programs that had the largest and the smallest contest: in natural sciences – geography and optometry, humanities – psychology and Slavic languages and in social sciences – political science and library sciences. Due to the small 23
number of participants this sample did not allow the relation of these results to all graduates of the university. This study used quota analysis that did not provide the possibility to calculate the statistical error. However, this study can be envisaged as the first that tried to find out about the employment of graduates. It was clarified in the study if graduates were employed and if not then why, in how many work positions they worked, had changed their work place after graduation and if they were working in a full or part time job, type of employment agreement, if they worked in the private or public sector, which field they were working in and what their position was, what were their responsibilities and did the work correspond to their acquired education, how graduates had found their current job, according to their opinion did they think that knowledge acquired during studies was useful and if the graduates were satisfied with their current job and remuneration. By analyzing the field in which graduates were working in, it was possible to make the conclusion that master degree graduates are mainly occupied in the service sphere. Graduates of political science mainly worked in state administration, graduates of library sciences – in libraries located in cities and rural areas, graduates of psychology and geography – in education institutions, graduates of optometry – health care institutions. The study proved that respondents worked more as specialists and thereby they worked with their acquired special knowledge in their job. Answers provided by graduates only in signified a few cases that performing of lower qualification work. In major cases success depended on specialty. Those who had management positions provided answers that it’s their responsibility to organize work of subordinates, manage and coordinate projects. Study also clarified most popular channels for fixing up of work. Higher education and facilitation of labour market dialogue (2002). Authors: S. Vanaga, A. Snitnikovs, finance by Soros Foundation in Latvia. The objective of this study was to investigate how graduates of academic and vocational study programs at Daugavpils University (DU) align with the labour market, and what was the cooperation between university, local government and local employers in the region of Latgale. Attention was focused on differences between graduates of bachelor and master degree. It was to be clarified if studies are regarded as economically profitable from the opinion of graduates and society in general. During the study interviews were held with representatives of administration, directors of study programs and students. The Study object was all 444 graduates of 2001 of DU who were studying a full time bachelor, master or vocational education program from which 350 (79%) were surveyed. Study methods – telephone survey (350 interviews), expert interviews, and one discussion of the focus group. In the survey, information was clarified about the work course of graduates, as well as income and if their work corresponded to their acquired specialty. Cooperation of DU with potential employers was described as not being systematic. One of most common ways of finding work was with the help of educational internships. Regarding the work place and status, masters were in a more favourable position than bachelors. Masters more often had a
full time job, with a permanent employment agreement and were more satisfied with their work and received greater remuneration. However, part of the surveyed graduates expressed opinion that their qualification was higher than required in their work position. By using classification of occupation, analysis signified that 13% of graduates are “over educated” corresponding to their work position and work responsibilities. Study discovered that the economical return (in the private and public sector) from bachelor and master degree education at DU is positive. From the regional development point, one suggestion was to provide part of higher education as a type of college education providing the possibility to acquire several professions in a shorter period of time with the possibility to continue education at university. Supply of vocational education programs and labour market demand analysis in order to determine the number of students whose education is financed from the state budget in the context of economic field development in Latvia (2002). In this researched performed by the Institute of Economy of the Latvian Academy of Science, vocational education supply and unemployment of vocational institution graduates and prognosis were expressed that in future, changes may occur in the inhabitant employment structure and that will require the customizing of vocational education: x Employment in the sector of agriculture will decrease and demand for a labour force will be lower; x Demand for the labour force will decrease in the industrial sector, especially in manufacturing; x Demand for the labour force will continue to grow in the servicing field, especially in towns and rural areas. It was concluded in the study that the field of servicing may expect essential structural changes. The number of the state administration workers will decrease and the number of health care and education workers will decrease slightly, demand for transport and communication employees will be lower but demand for social workers, specialists in finance mediation, usage of real estate, in renting and commerce will increase. The necessity for national defence employees will increase as well as for various levels of lawyers, policemen, boarder guards and customs employees. Demand for utility, social and individual service employees, and tourism organizers will grow. According to the authors’ opinion, the total demand for the labour force in Latvia will continue to fall, the process of profession change will be activated, it is planned that not only separate professions will disappear but also entire groups of certain professions (like traditional specialists of metallurgy, loaders, engineers of different professions etc.). Imbalance in the labour market may significantly increase and the situation could become more dynamic, with changes more rapid and fundamental. Therefore the system of vocational education has to become more flexible. It was concluded that vocational education as well as vocational training mostly develops on previously founded traditions that characterizes a disproportionately high ratio of higher education and low ratio of vocational education.
Necessary skills for social and economical necessities (2003). Study performer: Market and public opinion study centre SKDS (project managers D. Calite and S. Mikuda). The objective of the study was to clarify what are the general abilities of graduates of higher education institutions and vocational education institutions and which abilities are necessary to perform fruitful work in modern conditions. Based on the acquired data, recommendations were developed for how to increase correspondence of general abilities of supply of education programs with the requirements of the labour market and life. The Study method – survey (interviews were performed at the work places of the respondents and by providing questionnaires to graduates and their employers). The sample contained 486 graduates who during the previous three years had acquired a diploma of a higher vocational education institution and who were working. Specific fields were included in the sample – wood-processing, information technology and telecommunications, transit services, pharmaceutical chemistry and tourism. It was planned to survey 1200 respondents but it was not accomplished. During the survey field of tourism was eliminated because it was not possible to perform interviews in selected companies. Refusal to cooperate of many companies was explained by lack of time resources, unwillingness to cooperate and confidentiality. In addition, only rarely had companies information about the employment of graduates. In general, graduates evaluated their communication skills, organizational and management abilities, ability to lean, computer skills and knowledge of the Russian language as good. The highest evaluation they gave to knowledge of Latvian but lower evaluation between good and average to English language knowledge. Graduates of higher education institutions gave higher evaluation for their skills in comparison to graduates of vocational secondary education institutions. The level of female necessary skills (except English) evaluated higher than men. Results of the study proved the hypothesis that general skills of higher education institutions and vocational secondary education institutions only partly correspond to what the employer expects. Employers valued all skills of graduates except English lower than the graduates themselves. Employers assessed the graduates’ ability to learn, computer knowledge, knowledge of English and Russian languages as good; organizational and management skills and communication skills as average. By employers, the highest evaluation between good and advanced was provided for Latvian language knowledge. All respondents thought that improvements of elementary and secondary education programs are necessary, giving more attention to the improvement of language, computer and communication skills, as well as the ability to learn, in secondary school – also to the acquisition of organizational and management skills. Respondents also thought that higher and vocational education institutions should pay more attention to the teaching of vocational skills in the chosen specialty. According to the opinion of respondents the majority of graduates are at least partially working in the field that corresponds to their acquired education. However, field employers 26
(except education) thought that there are problems with employees’ education correspondence. The largest problems are in telecommunication, significant – in transit and information technologies. Correspondence of vocational secondary education to professional requirements was much lower than the correspondence of higher education. Most often respondents mentioned the necessity for education to make a reorientation from acquisition of knowledge to practical, to pay more attention to the usage of theoretical knowledge in practice. Many respondents accented that it is necessary to regularly update the content of an education program, solve problems of internships and teaching staff (especially in higher education institutions). It was important for them to have a better balance of labour market demand and education supply. Regional higher education institutions and regional development – Ventspils University College and Vidzeme University College (2003). Research performed by Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (A. Tifentals, G. Zvigulis). Methods of qualitative analysis were used in the study (structured interviews with six experts of higher education and department employees of SEA) as well as qualitative analysis (describing statistical data analysis about regional higher education institutions and their graduates, data analysis regarding the labour market aggregated be SEA). The objective of the study was to investigate the influence of regional higher education institutions of Latvia on social-economical environment of the region and their ability to support economical development of the region and it was done by performing an analysis of Ventspils University College and Vidzeme University College. These higher education institutions are the most suitable for comparative analysis – both were founded at approximately the same time and they had similar study programs. During the study, criteria were set for correspondence of the study programs with the economical necessities of the region’s development. The graduates’ input to socio-economical development of the region was analyzed. Higher education institutions were researched as employers, providers of social services and study centres. By analyzing supply and demand in the regional labour markets, authors used the classification of Occupation. Researchers concluded that among graduates prepared by the regional higher education institutions there are unemployed individuals. However, it does not mean that higher education institutions prepare specialists in fields that are not required. By surveying graduates regarding correspondence of their qualification to the work they perform, the assumption was made that the graduate is doing work that is closely related to his/her acquired specialty/education then it approves that the study program corresponds to the necessities of the region. The hypothesis was proved that regional higher education institutions attract the intellectual potential of the region. The majority of students in these higher education institutions are from their own region. Another hypothesis that graduates of regional higher education institutions stay to work in the region was not proved. Actually, students tried to work in places with higher remuneration. If the wage level in regions would be increased then the number of graduates who after graduation would stay in the region would also increase.
It was concluded in the study that study programs provided by higher education institutions correspond to regional requirements. However, their accomplishment does not affect economical development of the region which can be explain by the fact that graduates of regional higher education institutions leave to work in the capital city were there is a higher average remuneration. Analysis of work place correspondence in economy and improvement of related statistical observation (2004). Performers: T. Plevako, Z. et.al In this study ordered by ME, the labour force results of surveys by CSB, CSB’s results about annual and quarterly reports of companies, institutions and organizations as well as survey results of SEA. The Latvian Statistical Institute performed a survey of the labour market conjuncture. The main tasks of the survey were to make a prognosis about the change in number of employed in the following 6 and 18 months, to make a prognosis about the distribution of workplace number changes regarding professions, economical operation types and regions. One of the main tasks – acknowledging of employers’ wishes about necessary employees by professions. The questionnaire of the survey also included questions on the number of employed and their structure in the company, development of new workplaces, educational level of employed and usage of resources for study and development etc. The survey included manufacturing industry, retail, services and agriculture. The authors concluded that there is potential in these industries to create new workplaces. The lowest reserve for this was for agricultural companies. Conclusions were made about changes in the number of employees in the next two years according to their education level and it was clarified that all managers of surveyed companies plan to decrease the level of their employees with a low education level. Economical return from higher education in Latvia The objective of this study prepared by PROVIDUS (author: A. Snitnikovs) was to assess if the input of the state and individuals in higher education pays off – respectively, what should be the income of graduates in order for studies to pay off from the financial aspect. National report on vocational education system and state and private employment services in Latvia (2004. g.). A study of the European Training Foundation (authors B. Ramina, I. Trapenciere a.o.). One of the research’s tasks was the correspondence of vocational education to the labour market and an individuals necessities. Results of the study signified that almost half of vocational education institutions’ graduates are not employed effectively. The number of students in these education institutions has remained stable for the period 1997-2003. The most popular fields – engineering and services. A rapid decrease of students was observed in agriculture. The professional orientation system is not well developed. Study counsellors are available only in higher education institutions where the possibility to shift from one study
program to another is higher because at higher education institutions there are credit point systems that helps to evaluate the volume of studies. According to expert evaluation, demand for education in Latvia is growing and thereby it is necessary to improve the correspondence to the labour market requirements and the individual’s requirements. However, there are no legislative norms that would allow assessing informal education, self-education or skills acquired as the result of work. The most popular adult education programs are in social sciences and humanities and health care. The majority of continuing education courses provided by companies are related to mandatory training of working safety but are not related to the latest technologies or increasing of work effectiveness. In Latvia, study of vocational education is fragmented and there is no single institution with a task to perform labour market studies and studies of vocational education except the National Observatory. The labour market and vocational education is a study not only by the National Observatory but also by the Institute of Economics of Latvian Academy of Sciences, IPhS UL as well as several public organizations – Employers’ Confederation of Latvia (ECL), Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), PCCSA that perform studies for the necessities of their organizations and may help to understand problems and trends in the relation of vocational education system with the market economy and the real labour market. ECL performed two surveys in order to clarify the opinion of employers in Latvia – “Professions and specialties necessary for the Latvian labour market” and “Connection between the labour market and vocational education systems in Latvia” (1996, 1997). At the beginning of 1998, LCCI organized a survey in order to clarify business’s opinion about vocational education in Latvia. Survey of unemployed graduates (2005). The project “Studies of the State Employment Agency” in the National program “Studies of the labour market” of ESF. The general aggregate of the study consisted of 745 unemployed graduates who in 2003/2004 had completed elementary education, secondary, vocational or higher education institution and at the period of survey had registered with the State Employment Agency (SEA) and had received the status of unemployed. The study method – questionnaires in subsidiaries of SEA in all regions of Latvia. The majority of unemployed graduates had acquired education from state resources (the highest indicator in the region of Latgale – 89%, the lowest indicator in Riga – 62%). 64% of graduates assessed the quality of their education as “good,” 15% as “very good”, 20% as “average.” The quality of the acquired education was assessed as “bad” by 0.7%, “very bad” by 0.3% of graduates. Internship during studies was organized for 31% of the respondents and in education institutions – 10.5% and both with employer and at education institution – 2.5%, but it was not organized for 55.6% of respondents. From respondents who had acquired vocational education internship during studies was not organized for 7.2% but those who acquired higher education – 38.9%. In the study, motives for choice of profession, professional orientation choice and its assessment were clarified, period of previous work experience, duration of work week and
other characteristics describing employment as well as the wish to work in the profession corresponding to acquired education. By analyzing data about the time when the graduate with more than three months work experience had started to work, then the ratio of those who had started to work prior to studies (approx. 30%) and those who started to work during the last years of education (studies) and after education (studies) is approximately equal. Analyzed reasons why graduates were not able to find work: 51.7% stated lack of experience, 27.7% – lack of vacancies, 23.4% – dissatisfaction with provided remuneration, 21.3% – family conditions, 16.5% – employer’s dissatisfaction with the abilities of the graduate or family conditions, 4.2% – disability, 2.7% – illness and 9.8% – other reasons. From 123 graduates to whom the employer had denied work, 49.6% was done due to insufficient knowledge of a foreign language and 42.3% due to insufficient knowledge of the official language, other reasons for denying of work position – disability to work with latest technologies and due to family conditions. Summary. The studies expressed the opinion that the Latvian education and labour market are very multiform and involve a wide scale of issues and various study methods were used. Every study provides a notion about certain education or labour market aspects but various methodologies make comparing of the results difficult. Thereby a further study of the professional operation of graduates from vocational and higher education institutions should be performed regularly in order to clarify they readiness for the necessities of the labour market and to help higher education institutions to improve their programs of studies and internships.
1.3.2. Studies made in the European Union and other countries Special attention in EU countries is paid to the transition of youth from education to the labour market. In this section an overview is given only to part of the studies performed in the EU that are based on a representative sample and with clearly described methodology. The life and work course of graduates are regularly researched according to the order of various ministries. Rather often in studies of life and work courses, longitudinal methodology is used by surveying one and the same people during a certain period. This methodology provides the best possibility to follow the life and work course of graduates but is rather complicated and comparatively expensive. Traditionally, work course studies are performed in Great Britain, e.g. in the studies of the University of Warwick where since 1995 graduates are survey about their career 3.5 years after graduation. According to this study, less than 10% of graduates have to work in a position that requires a lower education level than they have acquired and only 2% of economically active students are unemployed. In Great Britain, longitudinal studies about the possibilities of school and higher education institutions’ graduates after graduation are performed (Byner, Lynn and Furlong, 1997). Class ’99 (2003). (P. Elias, University of Warwick’s Institute of Employment Research) and K. Purcell, Employment Studies Study Unit at Bristol Business School). The study was 30
ordered by the Department for Education and Skills in order to investigate graduates work in variable conditions of the labour market and the ability of recent graduates from higher education institutions in the labour market in the acquired profession. The study approved the study made by the same authors about employment of graduates of 1995. 38 higher education institutions and 8,600 graduates took part in the study that represents all directions of studies in Great Britain from the oldest to newly founded universities. Graduates four years after graduations were questioned about employment, incomes, receiving of credits, improving of qualification and further education as well as their general satisfaction with higher education. In the study, the trend shows that higher education is acquired by a high number of people than ever before which was analyzed as well as the possibility to find work that corresponds to their acquired education. It was clarified that the majority of graduates are working in positions that require higher education (85%). Analysis was made to find out if there is a correlation between the receiving of a credit and career choices and if the receiving of a degree can be regarded of a good investment for the turn of the century. The main conclusions of the research were: x Almost 85% of employed graduates work in a position that requires higher education; x Two thirds of graduates work in a position that is related to a long-term career x Only 2–3% of graduates are unemployed; x Employers highly assess skills of graduates and 4 years after graduation, the average remuneration is above £ 23 800. Researchers have clarified that in several fields, the difference between higher education institutions’ graduates and respondents with a lower education level decreases; x 7KHmajority of graduates are satisfied with their decision to acquire higher education and regard it as a good investment. In studies at the end of the nineties, perspectives of higher education institutions’ graduates were compared after graduation. Careers after Higher Education: a European Study (the so called study project of CHEERS) is one of most prestigious studies about which agreement was reached by the Heads of Rectors Conference and in a Meeting of the Directors General of Higher Education (ministries of education of the European Union) in Vienna in 1998. This comparable study of the largest volume about higher education institutions’ graduates with 11 participating countries including one country of Central Europe (Czech Republic) and Japan. The study combines information about more than 40,000 graduates four years after graduation (at least 3,000 graduates in every member country of the research). The survey includes the following aspects: socio-economical situation of the student’s family, course of studies, connection between studies and employment during studies, career after higher education institution, satisfaction with work and retrospective view on role of higher education institution and quality of studies. The study analyzed work and employment in a European and international dimension, mobility, as well as tried to clarify the affect of higher education on employment, career and continuing of education etc. It also touched on the
aspect of social rejection risk. In addition, a survey of employers was performed. on the scale of this project more than 100 publications in English were prepared and many of them were published in the magazine “European Journal of Education”, and monographs were prepared (Teichler, U., 2004, Schomburg, H., 2004). Work course of Hungarian graduates (Overeducation, Undereducation and Demand) (1999–2000), P. Galasi (2004). This work is based on two sample studies about the situation of higher education institutions’ graduates in the labour market (1999, 2000) and a comparison of data about the situation and determining factors of this group. In the first survey only full time state higher education institutions’ graduates were included, but in the sample of the following year, students from private higher education institutions were included by surveying students of colleges and universities. As a result of the study, the main status indicators formed a model for the labour market of higher education institutions’ graduates. Factors were clarified that beneficially or inimically affect the labour market situation of higher education institutions’ graduates. An occupational concentration index was developed, the relationship between higher education and self-employment was determined along with the role of various knowledge (e.g. foreign languages). Employability in the context of the Bologna process (2004). Higher education study centre, M. Šmídová, Prague, Czech Republic. The rate of unemployment is very for higher education institutions’ graduates in the Czech Republic, but there are various situations in the different regions. There are 1,238 accredited bachelor level education programs and the number of students has increased by 65%. The project “Cooperation analysis of tertiary education and industrial companies and servicing field” was accomplished beginning in 2002 and it provided analysis of employment and problems of graduates of bachelor degree studies; e.g., employers did not differentiate between the levels of studies, etc. Method: a survey that studied management skills, foreign language and special knowledge of graduates. Studies about graduates’ career possibilities are regularly made in Australia, e.g. The Graduate Labour Market in the 1990s (1998), L. Andrews. The study analyzes the transition from elite to mass higher education and a large number of foreign students in higher education institutions increasing number of students by 48%, as well as remuneration of graduates from various fields and connection of it with career development. 2004 Graduates at a Glance: Work, Salaries, Study and Course Satisfaction The Australian graduates career board performs an annual survey of new graduates almost straight after graduation. It was concluded from the study that a large part of graduates are employed or looking for work, how much graduates earn and if they are acquiring another qualification. It was also investigated if graduates are satisfied with their acquired qualification.
Conclusions: x The majority had found work. In 2004 four months after graduation from higher education institution 79.7% of bachelor degree graduates were working in a full time job (in 2003 – 80.1%), 12.9% worked in a part time job but were looking for a full time job; x Almost ¼ of graduates continued studies (23.4 %), and the majority of them were male; x At the beginning of their career, the median volume of the salary was $ 38 000 (81.6% of average salary). The average salary of a male was higher than the average salary of female; x The general indicator of satisfaction was high – 89.4% of graduates were satisfied with their acquired education (www.gradlink.edu.au). Canadian The National Graduate Survey or NGS or Course of 2000 (2002). Its objective was to study the situation of graduates from Canadian state universities, local municipalities’ colleges and vocational training programs in the labour market. In was investigated in the study what the connection is between education programs and employment, satisfaction with work, partial employment, unemployment; the connection between employment and career possibilities and expectations, qualification requirements, as well as the effect of education acquired after secondary education (tertiary) on career possibilities. Every course was surveyed twice – 2 and 5 years after graduation. Only state education institution graduates were surveyed – graduates who were studying at part time programs, of tertiary private education institutions, short program students (less than 3 months) as well as those who were studying outside Canada or USA were not surveyed. As a method and set of instruments, a unified questionnaire was used (Class of 1995), as well as a questionnaire for those graduates who had moved to the USA. It may have been supplemented with new questions that have been verified in focus groups. The sample is longitudinal and it is based on a stratified random sample plan where stratification is based on the region (province, education level, field of studies). Survey involved graduates who live in Canada and USA and that in 2000 received a certificate, diploma or degree in tertiary education institutions of Canada. Participation was voluntary. Work course of youth in USA. The National Study Center of Vocational education of University of California (Berkeley) (J. A. Klerman, L. A. Karoly, 1998) analyzed the work course of 12,781 young people in the USA between 1979 and 1990 choosing two cohorts of age – those born in 1958 and 1965. Work course models were classified depending on the acquired education level: unfinished secondary education, secondary school diploma, unfinished college education, completed college education, higher education. It was analyzed how large a proportion is employed and how large is the percentage of those who continue education, and at what age surveyed people have started their work course. The meridian age of surveyed secondary school graduates starting permanent work course (time worked at least 33
3 years) was 22 years but young people who had dropped out from the secondary school started to work earlier but they started a permanent work course later – at the age of 23 years. Additionally, college graduates entered into the labour market later than secondary school graduates that did not continue education and started a stable permanent work course soon after reaching the age of 23 years. It was concluded in the study that there are no significant differences between races and ethnic groups for the starting of a permanent work course. It was suggested for developers of work policy to pay more attention to those who do not complete secondary education. In Russia, work course analysis is declared in the study University System and Labour Market in Russia, (2003–2004), project leaders: Irina Denisova, Leonids Polishchuks. The objective of the study was to investigate the connection between education after secondary school and the labour market in Russia. Several higher education system reforms have taken place in Russia and as the result study programs, financing and management have changed but still many higher education institutions have a lack of financing, equipment and there is corruption. The task of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of the reforms. At the moment, the results of the study are not available. The Italian Survey of Graduate Employment is regularly performed in 36 Italian universities including Alma Laurea Consortium. In 2005, the eighth study was already performed that analyzed employment and continuing education five years after graduation, remuneration, work quality and other issues of students of first level studies. The study was based on a survey that included 75 thousand graduates who graduated from higher education institutions in the summer semester of 2000, 2002 and 2004. There is a displacement of the sample because Northern Italian students have a larger representation. Courses of graduates before and after reform have been analyzed. As the result of reforms, the average age of students has decreased – 27-28 years before the reform and new three year program students complete prior to 23 years of age. It was clarified in the study that the proportion of students who are working and studying at the same time is increasing. Employment of first level graduates a year after graduation reached 54.5%, including 36.2% who were only working and 18.3% who were working and acquiring a master degree. In total, 54% of graduates continue studies in the master programs but 6% of graduates are unemployed and are looking for work. Authors analyzed employment and further education courses of graduates from fields of various study programs showing that mostly are employed in health sciences (87%), teacher training (72%), political sciences (63%) focusing that a large part of the employed are working in a position that they started during studies. Tables and graphs of graduates’ course distribution along with higher education institutions can be found in the home page: www.almalaurea.it. The Vocational Education and Training – European Study was carried out in 2002 at Bremen University headed by Dr. M. Kuhn who started an international comparative study about vocational education in Europe Vocational education was analyzed from all facets 34
paying attention to the connection of vocational education with the labour market and employment, roles of vocational education in a changing Europe as well as social rejection of youth with a low education level especially in the marginal environment. The study involved researchers from 14 countries. As a result of the study, recommendations were made to perform a comparative international study about graduates of vocational education institutions four years after graduation performing this study once in three to five years and surveying 3000 graduates in every country and regularly organizing European level conferences about employment of graduates and thereby creating the European dialog regarding the effectiveness of professional and vocational education policy. Summary. In economically developed countries, the study of higher education institutions’ graduates is widely developed and is being performed regularly. In Central and Eastern Europe countries, these studies are fragmentary and are not being performed regularly.
1.4. Theoretical foundation and urgency of the research Education is an important precondition for the more rapid development of the state and its regions. The amount and quality of the education facilitates development of the economy (Rubinson, Browne, 1994). In its turn, illiteracy of inhabitants goes in one hand with poverty (World Bank 2004: 35). Studies signify that if education exceeds 7.5 years then the effect of education decreased (OECD 2004: 188). A higher education level of the individual, family and inhabitant groups increase possibilities for employment, material welfare, health and competitiveness (Krumins, Leduskrasta 2005: 17). Latvia is within those countries with a high national development index (above 0.8). It is characteristic that in countries with high a national development index there is also a high number of inhabitant education years. For example, in Norway it is 18 years, in Great Britain, Finland, and Sweden – 17 years (World Bank, 2004, pp. 84–86). The indicator for Latvia – 14 years – corresponds to the level reached by the Czech Republic, Japan and Hungary. However, it has to be taken into account that the number of education years is different in various inhabitant groups. In Latvia it is higher for females than males and for urban population more than rural population. These differences are expected to remain for the next 15-20 years (Eglite, Ivbulis 1999: 72). During the last 20 years, rapid changes have taken place in the world, influenced by progress in sciences and mechanics. The increasing development of information technologies, a globalization of the economy, increasing of services ratio in gross domestic product, development of knowledge-consuming fields bring forward new requirements for human resource development and in the field of social policy (Benfelde 2004: 48–49). Higher education becomes more accessible (Bekeris, Krumns, Stonis 2004: 5–10). The role of learning of vocational skills is increasing at the level of secondary as well as higher education. There are contradictions between the growing number of students, education financing, ensuring of education institutions with staff, etc. In order to eliminate or decrease these contradictions, the number of education studies is growing and special places are given
to surveys of graduates (Cammelli 2007; McIntosh, Munk 2007). Studies of this type provide a possibility to asses the “final product” of education – graduate, effectiveness of his/her teaching and correspondence to the changing requirements of the labour market. ES member countries face significant social problems: a comparatively high level of unemployment, insufficient aligning of female and elder people with the labour market, insufficiency of qualified specialists in knowledge-consumer fields. Thereby, in the internal affairs of EU countries, a higher meaning is given to social policy. In the Lisbon Strategy approved in 2000, this determines the social policy and strategy of the EU and it has been mentioned that until 2010, the EU has to become the most competitive and dynamic on a knowledge based economy in the world, ensuring sustainable growth, increasing of workplaces and social cohesion. In the Lisbon Strategy and other planning documents of EU guidelines set for social policy have been described in detail in Guidelines for Employment policies of Member States that have been approved with the Council of Europe decision No 2003/578/EC of July 22, 2002. It sets out objectives to be reached by the EU member countries in employment, work effectiveness and quality, social cohesion and adaptation field as well as 10 guidelines for achievement of these objectives. According to Section 4 of the decision of the Council of Europe No 2004/7 40/EC of October 4, 2004 guidelines for employment policies are binding to new EU member states when developing employment policy of the member states. According to a sample type survey of the labour force data, then from the employed of 15-74 years of age in Latvia, two thirds have secondary education, one fifth has higher education, 13% have elementary education, bet 0.9% have education that is lower than elementary education or no school education (CSP 2004: \html\tables\lv\ t05_03.htm). From the opinion of trend assessment then since the middle of the nineties, the ratio of employed with higher and secondary education is increasing but the ratio of employed with vocational secondary education and education that is lower than elementary education is decreasing. Latvia substantially falls behind the more developed countries in Europe and from average indicators of the EU regarding those who have acquired higher education. For example, in Denmark and Finland the ratio of those who have acquired higher education and in the age of capacity for labour it is almost twice as much as in Latvia (European Commission 2004: 31). In this area, Estonia and Lithuania are ahead of Latvia. Education and the resulting qualification is an important characteristic for competitiveness in the labour market. Due to demand and changes in the labour market, some of the people will become unemployed and they will need to be reclassified. In 25 member states of the EU, the unemployment level for persons with a higher education is 4.2%, for individuals with secondary education – 7.9%, but for persons with a lower education level – 10.5% (European Commission 2004: 26). According to the authors’ calculation, then in Latvia the probability that a person with a higher education will become unemployed is two times lower than for a person with a general secondary education and 3-4 times lower than for people with a vocational secondary education. About two thirds of the unemployed in Latvia have secondary education including the majority of them that have vocational secondary education 36
(CSP 2004: \html\tables\lv\t05_11.htm). It signifies that the acquired qualification does not correspond to labour market necessities. A quarter of the youth do not gain a secondary or vocational secondary education. Approximately 5% of those who study in comprehensive schools drop out due to various reasons. Only with a complete vocational education may the person start working in a profession or continue higher vocational education. The unemployment level in Latvia is still high including unemployment of youth in the age of 15-25 years. In addition, there is rather a high number of economically inactive people in Latvia. In the Latvian labour market there are still problems with the gender equality principle because there are essential differences between males and females regarding remuneration and acquired positions. The main objective of employment policy in Latvia is the increasing of employment levels, reaching criteria given in the guidelines for employment of member states. One of the preconditions for reaching this objective is ensuring an analytical service that is based on trustful, complete data and scientifically based conclusions about the supply and demand of the labour force for the short and long term, quality of education programs, correspondence of education institutions’ graduates with requirements of the labour market, regionally balanced development conditions, issues of gender equality as well as many more issues related to employment. A large proportion of this data is not available from databases available to state administration institutions. Thereby it is necessary to have studies of the labour market and education institutions’ graduates of professional operation but so far they have not been made sufficiently due to insufficient financing. This type of study would give substantial input to the making of a prognosis regarding supply and demand of the labour market as well as ensuring a most effective sample of employment policy instruments in order to reach objectives given in the Latvian National Action Plan and in SPD. Recently, at government level, institutions of the education sector and the entire society issues about employment of graduates from higher and vocational education institutions after graduation have become more updated. Every graduate of at a corresponding education level has to be ensured with sufficient professional readiness for the requirements of the labour market and continuation of education in a lifelong leaning context. A substantial Single personal data bank for vocational secondary education graduates does not exist. Thereby the necessary information for performing of an observation has to be received from education institutions. Data about a graduates’ place of residence is available to education institutions. Receiving of information about higher education institutions’ graduates was facilitated by ISHEIL but it did not include all of the higher education institutions. The study performers, with support of MES, gained a database of graduates from higher and vocational education institutions from the lists of graduates and electronic data carriers. Usually this information is about current residence when studies are started and not at the time when they are completed. Data about the place of residence for the purpose of this study were updated according to ID numbers in DIR OCMA. However, the declared place of residence often does not correspond to the actual place of residence. In addition, external legislation norms do not allow for the updating of addresses of graduates together with their personal data.
A problem during the study when performing data analysis occurred in connection with the acquired degree and qualification in determining of the corresponding profession after completing of education institutions. In order to determine the part of higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates who started to work in their acquired specialty as well as to determine sample for graduates’ surveys according the task of the study it was necessary to perform a rather time consuming encoding of acquired qualification level and profession. Graduates were grouped according to education classification of the Republic of Latvia but their occupation after graduation according to the Classification of Occupation (CO). On the scale of the study, correspondence of the professional operation with the acquired education was analyzed in two aspects: taking into account the subjective opinion of graduates and using CO of the Republic of Latvia and the correspondence scheme of the Education program classifier that was developed o then scale of the National program study “Correspondence of vocational and higher education programs to the labour market requirements” of the Labour market studies of MW. According to data of the State Employment Agency (SEA) of 22,726 graduates of 2003/2004 a.y. on October 1, 2004 the total number of graduates that were registered as unemployed was 287 or 1.3%. For Latvia this indicator is better than on average in OECD states, where for graduates of 25-29 years of age it is 4.7%. The highest indicators were found in Italy (8.8%) and Greece (13.8%) but the lowest in Austria and Sweden (1.5%). In Latvia the majority of students are working during studies that increases their competitiveness regarding work experience from the employer’s point of view. Even though the situation in general regarding employment of graduates may not be regarded as critical, there are several problems on the level of separate higher education institutions, regions and occupations. Even though the education acquisition possibilities in Latvia as a territorially small country is approximately equal to all, because the network of schools and higher education institutions covers all the territory but due to an historical development factor and differences of the economical development level there are regional differences in education level and education quality of the inhabitants. The fact that people who have acquired higher education level move to live in the central part of the country around the capital city and to other large cities then regional differences between inhabitants continue to increase (CSP 2000: 186; Busmanis, Soika 2004: 97–103). The number of those who have acquired vocational secondary education in cities of the republic is higher than the average in the state. In regions with a low ratio of young people between inhabitants, the decreasing of birth rate with other fixed factors could threaten the demand for a qualified labour force and create a shortage in the labour force. In these conditions, regions in the future could have the necessity for the return of inhabitants who migrated earlier who would return to their native place or for allocation of a foreign workforce. Change of birth-rate and the number born during this time affect the hrate when number of children born a year from 1986-1988 reached 41 thousand and was the highest in the post war period up to now has affected the highest number of graduates of secondary education institutions and candidates for higher education. However, further education institutions of 38
secondary and higher education will face the result of a falling birth-rate and as a result, the number of students may decrease twofold. This low position had already reached higher education institutions in 2006 when for the first time after a long period, the number of candidates was decreased. It may be followed by long-term lifelong learning and continuing education study programs. Since enlargement of the EU in new member states, including in Latvia, labour force migration problems have become tenser. Usually immigration states attract an educated labour force in the most necessary specialties and occupations for more rapid development of their economy and scientific potential (Chen 2006: 725). For example, the USA gains substantial benefit from education investments of other countries by attracting their prepared scientists and engineers in their turnover (Stephan and Levin 2001). However, when emigration develops in economically weaker countries, a“brain drain” situation develops that is affected also by legal and illegal emigration of a low qualification workforce. Latvia as well at the turn of the century as the result of migration has lost inhabitants with a higher education level and mostly with specialty secondary education and higher education (Krumins, Leduskrasta 2005: 24). A substantial ratio of higher educated people between emigrants from the Baltic States in a long-term perspective will cause them human capital losses and will leave a negative effect on productivity and economic development (Kielyte and Kacs 2002, pp. 276–277). However, emigration costs suggested by these authors will not solve the problems related to emigration – it is necessary to reach a more rapid income level, balancing the level between old and new EU member states.
1.5. Study hypothesis When starting the study and taking into account bibliography review and previous results of data analysis, the group of authors made several hypotheses that characterize occupational operations, lifelong learning and other life aspects of interaction of higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates. x Data base of graduates, data acquisition normative grounding and completeness of accounting facilitates to assessment of acquired education quality and further occupational operation. x The existing system of graduates operation after graduation of education institution ensure monitoring of their life course, professional growth, effect of education and employment policy changes. Aligning of higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates in the labour market after graduation in occupational operations that correspond to their acquired education are determined by the following factors: x Education factors: Year of graduation; Acquired education level;
Full time/part time form of studies; Self-financed studies/ studies financed by the budget; Thematic field of education; x Demographical indicators: Gender; Age; Ethnicity; Place of residence; x Occupational operation factors: Expected remuneration; Working conditions; Possibilities for increasing of qualification; x Enforced factors: Permanent work during studies; Information about career possibilities in the chosen specialty; Motivation to work in occupation that corresponds to acquired education; Education level of parents; Education level in education institution; Continuing of education; Work abroad. Further reviewed results of higher and vocational education institution graduates’ survey allow verification of the proposed hypothesis, make conclusions about graduates possibilities and difficulties to align with the labour market in the acquired specialty, identify barriers, and develop activities for the elimination of barriers. Results of higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates on life event history and work career show the main problems of occupational growth, aligning with lifelong learning activities and provide the possibility to develop recommendations for the creation of graduate monitoring.
2. STUDY METHODOLOGY 2.1. Assessment of graduates’ database 2.1.1. Higher education Graduates of higher education institutions in Latvia are citizens of Latvia, permanent residents and citizens of other countries. The subject group of the study was inhabitants of Latvia. Therefore those graduates who were citizens of other countries and permanent residents with non-Latvian address were not included in sample. In order to identify graduates for the study objectives it was necessary to have information about their addresses and if not available then about their ID numbers. By using ID numbers it is possible to acquire addresses in DIR OCMA Unfortunately part of the database does not provide information about the graduates’ place of residence or they are incomplete. According to data published by MES 20,697 graduates acquired a degree or qualification in 2002/2003 a.y. in 24 states and 15 legal entities of founded higher education institutions in basic or higher education studies (except doctoral and resident program). There is information about 18,023 graduates in the graduates’ database of 2002/2003 a.y. This number is lower than the one published because several education institutions have provided insufficient information and information about eight higher education institutions is not accessible in the database. In these eight education institutions there were 1,769 graduates or 8.5% from all higher education institutions’ graduates. From those not in the sample frame were graduates from the following thematic groups: 19 or 34.5% from hotel and restaurant service specialists; 70 or 25.5% from social care; 103 or 83.7% from tourism and recreation organizers. The remaining 1,577 graduates were from thematic groups of studies with a ratio of graduates not included in the sample frame was lower than 20% and often even lower than 10%. Two higher education institutions did not provide full information about their graduates and there was a resulting 4.4% difference in the number of graduates published in statistics report. However, ratios are not so high. Due to the fact that several higher education institutions did not provide data about their graduates, then further analysis of data had to take into account that graduates of several higher education institutions were not included in the sample frame and thereby also in the sample. The structure of graduates of 2002/2003 a.y. was as follows: 13,606 citizens of Latvia; 579 permanent residents of Latvia; 416 citizens of other countries or permanent residents; there was no information about the citizenship of 3,422 graduates. If we assume that graduates with no citizenship information but those who have ID numbers of the Republic of Latvia are citizens of Latvia or permanent residents then for the purpose of this study, 17,551 graduates could be identified that form a sub-sample frame for those who have acquired a qualification or degree in 2002/2003 a.y. According to the summary published by MES 26,007 graduates acquired a degree or qualification in 2004/2005 a.y. in 20 states and 13 legal entities founded higher education 41
institutions as well as in 14 states and 3 legal entities founded colleges in basic or higher education studies (except doctoral and resident program). There is information about 25,542 graduates in the database and their structure is as follows: 23 496 citizens of Latvia; 1373 – permanent residents of Latvia; 251 – citizens or permanent resident of other countries; there was no information about citizenship of 422 graduates; 52 graduates that were citizens of Latvia had no ID numbers. A difference of 465 graduates or 1.8% from the published number of graduates can be explained in several cases by insufficient information. Information about two higher education institutions is not accessible in the database. If we assume that graduates with no citizenship information but those who have ID numbers of the Republic of Latvia are citizens of Latvia or permanent residents, then for necessities of the study, 25,229 graduates form the sub-sample frame for those who have acquired a qualification or degree in 2004/2005 a.y. Several higher education institutions had not provided complete information and two higher education colleges had provided no information. In two education institutions there were 40 graduates or 0.15% from the total number of higher education institutions’ graduates. This sample frame error is not regarded as significant. Information differences of information provided by other higher education institutions gives a 1.6% discrepancy. Authors of the study think that the above mentioned deficiencies of the sample frame do not affect the overall study results about graduates for 2002/2003 and 2004/2005 a.y. For analysis including distribution of graduates among thematic groups of education and education level it has to be concluded that there are rather big differences in the number of graduates. In 2002/2003 a.y. thematic fields such as management and administration, pedagogue education and education science and social and human behavior sciences had a large number of graduates. However, in mathematics and statistics, veterinary, individual services and environment protection the number of graduates was considerably lower. An even higher differentiation of number of the graduates was observer in education program groups. In this case the number of graduates varies from 1 to 3,471. In the sample frame of 2004/2005 a.y. the situation is similar – the number of graduates in education programs varies from 1 to 5,439.
2.1.2. Vocational education Prior to this study there was actually no centralized databases for graduates of vocational education institutions because this information was not requested and accounted. Necessary data for the study of vocational education institutions was provided to MES. The difference between CSB data and information of the database can be explained by the fact that several vocational education institutions did not provide complete data and thirty vocational education institutions provided no information to the Student Register (Audzeknu registrs) including 11 private education institutions. The student database includes information about education levels of graduates of education institutions including those who do not reach a degree of vocational education or those who have completed at the institution and to whom a qualification certificate is being issued. The 42
objective study group is formed by those graduates of vocational education institutions who have acquired vocational elementary education (22nd education level), vocational training – part of vocational education that provides a possibility to acquire a professional qualification of the 2nd level (32nd and 35th education level) and vocational secondary education that provides a possibility to acquire a 3rd level vocational qualification (33rd and 37th education level). Therefore the sample frame does not include those graduates who have acquired vocational development education and vocational continuing education (20th and 30th level of education qualification), as well as the leveling program of all-round secondary education. The database only contains information about vocational education institutions subordinated to state and local government because private vocational education institutions do not provide data about graduates. According to the published data of CSB, in 2002/2003 a.y. 12,537 people graduated from vocational education institutions subordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture (MA), MES, MW, MC and MI. In the student database there is information about 7,950 graduates which is 63.4% of all graduates. Regarding 2004/2005 a.y. this data was 9,963 and 7,159 respectively. Therefore the data base of this a.y. contained information about 71.9% of total number of graduates. The main difference between data of CSB and the database is caused by the situation that several vocational education institutions did not provide complete information and in its turn 23 vocational education institutions provided no information including all eight private education institutions. By analyzing the distribution of graduates it has to be concluded that the number of vocational education institutions for 2002/2003 a.y. and 2004/2005 a.y. are dissipated evenly by education thematic fields and education level. However, separate education programs were not represented, especially in the lowest (22nd) and highest (37th) level. On the level of vocational elementary education (22nd) the database does not contain information about graduates that in 2002/2003 a.y. have graduated from education institutions of “Construction and civil engineering” and “Medicine” and in its turn in 37th level there is no information about students who in 2002/2203 have acquired a qualification “Textiles manufacturing technologies and manufacturing of products” in vocational elementary education level as well as in 37th level and there is also no data on qualification on the 37th level in “Construction and civil engineering”. In almost all education levels in 2002/2003 a.y. and 2004/2005 a.y. there is no data about students that have graduated in subprograms of field “Arts”, especially qualification of designer (Code 214 of 3rd qualification level) because schools that provide this type of qualification have not submitted data. Data about graduates was also not provided by the largest institution that provides a marine service qualification and, therefore the sample of representatives from this field was not included in this sample. In summary, under coverage for sub-sample frames is not significant in the case of higher education institutions’ graduates but is significant regarding graduates of vocational education institutions.
2.2. Creation of sample and sample errors 2.2.1. Main group and sample frame The Main group of the study for which conclusions are made are the citizens or permanent residents of Latvia that in 2002/2003 a.y. and in 2004/2005 a.y. graduated from higher and vocational education institutions. According to the data of CSB, in 2002/2003 a.y., 20,697 students completed studies in higher education institutions and in 2004/2005 a.y., 26,007 students graduated. Additionally, in 2002/2003 a.y., 12,537 students and in 2004/2005 a.y., 9,963 students graduated from vocational education institutions. Among these graduates there are citizens and permanent residents of Latvia as well as citizens of other countries. In order to accomplish the study and to form a representative sample it is necessary to have a sample frame. This was developed using the MES database of students which contains information about students and graduates of higher education institutions. This database was amended with data of vocational education institutions’ graduates. The sample frame contained 17,551 graduates of 2004/2005 a.y. of higher education institutions and 25,229 graduates of 2004/2005 a.y. as well as 7,766 graduates of 2002/2003 a.y., and 6,714 graduates of 2004/2005 a.y. from vocational education institutions
2.2.2. Sample volume Initially it was planned that the volume of the sample would be 8,000 graduates and additionally the sample would be evenly divided between graduates of every year and that the scale of every year sample would be evenly distributed between graduates of higher and vocational education institutions – then the total gross sample was increased to 12,000 (planned level of response rate – 66%). It means that in every academic year the sample included 3,000 graduates from higher education institutions and 3,000 graduates from vocational education institutions. Whilst performing field work it was established that the level of response rate was lower than initially planned and thereby the volume of the gross sample of higher education institutions was increase to 4,000 graduates for each academic year. Therefore the total gross sample volume was established at 14,000 graduates.
2.2.3. Stratification In every academic year, both graduates of higher education institutions and vocational education institutions were stratified according to the acquired type of education. Stratification of vocational education institutions’ graduates in a scale for every academic year was performed by the education program group that is made up of the 3rd, 4th and 5th elements of the vocational program register code. In a few cases if there was a very small
number of graduates in the education program group in an academic year then stratification was performed by combining education program groups that were closely related according to the acquired occupation. Stratification of higher education institutions’ graduates on a scale of every academic year was performed by the study program (education program division or program group that consisted of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th element of the education classification code). In a few cases where there was a very small number of graduates from any study program in an academic year, then stratification was performed by combining close education programs on a scale of one thematic education field (thematic field of education is determined by 3rd and 4th element of the education classification code). As it is impossible to make representative conclusions about any education group or study program with a net sample of less than 10 graduates then the study sample was created in the way so that in every strata there would be at least 15 graduates (in order to ensure a net sample volume of 10 at the initially planned level of 66% for response rate). If the size of strata is sufficient then the sample size is proportional to the size of strata that is the number of graduates in the strata. 2.2.4. Sample design and design weights The Sample design is a stratified systematic event sample. In the scope of every stratum graduates were arranged by: x Regional affiliation of the education institution – Riga or outside of Riga; x Level of education program; x Education program group (for samples of vocational education institutions) or study program (for samples of higher education institutions) if several education program groups or study programs were combined into one; x Random number. At the same time sample design weights were calculated and together with the Horvitz– Thompson estimator allowed the acquisition of a general cluster parameter assessment from the sample data. It must to be mentioned that design weights can be used for acquiring of the assessment only in the ideal variant if the sample frame has no error and if there is a 100% response rate level in the research. Sample design weights dk are inversely proportional to the probability Sk that a graduate will be included in the sample dk = 1/ Sk,
Sk = nh / Nh, where nh is the number of graduates of strata h included in the sample and Nh is the size of the strata h or number of graduates in sample frame of the stratum.
2.2.5. Response rate of sample units Distribution of the observation unit number according to the utility of the contact and usability status is showed in Table 1. Table 1. Unused and useful contacts with respondents – graduates of higher and vocational education institutions
Total General cluster Contact that can not be used (entries) Unused contacts (entries) Useful contacts
Number 14 000 1 227 1 351 11 422
% 100% 9% 9% 82%
Graduates of higher education institutions Number % 8 000 100% 745 9% 1 351 17% 5 904 74%
Graduates of vocational education institutions Number % 6 000 100% 482 8% 0 0 5 518 92%
Here it has to be mentioned that in the line Contacts that can not be used it shows the number of graduates with an incomplete or no address in the database, or it was a location of a company or person who declared that there was no person who would have graduated from an education institution in the given period. This number includes individuals who have passed away or have been included in sample twice – as graduates of 2002/2003 a.y. and 2004/2005 a.y. In addition 1,351 graduates from the additional sample were not surveyed due to lack of time and resources. Therefore in total there were 82% useful and used contacts and in addition 74% in the case of higher education institutions’ graduates and 92% of vocational education institutions’ graduates. Information about the useful contact response rate is summarized in Table 2. Table 2. Useful contacts with respondents – graduates of higher and vocational education institutions and reasons for not responding Graduates of higher education institutions Number % 5 904 100% 2 504 42% 3 400 58%
Total Useful contacts Response rate No response, Including distribution by causes: Person during survey performance period is absent Person lives/works abroad No contact Person has change place of residence Refusal
Number 11 422 4 557 6 865
% 100% 39% 60%
Graduates of vocational education institutions number % 5 518 100% 2 053 37% 3 465 63%
4 706 786
2 463 238
2 243 548
It can be seen from the table that the actual rate of response is 39% which is much lower than initially expected – 66%. In can also be seen from the table that the main reason for not responding (in 69% cases) is “no contact” that means that the interviewer did not manage to meet with the respondent and there was no information about the person (e.g., change of place of residence etc.).
The average number of visits in case of lack of contact was three visits. It has to be mentioned that respondents were found using telephone contacts and the internet portal draugiem.lv. Part of the higher education institutions’ graduates with no information was higher than in case of graduates from vocational education institutions. (72% of the total no response ratio in the given group) and a significantly larger part of people who refused to take part in the survey (15% of higher education institutions’ graduates and 9% of vocational education institutions’ graduates). Additionally, in the group of vocational education institutions there was a larger number of graduates that had changed their place of residence (16% of vocational education institutions graduates vs. 7% of higher education institutions’ graduates) and those who live/work abroad (9% vocational education institutions graduates, 5% higher education institutions’ graduates). On average, 1% of graduates in both objective groups during the survey were in long-term absence (business trip, hospital etc.). It should be said that there is no significant difference between the characteristics of 2002/2003 a.y. and 2004/2005 a.y. graduates.
Among 805 received refusals to take part in the survey, the most often given reason was unwillingness of the respondent to provide answers that were grounded by disinclination to take part in any survey, distrust of social surveys as well as unwillingness to talk about this specific stage of their life (most often time of studies in school or higher education institution). In some cases comments were made about the extremely large number of surveys in the country. In total, disinclination to provide wider information about themselves was expressed by 390 higher education institutions’ graduates and 151 vocational education institutions’ graduates. A special type of refusal was the case when the person included in the sample did not arrive at an interview at the agreed time and place. If for any reason the person was not able or did not want to give interview during first visit recruiting for interview was made on the phone then the task of the interviewer was to agree on another time and place that would be suitable for the respondent. In total, 95 individuals who had prior agreements about the time and place of the interview did not arrive. These cases were classified as refusal after recruiting.
25 individuals who were located did not want to take part in the survey due to a health condition or other social reasons, e.g. necessity to take care of a small child. Three separate cases have to be mentioned when individuals requested a substantial amount of money in order to provide information. Comments about the necessity for material remuneration were 47
more often encountered. Refusals were received from 141 individual. There were also situations, the so called indirect refusal made by a family member in the name of the respondent. In the majority of cases this type of refusal was provided by family members – parents or spouse of a person providing a reason like lack of time or disinclination to provide information about a person.
In cases when family member or another person living in the stated address of that person included in the sample was abroad then in the accounting card of the respondent the following information was recorded: country where graduate is living, status of residence and employment. Results of the graduates survey show that in permanent residence abroad there were 487 individuals included in the sample including 134 higher education institutions’ graduates and 270 vocational education institutions’ graduates. The majority of graduates included in the sample had gone abroad in order to work (77% of higher education institutions’ graduates living abroad and 86% of vocational education institutions graduates). The number of graduates who have moved outside of Latvia for another reason was considerably lower.
The summarized information about countries where graduates included in the sample reside was no surprise because it reflected the migration trend of the total labour force in Latvia. The two countries that were mentioned most were Great Britain and Ireland. According to acquired information, 183 individuals included in the sample live, work or study in Great Britain and 103 live and work in Ireland. Other countries for long-term residence were much less often chosen. Amongst other countries, the most often mentioned were: Germany, Norway, USA and Russia. The distribution of graduates of higher and vocational institutions who are in a long-term residence by countries is given in Appendix 5.
2.2.6. Correction of no response Due to the high level of no response observed in the study, design weights deviated assessments were calculated and used. One of basic methods for elimination of negative effects of no response is the correction of weights – a correction of design weights with an objective to minimize the influence of no response. For design weights correction the homogeneity group method was used. It was assumed that the sample was divided into h groups where all elements (sample units) of one group had one and the same response rate probability but the probability for different groups differs. In addition, the assumption that different sample units have a response rate independently from one another is effective.
Response rate homogeneity groups of vocational education institutions’ graduates in scope of every academic year were created according to the education program group (or composition of these groups). Homogeneity groups of higher education institutions’ graduates in scope of 48
every academic year were then made by thematic field of education or study program. The evaluation of probability T k for every group of homogeneity is as follows: Tˆk
¦r d k h
where rh is h – respondent cluster of its response rate homogeneity group. Thereby sample weights taking into account no response are as follows: wk
dk Tˆ k
1 dkS k
2.2.7. Procedure for elimination of sample errors In order to be able to assess sample errors of various parameters when analyzing data, the study sample was made of 5 identically made sub-samples or replications. The replicated sample method allows evaluating of variance and thereby sample error as well for every assessment of the general cluster’s parameter. If we mark any general cluster parameter with Y and evaluation of this parameter with Yˆk in k replications then Y~
Yˆk is parameter Y k 1 K K
evaluation where K is the total number of replications. If Yˆk is not the deviated assessment of parameter Y then: K
~ v(Y )
~2 ¦ (Yˆk Y)
1 k 1 K K -1
is an assessment of not deviated variance V(Y~) . If the variance is assessed using this method then the sample error probability interval is determined by using the Student’s distribution (number of degrees of freedom is K – 1).
2.3. Methodology of graduates’ survey 2.3.1. Survey method The survey method was a face-to-face structured interview. The interview was made at the place of the respondent’s residence or place agreed on the phone that was more available or convenient for the respondent (at work, study institute or other public place). In addition to questionnaires and traditional field work documentation, individual cards of the respondent were used. The informative part of this card was made based on a selected respondent list and information included in it about the respondent’s personality. The second part of the card was 49
made as a recruiting questionnaire of the respondent where all information about contacts with the respondent were recorded. In the event that the graduate was not met but contact was made with another person then the remark about the change of place of residence was made, etc. According to the objective of the study it was especially important to find information about the graduate’s life course after graduating from an educational institution. In the event that the respondent had left the country and this information was received from for example parents or relatives then the reasons for leaving of the country, employment status, type and country to which researched person has gone were asked. The recruiting questionnaire was filled out individually about every graduate and was used in the further data analysis.
2.3.2. Survey instrument Two originally structured questionnaires were developed for performing of the qualitative survey. The questionnaires were developed for both object groups (higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates). In addition to uniform questions there were questions included separately for every object group as well as their formulation that were mainly related to the assessment of education quality, organization and meaningful problems of internship. The basic model of the questionnaire contained the following measurements of indicators and corresponding question blocks (a description of the thematic block of the questionnaire is provided in Appendix 6): x Employment and professional career (by performing measurements according to Classification of occupation approved by MW) during life time and after acquisition of academic or vocational education; x Alternative professions for the career (using various life career – education, family life and similar – assessments); x Assessment of correspondence of profession to acquired education; x Assessment of acquired education quality and correspondence with labour market requirements; x Reasons and barriers for use of acquired profession in the labour market; x Activities of the graduate for facilitating their own competitiveness in the labour market; x Social and demographic assessments. The graduate’s work career, acquisition of education as well as change of place of residence were recorded in the so called life event history entry format (e.g., about every work place it was important to state not only the profession or position, field in which company is working in, reasons for changing of workplace but also the precise month and year when the respondent started to work in one or another workplace). The question block included in the questionnaire as well as the questions themselves were directed towards the main objective of the study – to find out the professional operation after completion of education and to assess the graduates possibilities to align with the labour market in their acquired specialty as well as to gain information about alternative career courses and reasons.
2.3.3. Field work process The survey of higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates was performed during a period of 5 months between July and November 2006. For carrying out the field work, 90 permanent and 80 non-staff interviewers (students, trainees) were involved. The network of interviewers were managed by the head of field work and the operation was coordinated according to regional principles. For the training of interviewers for field work, three instruction seminars were organized at the beginning of the period – two in Riga and one in Lielvarde. For the allocation of non-staff interviewers three additional seminars were organized in September in order to introduce interviewers to the objective and process of the survey as well as to instruct them about separate questions included in the questionnaire. In addition to direct instruction all interviewers received written instructions. Taking into account the initial results during the first weeks of the survey which showed a lower response rate than expected and no results from the visiting of graduates’ given place of residence (visiting place of residence two or more time nobody was met and there was no information about the residents) then a structured scheme for graduates recruiting was developed using respondent recruiting methods used in the practice of sociology: face-to-face visit, telephone contact, mail letter, e-mail letter. In the event that the database of the graduates’ sample provided both address and telephone number, then interviewers firstly called a graduate in order to agree a place and time for the interview. This action scheme was mainly used for those graduates who had identified their address in Riga or centres of districts. Initial telephone contact with graduates included in the sample turned out to be the most effective way of recruiting because in this way the lowest level of refusal was received, no reaching of individuals was eliminated and the highest ratio of response was received. In the event that in the graduates’ sample there was only an address of the graduate then firstly the telephone number of the individual was clarified using information service 1188 and then the time and place of interview was agreed with the person by telephone. Telephone numbers were clarified for those graduates in Riga or in rural districts – i.e. individuals that can be reached with difficulty because of door codes or due to the distance from the district centre. In the event that in the stated address there was not a fixed telephone line then individuals living in rural areas were sent a letter with an invitation to contact the interviewer of the region or with representatives of Institute of Philosophy and Sociology in order to agree the time and place of the interview. This approach used by CSB for household surveys proved to be ineffective because from 620 letters sent, response was received from only 5% of the addressees even though the contact telephone was cost-free. In the event that the graduate lived in Riga or in other city and if there was no telephone number in the database or could not be provided by the information service, then interviewers visited the person included in the sample at the stated place of residence and if nobody was at home then left a letter in the mail box. This approach also did not achieve the expected result because only approximately 4% responded to letters left in the mail box. There were also often situations when the person did not live at he stated address – in approximately 40% of
cases the address of the graduates in the new sample was not clarified (it was not known or relatives refused to provide information), refusal was received from family members as well as family members stated that the person lived and worked abroad. It has to be noted that contact with a person (usually parents) residing at the stated address was reached only after the third time of visit. Those graduates who had no address of residence or phone number, as well as did not respond to sent letters were sent e-mail letter using the portal draugiem.lv In this way, 6% of addressees responded. Verification of residence addresses for 1,921 higher education institutions’ graduates and 577 vocational education institutions’ graduates was performed also in DIR OCMA. According to the conclusion of the Data State Inspection then for the necessities of the study list of addresses was provided without stating specific individuals living in the referred address. Taking into account the specifics of the survey, the interviewer, when addressing the person included in the sample, would have to know the main data about his/her career – name of the education institution and degree/qualification acquired in 2003 or 2005 respectively. In addition, the response rate of these individuals was considerably lower (20%). Thereby a decision was made to perform an additional processing of addresses. At first telephone numbers were found for all stated addresses and then calling to this household it was tried to verify which person living in this household or registered in this address could be include in the survey sample. In this way the response rate of these individuals reached 30%
2.4. Data analysis methods of graduates’ survey In the processing and analysis of the study, both descriptive and experimentally analytical methods were used. In the first case in order to acquire a quantitative qualitative description of the study object, its characteristics and conditions, but in second case – to clarify the functional and causal relationship interaction model that would allow the development of corresponding policies. Data processing and analysis was performed using the statistics programs SPSS for Windows 15.0 and Stata SE 9.2 in a Windows operation system. During development of methodology and description, the econometrics study book of William H. Greene was used (William H. Greene, William H., 2003). Graduates’ work course after graduation, their ability to align with the labour market in their acquired specialty, alternative career development courses as well as related problems and possible causes were analyzed using one or several indication classifications for describing statistics, ways of structuring, assessment and techniques (cross table analysis, correlation analysis, one factor regression analysis, simple variance, graphical methods etc.). Experimentally analytical analysis of the graduates’ work course (aligning with the labour market, correspondence of work to acquired education, amount of salary) and their influencing factors was accomplished using several multifactor methods of analysis. These methods allow the differentiation between direct and indirect effects of every factor –
controlling the possible mediator factor influence (i.e. by including this factor in analysis), the possibility occurs to observe separately the direct influence of every factor on the dependant variable. Therefore, for example it is possible to determine if the fact that men align earlier with the labour market can be only explained by their acquired profession that are more asked after or there is also a direct effect of the gender that may indicate discrimination in the labour market.
2.4.1. Linear regression Factors influencing salary were determined using linear regression models. In order to narrow the data for linearity and normality assumptions and to decrease heteroscedasticity (dependence of depending variable variance from this variability level), the standard practice of dependant variables were used using the natural logarithm of the salary level and not salary itself. Thereby, this model is expressed by the formula: ln(wi )
E 0 ÂŚ E j x j ,i H i , j 1
where index i shows on separate observations (respondents), w is the wage in the main workplace, x is an independent variable (factor) vector (where xj,i is a value of j-th independent variable for i-th respondent), E 0 is a constant, bet E j Â–â€“ coefficient of variable xj .
H i is the Â“â€œnoiseÂ”â€? factor that includes specific factors for i-th observation and that are not included in variables x, as well as a random factor (e.g. measurement of errors). It is assumed that the mathematically expected value of noise (mathematic hope) is zero (E[ H i ]=0) and that ka H i has a normal (Gaussian) distribution. If an independent variable is variable of the category (for example, thematic field of education or language of instruction)) where categories do not have a natural arrangement then this variable is replaced with a succession of dichotomic variables. One dichotomic variable corresponds to every category (except one that is regarded as the reference point) and the value of the dichotomic variable is Â“â€œ1Â”â€? of the respondent is included in the corresponding category and Â“â€œ0Â”â€? if it is not included. For example, Â“â€œlanguage of instructionÂ”â€? that may have three values Â–â€“ Â“â€œLatvianÂ”â€?, Â“â€œRussianÂ”â€? and Â“â€œanotherÂ”â€? Â–â€“ become two dichotomic variables Â–â€“ Â“â€œlanguage of instruction: RussianÂ”â€? and Â“â€œlanguage of instruction: otherÂ”â€?. Then Â“â€œlanguage of instructionÂ”â€?=Â“â€œLatvianÂ”â€? corresponds to dichotomic variable values Â“â€œlanguage of instruction: RussianÂ”â€? = Â“â€œlanguage of instruction: otherÂ”â€? = 0; Â“â€œlanguage of instructionÂ”â€? = Â“â€œRussianÂ”â€? corresponds Â“â€œlanguage of instruction: RussianÂ”â€? = 1 and Â“â€œlanguage of instruction: anotherÂ”â€? = 0, but Â“â€œlanguage of instructionÂ”â€? = Â“â€œanotherÂ”â€? corresponds to a combination Â“â€œlanguage of instruction: RussianÂ”â€? = 0 and Â“â€œlanguage of instruction: anotherÂ”â€? = 1. Coefficients of linear regression models are calculated using the maximum probability method and taking into account data weights (see previous). Hypotheses about regression coefficients were verified based on the fact that disposition of the calculated regression
coefficient with maximum probability method is asymptotically normal (i.e. converges to normal disposition when the volume of cluster is growing indefinitely). The standard error was calculated using linearization moving out of the Taylor series.
2.4.2. Logical regression Linear regression as described before is most often used for multifactor statistics method but it is not suitable for cases when one dependent variable is dichotomic (it may have two values, e.g., Â“â€œ0Â”â€? and Â“â€œ1Â”â€? or Â“â€œyesÂ”â€? and Â“â€œnoÂ”â€?). It is due to a reason that it is impossible to guarantee that the linear regression model will envisage values of the dependent variable in the interval [0, 1]. Due to endlessness of the linear function there will always be values of a factor in which the model will provide an absurd prognosis that dependent variable will become Â“â€œ1Â”â€? with a negative probability or that probability will exceed value Â“â€œ1Â”â€?. Thereby, in cases when dependent variable is dichotomic it is necessary to use a model in the form Pr(Yi
K Âˇ Â§ Â¨ GÂ¨ E 0 ÂŚ E j x j ,i Â¸Â¸ , j 1 Âš ÂŠ
where Pr(.) is the operator of the probability, G is a function with a value range [0, 1], Y is the dichotomic dependent variable, x is the vector of independent variable (factor) (where xj,i is j-th independent variable value for i-th respondent), E 0 is a constant but E j Â–â€“coefficient of variable xj. In this study the logical or logit function was used G (t )
et , 1 et
where e is EulerÂ’â€™s number (natural logarithm base, e | 2.71828 ). In the same way as in the case of linear regression, expressions of variables of categories were replaced with corresponding clusters of dichotomic variables. Coefficients are calculated with a maximum probability model and taking into account data weights (see before). Hypotheses of regression coefficients were verified based on the fact that the regression coefficient distribution calculated by the maximum probability method is asymptotically normal. Standard error is calculated using linearization moving out of the Taylor series.
2.4.3. Duration (survival) analysis Linear regression is not suitable for work search duration analysis. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, Â“â€œnoiseÂ”â€? distribution for this type of data is usually very far from normal (e.g., if the probability to find work during time does not change (i.e. probability that person has not found work in n months and will find it in (n+1)-th, is independent from the n value), then included noise distribution for finding of work duration variable will be exponential and 54
not normal). Secondly, this data is usually Â“â€œcensoredÂ”â€? Â–â€“ i.e. the observation period for some respondents completes earlier than work search period (so it is not known how long a time will be necessary to find work; only the lower limits for finding time of work are available) and in addition censoring time for different respondents differs (e.g., in our data work search data of graduates from 2003 are censored after three years but for cohort of graduates from 2005 Â–â€“ after one year because the survey data was collected in the second part of 2006). Thirdly, when analyzing work searching time with linear regression methods it is not possible to acquire more detailed data about work search dynamics, e.g. if probability to find work increases or decreases when time of work search is growing? All three mentioned problems are solved by the methodsÂ’â€™ cluster of analysis that in statistics is known as duration analysis, survival analysis or reliability analysis. Duration analysis initially was implemented in biological and medical studies where the dependent variable was the duration of a biological organism after a certain event (illness, treatment etc.) Â–â€“ from here originates the often used name survival analysis. Later this method was taken over by engineering sciences (researching the reliable operation duration of mechanisms and the applied name was reliability analysis) ad social sciences (that simultaneously uses terms survival analysis and more corresponding one Â–â€“ duration analysis). The dependent variable is time T until the event that we are interested in (in this study Â–â€“ the finding of work). It is assumed that the variable has an integral distribution function
F (t )
Pr(T d t )
and distribution density function
f (t )
dF (t ) . dt
We define survival function as S (t ) 1 F (t )
Pr(T t t ) .
Therefore the survival function shows the probability that work will be found in a certain period of time t. And lastly, we define the risk function as
O (t )
f (t ) S (t )
Pr(t d T d t 't | T t t ) . 't o0 't lim
Therefore risk function characterizes the momentary finding of work probability in a period of time t if work so far was not found. If the risk function is growing then the probability of finding work during time increases but if it is diminishing then the probability will be opposite Â–â€“ the probability to find work with time decreased Â–â€“ long-term inability to find in this case is especially unpleasant because it does not give hope that the time for work search will end. In this study, the survival function was assessed using the no parameters method of the Kaplan-Meier multiplication Â–â€“ assessment of limits (with correction for censored data). This
method allows empirical assessment and provides a graphical image of survival and risk functions without choosing a specific analytical form of these functions. The most often used parametric forms of the survival function were calculated: log-logic, log-normal, Weibull’s, exponential, and generalized gamma function. Comparing acquired parametric forms it was stated that data are most precisely described by generalized gamma distribution and therefore it was used in all further parametric calculations including the assessment of risk function. In order to assess the influence of various independent variables on the duration for finding of work, the partly parametrical Cox proportional risk model with Breslow’s correction for equal ending times was used. According to this model the risk function of an individual i is
O (t i ) O0 (t i )e
§ K · ¨¨ ¦ E j x j , i ¸¸ © j 1 ¹
where O0 (t i ) is an individual’s i “pamatric” (independent from external variables), x is a vector of independent variables (factors) (where xj,i is value of j-th independent variable for respondent i-th) but E j – the coefficient of variable xj. The Cox method allows the evaluation of E j without calculating of basic risks and without determination of the functional form and thereby the method is more robust than completely parametric models. Coefficients were calculated using the maximum probability method. In calculations, data weights and data censoring were taken into account. Hypotheses for regression coefficient were verified based on the fact that the calculated regression coefficient distribution with maximum probability method is asymptotically normal (i.e. it converges to a normal distribution when the sample cluster volume grows endlessly). Robust standard deviation assessments were used).
2.5. Expert selection and methodology for expert interviews 2.5.1. Tasks for experts interviews and experts selection criteria
Interviews were intended in addition to the graduates’ survey. The following main tasks were brought forward for expert interviews: 1) acquisition of a concept about the main problem of the education institutions’ graduates when aligning with the labour market; 2) determination of ways of cooperation between education and employment systems on the level of ministries, local government, education institutions and companies; 3) determination of the possibility of education institutions to react to labour market demand by performing changes in the study programs.
There were 20 experts involved in the study including 10 people that were competent to characterize higher education institutions and 10 people competent in order to characterize vocational education institutions and job finding problems. In every group, half of the experts
were from MES and other institutions and organizations related to the education system. They characterized the general situation and main problems. The second part of the experts were representatives of management of corresponding education institutions and who provided information about their students and problems of graduates when aligning with the labour market. A list of experts is provided in Appendix 7.
2.5.2. Process and general conclusions of interviews
Interviews were performed face-to-face and partly as structured interviews. The duration of an interview was 1-1.5 hours. The questions at interviews were modified for every group of experts but mainly included four main question blocks: the starting of professional activities in the acquired specialty, ensuring of correspondence of the education with requirements of the labour market, identification of main problems and explanations, future development prognosis and suggestions for situation improvement.
Audio records and transcripts of interviews were made. Based on transcripts, an overview of the expert survey results is provided (Part IV). In order to pay the main attention to the opinion expressed by the expert and not the status or personality, the principle of anonymity was considered and in the overview it is not reflected which expert has expressed the specific opinion. In brackets after quotations from interviews it is showed which institutional group is represented by the expert: (1) education administration – representatives of MES and other institutions and organizations related to education system, (2) education institution – representatives of higher and vocational education institutions, (3) public organization representatives of public organizations.
Study result analysis in the item “graduation from education institution” refers to an educational institution that is used for a base for study design development, i.e. the one that the graduate has graduated from in 2002/2003 a.y. or 2004/2005 a.y. and according to which the graduates sample was performed. The Alignment of graduates with the labour market often happens during studies. If a graduate has not aligned with the labour market during their studies then after graduation a certain time is necessary (usually a month or several months) for finding work that corresponds to his/her desires. In order to evaluate the alignment of the graduate with the labour market directly after graduation, in the result analysis of the survey this alignment has been reviewed in a slightly extended time period – if the graduate continued work started during studies or aligned with the labour market (i.e. if he/she became an entrepreneur, selfemployed or employee) during three months after graduation. Further in the text, occupation within three months of graduation from the education institution is taken as the reference point when defining the work course of the graduate and their employment status after graduation. According to the results of the survey, the majority (55%) of higher education institutions’ graduates aligned with the labour market after graduation and did not continue education. 23% of higher education institutions’ graduates continued education and working at the same time, 9% of graduates continued studies but did not start/continue to work and additionally, 13% of graduates graduated and also did not start/continue to work. Vocational education institutions’ graduates aligned with the labour market less often after graduation but they continued education more often (Figure 1). Studies were continued by 32% higher and 33% of vocational education institutions’ graduates. In total, 13% of higher education institutions’ graduates and 24% of vocational education institutions’ graduates did not align with the labour market immediately after graduation. In order to have a clearer view about the further life of graduates their further activities were observed. Providing an answer to the question about the duration for finding of work, 75% of higher education institutions’ graduates who did not continue studies and did not work provided the answer that they found work within six moths. 18% found work later and 7% did not start to work. Consequently, the period of time when these higher education institutions’ graduates after graduation align with the labour market the most often is no longer than six months. The Situation with vocational education institutions’ graduates is different. 77% of graduates who did not continue to study and did not align with the labour market immediately. They stated that they had searched for work, 6% have registered as unemployed and 3% are looking for work. 39% of this group aligned with the labour market within six months but 31% had to have more time for finding of wok and 30% did not start working at all. Therefore it can be concluded that aligning of vocational education institutions’ graduates with the labour market is slower than for higher education institutions’ graduates.
3.1.3. Description of the current situation 22.214.171.124. Graduates of higher education institutions
The largest part (85%) of higher education institutions’ graduates at the moment have aligned with the labour market and receive remuneration for their job, 5% are entrepreneurs but 3% – selfemployed (Figure 6). 8% of higher education institutions’ graduates are not working and in addition this indicator is not substantially different for the graduates of 2002/2003 a.y. and 2004/2005 a.y. Almost all higher education institutions’ graduates have work experience. Detailed information about current activities in various thematic groups is provided in Appendix 8. Figure 6. Current occupation of higher education institutions’ graduates (%)
Not working Enterpreneur (employer) Self-employed
3 % of group
Base: graduates of higher education institutions (n=2491, 55% of all)
Note: The graduate may be employed as well as self-employed at the same time, therefore the total of ratios is more than 100%.
At the moment, 80% of 2004/2005 a.y. graduates and 62% of 2002/2003 a.y. graduates are working in the same workplace where they work during studies or after graduation. From graduates of 2002/2003 a.y. who are working, 27% have changed workplace during studies or after graduation once but 11% two or more times. In general, it can be concluded that higher education institutions’ graduates do not tend to change their workplaces often. There are several thematic fields of education where change of workplaces is happening more often than on average. The workplace has been changed by one third of students of natural sciences, mathematics, information technologies as well as engineering and technology thematic fields. This result might be connected to the lack of specialists in this field of large competition in the labour market or unsatisfying work conditions or the graduates’ efforts to find a better and more suitable work. Statistical analysis shows a close link between the number of workplaces and the number of graduates’ children. Graduates who since starting studies have had several workplaces most often do not have children. From graduates who have had thee or four workplaces 22% have children, from graduates with two workplaces – 34% have children and 50% of those who have had one workplace have children. Those who had more workplaces more rarely have 64
During the survey, 54% of all vocational education institutions’ graduates were employed and 22% were working and studying at the same time. The proportion of those who were only studying (11%) was significantly higher in comparison to higher education institutions’ graduates (3%). At the moment, 13% of vocational education institutions’ graduates are neither working nor studying (Figure 1). Different situations can be observed in graduates’ groups of various education levels. Those who have acquired vocational training at the moment in the majority of cases are not studying: they either just work (71%) or are not working or studying (19%). However, vocational secondary education schools’ graduates often continue their education or increase their qualification – 46% at the moment are studying at an education institution (Figure 9). This is the opposite to higher education institutions’ graduates vocational education institutions’ graduates who are employed who are in the majority of cases (91%) employed only in one workplace. Figure 10. Current occupation of vocational education institutions’ graduates (%) Paid employee
Self-employed Enterpreneur (employer)
% of group Base: graduates of v ocational education institutions (n=2047, 45% of all)
Note: A graduate at the same time, for example, may be employed as well as self-employed thereby sum of ratios is more than 100%.
At the moment, 73% of vocational education institutions’ graduates are working and receiving a salary but 23% are not working (Figure 10). The ratio of those who are not working between graduates of 2002/2003 a.y. is a little lower (21%) compared to graduates of 2004/2005 a.y. group (27%). Among vocational education institutions’ graduates there is a low ratio of entrepreneurs (1%) and self-employed. Detailed current employment analysis in various thematic groups is provided in Appendix 10. Some of the graduates who so far have had no work experience: 9% of graduates of 2002/2003 a.y. so far have never worked in paid employment. Most often there is no work experience in agriculture (18%) and manufacturing and processing (15%) thematic field graduates. From graduates of 2002/2003 a.y. who are working at the moment, 60% have the same workplace that they had after graduation or during studies.
The work experience of graduates of 2004/2005 differs. 14% of graduates had no paid employment– mostly graduates of vocational training and vocational secondary education schools. However, in 6% of cases, graduates who have acquired vocational education after secondary or vocational training have never worked before. 64% of vocational education institutions’ graduates are not married and have never been married. Only 13% of vocational education institutions’ graduates are married. Most often they live together with a partner but in not registered marriage – 21%. 2% of vocational education institutions’ graduates have already been divorced. 12% of vocational education institutions’ graduates at the moment are single – they have left their parents home and have not created their own family. 34% of vocational education institutions’ graduates live together with a partner but 51% with parents. 17% of vocational education institutions’ graduates have children – 13% have one child, 4% two or more children. 19% of graduates live in their own apartment or house. 31% live in rented accommodation and 49% live in the home of their parents or relatives. Type of housing chosen by the graduate in large scale depends on the place of residence. In Riga, graduates live in rented premises (38%) but only 15% have their own apartment or house. It has to be noted that those who have acquired vocational education after graduating from secondary or vocational training education school are more stable in their lives. Usually they are older in comparison to those who have acquired vocational secondary education or vocational training, they are married (22%), have children (29%) and they live separately from their parents (53%) and they have their own house or apartment (31%). Additionally, vocational school graduates or those who have acquired vocational secondary education are usually not married and are not living with their partner (66–67%), they have no children (80–85%), they live with their parents (59–62%) and they do not have their own house or apartment (83–85%). The most urgent event that is planned by the largest part of vocational education institutions’ graduates is improving of their education or increasing their qualification level (Figure 11). Improvement of education or qualification level is planned by more than a half of graduates that have acquired vocational secondary or vocational education (second and third level) but only 30% of vocational school graduates. Improvement of education level after acquiring a vocational secondary education is planned by 72% of humanities science and art, as well as 68% of natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies thematic field graduates. Plans for education improvement are also characteristic for those who have studied commerce. As well as higher education institution’ graduates, many vocational education institutions’ graduates plan to move to a new apartment and change workplace. 19% assume a large or very large possibility that they will change their current occupation/profession. A change of profession is most often desired by those who have acquired vocational secondary education (22%). Probably this is the reason why representatives of this group choose to continue studies.
126.96.36.199. Higher education institutions’ graduates
Figure 12. Current activities of unemployed higher education institutions’ graduates (%) On a maternity/ paternity leave
Registered as unemployed
Not registered as unemployed Does household, looks after children Doesn't work because health problems Other
14 12 0,5 1 % of group
Base: graduates of higher education institutes, who are not working (n=211, 5% of all)
Higher education institutions’ graduates who are currently unemployed most often are on leave for child care (32%) or are studying (28%). Only 15% from the unemployed of higher education institutions’ graduates have registered as unemployed (Figure 12). In general, 1% of all higher education institutions’ graduates have registered as unemployed and additional 1% is unregistered as unemployed. Therefore, the survey data allows the conclusion to be drawn that the unemployment problem in the group of higher education institutions’ graduates is not common. 188.8.131.52. Vocational education institutions’ graduates
Figure 13. Current activities of unemployed vocational education institutions’ graduates (%) Student
On a maternity/ paternity leave
Not registered as unemployed
Registered as unemployed
Does household, looks after children Doesn't work because of health problems Other
9 1 4
% of group Base: graduates of v ocational education institutions, who are not working (n=479, 11% of all)
Vocational education institutions’ graduates that are usually not working (43%) are students (Figure 13). This allows the conclusion to be drawn that the established fact of the high ratio of unemployed among vocational education institutions’ graduates basically is connected to the continuation of education. In general, vocational education institutions’ graduates more often choose not to work during studies compared to higher education institutions’ graduates. One third of all vocational education institutions’ graduates who are currently studying are not working. 12% of unemployed vocational education institutions’ graduates have registered as unemployed but 14% are unregistered unemployed – they are actively looking for work. In general, 3% of vocational education institutions’ graduates have registered as unemployed and there are 3% who are not registered as unemployed. It can be concluded that the unemployment issue among vocational education institutions’ graduates is more urgent than for graduates of higher education institutions. Usually (65%), vocational education institutions’ graduates are registered as unemployed for less than 6 months. 13% are registered for 7 to 10 months but 22% identified a longer period of time. It signifies that there are graduates who become long-term unemployed but this group is very small – less than 1%. The main reason why they have become unemployed, registered unemployed due to their provided information is mainly because they are not able to find work corresponding to their acquired specialty (18%), inability to find any work (15%), childbirth (17%), personal or family conditions (10%) and the fact that they have finished doing their military service (10%). 55% of registered unemployed during last month were looking for work. Reasons for the unemployed not looking for work are different and most often they are as follows – leave for child care (looking after children) (25%), illness, disability (14%) or unwillingness to work (no such necessity) (14%). More often, registered and not registered unemployed are characteristic among agriculture, manufacturing and processing and service thematic field graduates – in these groups the ratio of unemployment is higher than 8%. More unemployed are among graduates of vocational schools (9%). It is related to the lack of motivation of graduates of vocational schools to work in the area of their acquired education. Graduates of vocational schools more rarely than vocational secondary school graduates have chosen education program because they were interested in its content (33%). Vocational school graduates more often are connected to the location of the education institution near to their place of residence (22%). After graduation from an education institution, 19% of vocational school graduates do not care what kind of work they do and 27% of graduates other requirements for work were more important that its correspondence with acquired education. Since satisfaction with the education program, institution or internship expressed by vocational school graduates is not significantly different from graduates of other education levels then it can be concluded that the main problem among students of vocational schools is the graduates’ own motivation and attitude towards studies. 72
institutions’ graduates; 2) only half of the higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates return to Latvia from foreign countries. There is a statistically significant connection between work experience abroad and graduates’ gender and age – after graduation more men and young people 23-25 years of age have worked abroad. A very important feature is that migration abroad for work is characteristic of certain education program groups of graduates (program groups used for analysis contained at least 25 graduates that were working abroad) – hotel and restaurant services, wood-processing technologies and manufacturing of products, mechanics and construction, civil engineering program group graduates. In these groups, work experience abroad had 12%–19% from the ratio of corresponding education group graduates. In these programs. the ratio of graduates that are still abroad is also the highest. It may also allow the assumption that in the near future there will be a lack of specialists in certain sectors of economy. The average duration of employment abroad among graduates who have returned is 5 months – one fifth of graduates (21%) worked abroad for two month or less but almost one third (30%)—3-5 months. For 38% of the total graduates have worked 6-12 month abroad. Only 10% of those who have had work abroad have worked there for more than a year. It has to be said that the majority of graduates (79%) have worked abroad legally and only 15% have done so illegally. From those who worked abroad almost two thirds (63%) stated that their occupation was entirely unrelated to their acquired qualification at the education institution – the majority of graduates especially vocational education institutions’ graduates worked abroad in low-qualified work. A comparatively large ratio of respondents (19%) had subjectively assessed their work abroad as corresponding to their acquired education. The commonest status of work abroad graduates was characterized as a low-qualified or auxiliary worker (36%) which was followed by field specialist (20%), qualified worker, craftsman (17%), service and sales worker (13%). It has to be said that performing of low-qualification work was more often mentioned for both higher education institutions’ graduates (30%) and also vocational education institutions’ graduates (39%) but higher education institutions’ graduates more often than graduates of vocational education institutions work in field of services and sales (22% vs. 9%) and vocational education institutions’ graduates were more often qualified workers or craftsmen (20% vs. 9%).
Figure 15. Countries where graduates have worked or are working now (number of people)
Note in the figure the total number of higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates of the sample working in every country is showed. Darker colour shows countries where graduates have worked most often – Great Britain, Ireland and Germany.
Two fifth (40%) of those who have worked abroad did so in Great Britain, 13% – in Ireland and 20% – and in Germany. NOTE FROM PROOF-READER – These percentages do not correspond to the totals shown in Fig.15 for the UK and Ireland! Likewise graduates have chosen to work in Northern countries – Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden (Figure 15). In researching emigration it is important to find out ways work was found. Surprisingly, but a little over half of the graduates working abroad (55%) have mentioned that they found work with help of suggestions of friends and accountancies and a much lower ratio (9%) have found work by being involved in exchange programs, with the help of advertisements (8%) or 75
searching the internet (6%). Other ways for finding work were mentioned as the employment exchange, SEA, contests etc. Work search strategies differ in clusters of higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates – vocational education institutions’ graduates more often than higher education institutions’ graduates have used suggestions of friends and acquaintances (60% vs. 41%) and also higher education institutions’ graduates compared to vocational education institutions’ graduates have used exchange programs (14% vs. 6%), searched through advertisements in the press (13% vs. 6%), in the internet (9% vs. 5%) as well as in contests (5% vs. 1%). The most essential argument for emigration abroad for work was the wish to have good earnings which was stated by 65% of graduates. The second most essential argument was to see the world, travel (46%) and the low remuneration level in Latvia (32%). Similarly, a comparatively popular argument was the wish to acquire experience (10%). It has to be mentioned that graduates who have had experience abroad in comparison to those who would like to go abroad in the future more often provide the reason of unemployment and lack of perspectives in Latvia (10% vs. 7%) as well as the possibility to live a more beautiful and easier life (8% vs. 4%). The ratio of graduates who would like to go abroad if only they were offered such a possibility – is considerable a total of 38%. It has to be mentioned that more than half (51%) of natural science, mathematics and information technologies thematic group graduates wish to work abroad as well as 45% of humanities and art thematic group graduates and 41% of service fields specialists. More rarely work abroad is attractive to legal science (31%), manufacturing and processing (35%), commerce and administration (35%) and education, pedagogue (34%) thematic group graduates. Unlike the existing work experience abroad, a larger interest about emigration possibilities is characteristic among graduates of higher education institutions. It signifies the possible “brain” drain to foreign countries. 40% of higher education institutions’ graduates and one third (34%) of vocational education institutions’ graduates would like to work abroad. Additionally, during the previous 12 months, the actual possibilities of such work possibilities was more for vocational education institutions’ graduates (45% of those who would like to work abroad if there was a change vs. 35% of higher education institutions’ graduates) took an interest. The following countries for emigration were mentioned most often: Great Britain (45%), Germany (20%), USA (15%), Ireland (15%), and Sweden (10%).
3.1.6. Analysis of demographic groups 184.108.40.206. Higher education institutions’ graduates
Significantly more males than females have continued studies and in addition this difference remains in all education levels. In general, education after graduation was continued by 48% of men and 38% of women.
The survey data show no significant difference between male and female employment immediately after graduation but in the current employment level we can see statistically significant differences: x Currently 5% men and 10% of women are not working; x 10% of men and 2% of women have become entrepreneurs; x Women have more rarely changed their workplace; x Women more rarely have additional work in addition to their main work. So in general women who have acquired a higher education are less active in work life and in continuing their education compared to men. The most often answers given by women shows that it is due to family reasons. 38% of unemployed women are on leave for child care. According to data provided by CSB, the average age of a women when the first child is born is 25 years of age. This is a time period when initial level studies of higher education are most often completed. Women more than men continue higher education when they are older: 30 or older and only to 24% of men among higher education institutions’ graduates and 45% of women who are higher education institutions’ graduates. Russian ethnicity graduates more weakly align with the labour market straight after graduation – 28% of Russian ethnicity graduates were not working after graduation. Non-alignment with the labour market and not continuing education is especially characteristic of graduates who had studies in the Russian language: 69% of them did not continue studies and 33% did not align with the labour market just after graduation. However, those graduates who have studied in Russian language and who are working more often than graduates who have studied in Latvian language have become entrepreneurs (10%) or selfemployed (6%). Probably it is connected to the different business traditions and mentality. Graduates living in Riga have significantly more often continued studies (37%). Probably it is a reason why some of the graduates stay in Riga: those who live in Riga or in its region wish to continue education more than graduates who live in other cities or district centres. Regardless of the higher employment possibilities, graduates who are living in Riga more often (7%) plan to move to another country. The type of housing chosen and available to a graduate to a large extent depends on the place or region of residence. Graduates who live in Riga most often (32%) do that in rented spaces and only 48% have an apartment or house. Analysis of the PAGHVEIAG study result using a t-test allow the separation of separate thematic education fields that have a characteristic of a high alignment level in further education: natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies; engineering sciences and technologies; architecture and construction; agriculture (Table 3). Graduates of these thematic fields often continue education after graduation and currently feel the necessity to improve their education level or qualification.
220.127.116.11. Vocational education institutions’ graduates
The life course of men and women after graduation differs. The model most characteristic to men is to discontinue studies and align with the labour market, but for women – to continue studies and not to align with the labour market. Women have more weakly have aligned with the labour market after graduation – 43% three months after graduation did not work and this correlation remained in all education levels. Men who graduated from vocational education institutions not only have more often worked and acquired experience but they have managed most often to change their workplace. Analyzing the current employment level it can be concluded that 17% of men and almost twice as many (32%) women are not working. The opposite situation is observed in the graduate group of higher education institutions – women (48%) more often compared with men (41%) have continued education. It has to be mentioned that 12% of women continued education after a break. Also at the moment women are those who more often think that they could improve their education or qualification level. Graduates who studied in the Russian language more often did not continue education but immediately aligned with the labour market (49%). On the contrary, those who had studied in the Latvian language more often continued studies and did not work (18%). At the moment there are no significant differences in the employment levels among these groups. More often studies were continue by those who lived in Riga and other large cities. Probably it is connected to the more extensive proposal of education possibilities in these populated places. Graduates living in or near Riga and the region of Vidzeme more often have aligned with the labour market within three months of graduation and also the number of the people not working and unemployed is lowest at the moment. These regions provide the largest possibilities for employment of vocational education institutions’ graduate. The weakest link of alignment with the labour market are the regions of Zemgale and Latgale and at the moment they have the largest number of unemployed graduates – 35%. It has to be mentioned that in the Zemgale region the highest number of non-working graduates is observed in cities of the republic but in Latgale – in the region centers and rural areas. In general 13% of higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates living in Latgale region and registered and unregistered unemployed. Survey result analysis using the t-test allows the separation of thematic education fields where graduates most often feel a necessity to improve their qualification and also most often choose to continue education. These fields are humanities and art; natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies; commerce and administration. Graduates from the following thematic fields of education have at the moment aligned with the labour market the best: architecture and construction; health care and social welfare. Representatives of these groups most often align with the labour market after graduation and are currently working (Table 4).
3.2. Starting of vocational career 3.2.1. Aligning with the labour market during studies PAGHVEIAG survey data shows that 78% of higher education institutions’ graduates and 21% of vocational education institutions’ graduates have already worked (without including short-term work) during their studies, thereby alignment with the labour market has to be assessed in two levels. Firstly, it has to be determined what factors affect permanent aligning with the labour market already during studies and secondly what kind of factors affect the aligning with the labour market of graduates who start looking for work after graduation (this group includes graduates who after graduation are looking for their first place of work and those who during their studies had temporary work but after their studies are looking for another permanent workplace). In this section, factors influencing higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates aligning with the labour market during studies are analyzed. In order to separate the factors with a more significant influence in addition to describing part results has been analyzed using logical regression. The dependent variable list used in multifactor analysis is provided in Appendix 11 and the list of independent variables in Appendix 12. Factors that influence alignment with the labour market during studies are assessed by help of logical regression where the dependent variable was dichotomic “continuing of work”. Regression models were separately calculated for higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates. The following factors were used as independent variables: “thematic field of education”, “graduation year_2005”, “form of studies” (only for higher education institutions’ graduates), “language of instruction”, “payment for studies”, “male”, “age”, “Latvian”, “citizen”, “type of residence”, and “parents have higher education level”. In order to verify the effect of a non-nonlinear variable, “age” during initial stages of analysis was replaced with “age group of higher education institutions’ graduates”/ “age group of vocational education institutions’ graduates”. Prior to total multifactor model development, the full (direct and indirect) effect of every factor was evaluated in a one-factor logical regression. 18.104.22.168. Higher education institutions’ graduates
Characteristics of the situation Work during studies among higher education institutions’ graduates is becoming more common – from graduates of 2002/2003 a.y. 75% worked during their studies (without including short-term or occasional work) but from graduates of 2004/2005 a.y. – 79%. Work during studies is characteristic not only of students who are paying for their studies but also of budget students and not only to part time but also full time students. The study allows the drawing of the conclusion that 70% of full time students and 62% of budget student have worked during their studies and in this way have already aligned with the labour market before graduation. Most often during studies, graduates with the following qualification or degree have worked during their studies: legal science, pedagogue education and education sciences, commerce 81
and administration but least often – agriculture, manufacturing and processing, services, humanities and art (Figure 16). In order to have a better understanding of employment during studies in these thematic education fields, let’s look in more detail at those graduates who have worked least often during their studies. Figure 16. Work during studies of students of various thematic education fields (%) During studies worked... Legal science
Pedagogue education and education sciences
Commerce and administration
Architecture and construction
Health care and social welfare Natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies Social, human behavior, information and communication sciences
75 74 72
Engineering sciences and technologies 65
Humanities and art Services
Manufacturing and processing Agriculture
38 % of group
Base: graduates of higher education institutions (n=2491, 55% of all)
Note: Percentage of specific thematic education field students who worked during studies is showed.
During studies worked: x
Less than half of those who have acquired a qualification or degree who studied in the first or second level training programs;
Less than 40% of those who acquired a manufacturing and processing specialist qualification or a degree in the second level training program or academic studies (bachelor degree);
Less than half of those who acquired a qualification of degree in the field of services in the first level vocational studies or academic studies (bachelor degree);
29% from the agriculture academic bachelor program students (total number of graduates in the group – 21).
Figure 17. Work during studies of students from various education levels (%) During studies worked... Master degree
2nd leve vocational higher education (after college or higher education)
2nd leve vocational higher education
First level vocational higher education Bachelor degree
67 % of group
Base: graduates of higher education institutions (n=2491, 55% of all)
Note: percentage of specific education level students who were working during studies is showed.
Higher education level students work more often during their studies than lower level students (Figure 17). Most rarely (67%) are those who acquired an academic bachelor degree worked during studies. This situation is related also to various ages of students. At the age of 40 or older, 98% of the corresponding age group graduates were working, in the group of 30-39 year – 93%, 27-29 year – 84%, 25-26 year – 70% and up to 25 year of age – 57%. During their studies, 89% of students who had to pay for studies worked but among budget students this ratio was 62%. Therefore students who pay for their studies have permanently aligned with the labour market during studies more often than those students whose studies are financed by the state. When comparing budget students and students who are paying for their studies (including full time students) then it can be concluded that the endowment of studies from state assets increase the possibility that a student is not going to work during studies. It is not surprising that 96% of part time students were already working during studies (probably, this is the reason why they have chosen part time studies). However, survey data signifies that 70% of full time students were also working during their studies. Full time students studying from the state budget assets were most rarely working during studies – only 60%. A concept about how work during studies affects future life and work course may be acquired by the comparison of full time students who were working during studies and those who were not. Students who worked more often are currently employed and are more often high or intermediate level managers. Evitable differences are observed in the salary level. Probably, higher education level and position is related to personally profile (initiative and working abilities) but probably the affect is also from age and practical work experience acquired by students during their studies and this is valued by employers. By analyzing differences between those who were working during studies and those who were not in various thematic education fields then it can be concluded that graduates of commerce and administration, social sciences, human behavior, information and communication sciences fields who were working during studies have a statistically significantly higher salary that graduates who were not working during their studies. Higher 83
salaries are to those students who were working when they were acquiring second level vocational education, second level vocational education after college or after higher education or academic bachelor education. Therefore, it can be concluded that work experience during studies sometimes gives a positive effect on the graduate’s career at least in a perspective several years after graduation. The Necessity to find out if in future difference between those who worked during studies and who did not is diminishing or probably those who did not work are more successful compared to those who did work during studies is one of the reasons why it is necessary to create a monitoring system that would allow the employment of graduates to be followed as well as career development in the perspective of a few years. The survey data signifies that employment during studies of Latvians in comparison to employment of representatives of other nationalities significantly differs. During studies, 81% of Latvian, 73% of Polish, 68% of Russians and only 65% of Ukrainians and the Byelorussians were working. A significant difference is also observed in the employment of those who had different language of instructions – during studies, 79% of students who studied in Latvian and 72% in the Russian language were working. It might be explained by the different thematic education fields – Russians more often chose to study natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies, engineering and technologies, commerce and administration but Latvians more often chose to study legal science, health care and social welfare, pedagogue education and education sciences and in the fields chosen by Latvians, employment during studies is more characteristic. It has to be said that Russians more often (75%) than Latvians (66%) study full time in departments and along this type of studies, work is not characteristic. Students who live in places with a higher level of urbanization more often already align with the labour market during their studies (inhabitants of Riga work more often than inhabitants of other large cities who work more than those who live in other cities and inhabitants of rural areas). It has to be said that students living in the region of Latgale especially in direct centers and in rural areas have worked most rarely. Differences between male and female employment during studies were not found. Results of multifactor analysis When analyzing data of higher education institutions’ graduates in logical regression about statistically significant factors that influence alignment with work life then these factors were the following: thematic field of education and level, full time/ part time and budget/ selffinanced studies as well as age of a graduate, type of residence and ethnicity. Year of graduation, language of instruction as well as gender and citizenship of the graduate have no statistically significant affect (on the level of 95%) on permanent alignment in work life already during studies. The education level showed a statistically significant effect (p<0,001) in one independent variable regression but not in multifactor analysis. Without the controlling affect of variables it was possible to observe that children of more educated parents less often align with the 84
labour market during studies compared to children of less educated parents but this effect disappears in multifactor regression. It has to be concluded that the effect of the parents’ education on early alignment with the labour market of children is only mediated. Mediate variables are selection of education field, full/ part time studies (children of more educated parents usually study in full time programs) and paid studies or studies for state budget assets (children of more educated parents more often study from state budget assets that probably could be explained by their higher cultural capital that increases their competitiveness when competing for budget financing). Full multifactor regression results are provided in Appendix 13. They allow state factors that significantly affect alignment of higher education institutions’ graduates with the labour market during studies: x Most often during studies students of the following fields already align with the labour market: architecture and construction, natural sciences and mathematics and information technologies but least often – students of agriculture and humanities and art; x Students of a higher education level more often than lower level students during studies already permanently align with the labour market; x Part time students more often than full time students during studies already permanently align with the labour market; x Self-financed students more often align with the labour market than students whose education is financed by the state. This can largely be explained by the fact that selffinanced student are motivation to earn for studies and assets. In order to verify this hypothesis that the budget education effect in various education fields is different then regression also included variables between thematic education field and budget/ selffinanced studies. These variables showed that the difference between paid and budget students are statistically significant only in these thematic fields of studies: “Pedagogue education and education sciences”, “Services”, “Commerce and Administration”, “Legal science” and “Manufacturing and processing”. However, in none of these thematic education fields are paid studies opposite to the general effect: in each field, the probability of paid studies to align with the labour market already during studies is not affected or also increases this probability (compared to studies from budget assets); x The older the student, the greater the probability that he/she will align with the labour market during studies. x Latvians align with the labour market already during studies more often than representatives of other nationalities. Here, the determining factor is ethnicity and not language of instruction or citizenship; x Students who live in places with a higher urbanization level more often align with the labour market during studies (inhabitants of Riga more often than inhabitants of other largest cities but they in its turn – more often than inhabitants from other cities and rural areas).
22.214.171.124. Vocational education institutions’ graduates
Characteristic of the situation Students of vocational education institutions more rarely aligned with the labour market than students of higher education institutions during the studies. In general, 21% of higher education institutions’ graduates worked during their studies. In 56% of cases, the work of the student of vocational education institution was related to their place of internship, 16% had an internship there but for 28% of work was not related to their internship. The majority (61%) of graduates thought that the work they did during their studies was completely related to their qualification acquired in their vocational education institution but 19% thought that there was absolutely no connection. It can be concluded that vocational education institutions in the way of internship may mainly facilitate the employment of students. Permanent work not related to education institution was performed by 9% of students from vocational education institutions. Figure 18. Work during studies of pupils of various thematic education fields (%) During studies w orked... Health care and social welfare
Natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies Engineering sciences and technologies
Commerce and administration
Architecture and construction
Manufacturing and processing
Humanities and art
9 % of group
Base: graduates of v ocational education institutions (n=2047, 45% of all)
Note: Percentage of specific thematic education field students who worked during studies is showed.
Students who acquired a qualification or degree in humanities and art as well as agriculture, manufacturing and processing and services fields were least often working during their studies (Figure 18). Students of vocational schools who acquired a qualification in health care and social welfare most often aligned with the labour market during their studies. This result may be connected
to the fact that 93% of them acquired vocational education (second and third level) after secondary education or graduates from vocational school, i.e. they were older. Figure 19. Work during studies of pupils of various education levels (%)
During studies worked... Vocational education (2nd or 3rd level) after secondary education or vocational training
Vocational secondary education
18 % of group
Base: graduates of v ocational education institutions (n=2047, 45% of all)
Note: Percentage of specific thematic education field students who worked during studies is showed in the figure
As well as higher education institutions’ graduates vocational education, institutions’ graduates of a higher level during studies were already working more often than lower level students (Figure 19). There were no statistically significant differences found between the education level of men and women during the studies. However, there significant regional differences were observed. Students of vocational education schools who live in places with a higher urbanization level more often align with the labour market during their studies. Significantly more often (27%) students of vocational education schools living in Riga were working. Graduates who live in other large cities were working more often than residents of other cities and rural areas. Differences were observed between different groups of nationalities – during the studies, 25% of Russians and only 21% of Latvian ethnicity students were working. This result is opposite to the one in the group of higher education institutions. Probably it is influenced by the fact that Russians more often study in Riga or other nationally important cities but Latvians more often studied in rural areas and towns where employment possibilities were lower. From a analysis of the life course of full time students of vocational education institutions it can be concluded that those who aligned earlier with the labour market during their studies are currently more often employed, working according to their acquired education (according to the researchers’ assessment) and receive higher remuneration than those who have not worked. It signifies that internship and other types of work experience during studies is valuable for students of vocational education institutions and may facilitate a successful work career. The work of graduates at various education levels and thematic fields during studies differently affect remuneration. Students of vocational schools who worked during their
studies received a significantly higher remuneration than those who were not working. However, observing the result on the scope of thematic fields it was concluded that not all thematic field students’ work during studies has positive effect on aligning with the labour market. Students of humanities and art education fields who did not work during their studies received higher remuneration. The opposite situation is observed in the groups who have acquired specialist qualifications: services, manufacturing and processing. Result of multifactor analysis When analyzing the vocational education institutions’ graduate data in multifactor logical regression, the following factors were found to be statistically significant for alignment with work-life during the studies: thematic field and level of education, age of graduate, type of place of residence and ethnicity. The year of graduation, language of instruction, budget/ paid education as well as citizenship and education of parents do not have a significant effect (at the 95% level) on alignment with the labour market during studies. However, the disability not to decline the hypothesis that the budget/ self-financed education is not effecting early aligning with the labour market during studies was connected to a low capacity of statistical tests that is explained by insufficient variability of factors (94% of graduates have studied completely for budget assets). The complete results for multifactor regression are provided in Appendix 14. In general, results acquired about students of vocational education institutions allow facts to be stated that affect the alignmentg with the labour market already during the studies. x Most often students of health care and social welfare education field align with the labour market during studies but most rarely are those who specialize in humanities and art as well as agriculture and service. x Higher education level students permanently align with the labour market during studies more often than students of lower levels. x There is a nonlinear connection between student age and early alignment with the labour market: most often older students (above 27 years of age) most often align with the labour market and after them the youngest (20 years of age and younger) students. Latvians align with the labour market during studies more rarely than representatives of other nations. In the group of vocational schools, the effect of the ethnicity is opposite to the one in the group of higher education institutions. Students of vocational schools who live in places with a higher level of urbanization are more often already aligned with the labour market during studies (inhabitants of Riga more often than inhabitants of other large cities but these more often than residents of other cities and town and rural areas).
Figure 22. Aligning with the labour market for graduates from various thematic fields after graduation from higher education institution (%) Aligned w ith the labour market w ithin 3 months after graduation... Pedagogue education and education sciences
Architecture and construction
Health care and social welfare
Manufacturing and processing Social, human behavior, information and communication sciences Services
Commerce and administration
Engineering sciences and technologies Natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies Humanities and art
73 72 67
78 % of group
Base: graduates of higher education institutions (n=2491, 55% of all)
Note: Figure shows how a large percentage of specific thematic field graduates aligned with the labour market (continued working or started to work in three month time) after graduation from higher education institutions
Analyzing data in thematic education fields it can be concluded that more often after graduation, graduates from the following fields did not align with the labour market: agriculture, manufacturing and processing, humanities and art (Figure 22). Representatives of these groups were the ones who most rarely worked during studies. Alignment with the labour market of students of these thematic groups could be improved by wider possibilities of internships during studies. Graduates who were studying in Russian were more often not working after graduation. From those who studied in Latvian, 21% were not working and 33% of those who were studying in Russian. This situation might be connected to the fact that these graduates might have a weaker knowledge of the official language Â–â€“ the specifics of thematic education field that are chosen by Russians do not signify that for representatives of specialties that in Russian are thought to make it harder to align with the labour market. Study data show no significant difference in the employment level of men and women after graduation. More often graduates did not align with the labour market immediately after graduation if they had studied from budget assets all their time of study but it was more related to the fact that students who were paying for education were also working during their studies. From those students who were not working during studies, budget students more
as ethnicity of graduates, citizenship, type of residence place and education of parents did not have a statistically significant affect (on level of 95%) on the speed of finding of work. Complete results of multifactor regression analysis are provided in Appendix 15. The results of analysis allow the drawing of the following conclusions: x The risk function for the duration for finding of work is descending in almost all the domain. Long-term work search makes a “charmed cycle” – the longer someone is looking for work the rarer is the probability of success; x Students of services and legal science are the ones who find work in the fastest time, but students of agriculture and engineering and technologies – in the longest time; x Graduates who have acquired knowledge from budget assets find work faster than those who were paying for their studies. Probably, this has two explanations. Firstly, students who were paying for their studies have found work during their studies. Those students who pay for studies and have not started a serious work search until their graduation probably have a low motivation for finding of work in general and it slows down the speed for finding work. Secondly, studies in the budget group signify better skills and success that improves competitiveness in the labour market. In order to verify the hypothesis that the effect of budget studies differs in various education fields then the regression included the relation between thematic field and budget/ paid studies. These variables signified that differences between paid studies and budget studies students is statistically significant in the following thematic fields of education: “Pedagogue education and education sciences”, “Services”, “Commerce and administration”, “Legal science”, “Manufacturing and processing” and “Social, human behaviour, information and communication sciences”. However, in none of these thematic fields of education self-financing studies are the effects opposite to the general effect: in every field, budget studies do not affect the duration for finding of work or increase it (compared to paid studies); x Graduates who worked during studies find work after graduation faster than those who were not working during studies. Due to the fact that the analysis did not include graduates who continued to work at the same workplace where they worked during studies then this result signifies that in general, the labour market valuate work experience. If during studies the student leaves work, he/she have a higher chance of finding work compared to students who does not have work experience; x Men find work faster than women. Due to the fact that this result was acquired in multifactor regression having constant student selected factors as a thematic field of studies, then this result provides a reason to think that there is gender inequality in the labour market. Reasons for this may be that the opinion of separate employers is that women are able to do less than men as well as employers avoiding given work to young women who in the next few years could have leave for child care; x The oldest and the youngest higher education institutions’ graduates (those who are younger than 25 years and older than 39 years) find work faster than representatives of middle age groups.
Survey data signify that graduates who did not align with the labour market after graduation had different requirements than all of the other graduates. Their allocation to a specialty was lower. They more rarely tended to work in their acquired specialty than others because more often other requirements were more important or they also did not care where they worked (Figure 27). However, in general only 2% of then who did not align with the labour market did not want to work at all. The wish to work according to the acquired education does not delay aligning with the labour market but the opposite – it facilitates it. Applying for work according to the acquired education, the graduate has an advantage over other candidates and it is harder to find a position in any other specialty. Graduates who did not align with the labour market after graduation more often admit that when choosing an education program they had rather insufficient (25%) or totally insufficient (11%) information about employment possibilities in this field. They were attracted to the education program due to the content of the study program and due to the fact that the education institution was located nearby (18%) but they have more rarely worked in this field and understood if there is a high demand for this specialty in the labour market (9%). It signifies that students often do not know or do not follow requirements of the labour market but take into account only one’s own interests. Information about the demand of the labour market and employment possibilities after graduation would make selection by youth more correspondent to the labour market. Figure 28. Aligning with the labour market of graduates from various thematic fields after graduation from vocational education institution (%) Aligned with the labour market within 3 months after graduation... Health care and social welfare
Architecture and construction
Natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies Engineering sciences and technologies
Manufacturing and processing
Commerce and administration
Humanities and art Average (all)
60 % of group
Base: graduates of v ocational education institutions (n=2047, 45% al all)
Note: The figure shows how a large percentage of specific thematic field graduates aligned with the labour market (continued working or started to work within three months) after graduation from higher education institutions.
By analyzing the results in thematic fields of education it can be concluded that graduates after graduation were more often not aligned with the labour market in humanities and art, agriculture, commerce and administration thematic fields (Figure 28). The ones who acquired a qualification in programs of commerce and administration as well as humanities and art were often (41%) those who had insufficient information about employment possibilities in these fields. Provision of this type of information in the way of career consulting could improve their alignment level with the labour market. In general vocational education institutions’ graduates were not satisfied with their chosen education program, institutions and organization and process of an internship. 8% were not satisfied with the program but 17% were satisfied with the program; 6% were satisfied and 18% were not with the process of internship. The remaining graduates were neither satisfied nor unsatisfied. The highest level of satisfaction with the education program as well as with the chosen education institution was characteristic to those who acquired a degree or qualification in health care and social welfare but least satisfied with the education program were graduates of natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies (Appendix 16). Results of multifactor analysis Analysis of survival and risk function of vocational education institutions’ graduates showed a similar situation as for higher education institutions’ graduates. The risk function in almost all domains was descending and signified that the density for finding of work was decreasing with time when the duration of time spent for searching of work was increasing. Due to the fact that survival and risk functions of vocational education institutions’ graduates have no significant differences we have not included them here. As well as in the case of higher education institutions’ graduates influence of different factors in search for work of vocational education institutions’ graduates was estimated using partly parametric Cox’s proportional risk model with Breslow’s corrections for equal end times. Variables that were used as a variable are provided in Appendix 17. Statistical factors that influenced the time for finding work were as follows: thematic field of education, work during studies, gender and age of graduate, education of parents. Factors such as language of instruction, budget/ self-financing studies as well as ethnicity of a graduate and type of residence place and citizenship did not have a statistically significant effect (at the 95% level) for the time necessary to find work. Complete multifactor regression results are provided in Appendix 17. The performed analysis allows making the following conclusions: x Risk function in almost the entire domain is descending and it signifies that the probability finding work decreases when time period spent in finding work increases; x Students who study thematic fields in health care and social welfare are the ones who find work the fastest but students of humanities and art as well as agriculture the slowest;
As well as in the case of higher education institutions’ graduates vocational education institutions’ graduates who had worked during studies were able to find work after graduation faster than those who had not worked. Without doubt work experience has a value; Among vocational education institutions’ graduates men find work faster than women. There is are grounds to think that also in this segment of the labor market there exists an inequality of genders; Older vocational education institutions’ graduates look for work longer than younger graduates of vocational education institutions; Graduates whose parents have elementary or lower education are looking for work the longest period of time. The shortest time to find work was spent by those graduates whose parents had first level vocational education. Probably it can be explained by the inheritance of human and social capital (connection with representatives of a field).
3.2.3. Aligning with the labour market according to acquired education According to study data work, the career of education institutions’ graduates have started in various periods of time – before starting of education (in the institution included in the sample), during studies as well as after graduation. On the scale of PAGHVEIAG study there was no information found about graduates’ work career prior to starting of studies in the corresponding institution. Analyzing the correspondence of work to acquired education in this section analyzes work that a graduate was working at the moment of graduation or first workplace after graduation. 126.96.36.199. Higher education institutions’ graduates
The largest proportion of students who started working while studying and according to their thoughts it is related to their specialty. From higher education institutions’ graduates who were working during their studies 57% said that their work during studies was related to the qualification acquired during studies, 24% said that their work to a certain extent was connected and only 19% informed that there was absolutely no connection (Figure 29). 64% of part time students thought that their work during studies was totally related to the qualification acquired in the education institution and only 11% thought that is was totally unrelated. It signifies that for part time students work is the factor that facilitates the improvement of education in the corresponding specialty. After graduation, 73% of higher education institutions’ graduates wanted to work in the corresponding field to acquired education (Figure 30). Differences between various thematic groups are given in Appendix 18.
Figure 32. Correspondence of work acquired after graduation or during studies to education (%) Work after education institution graduation or during studies corresponded to acquired education... Architecture and construction Pedagogue education and education sciences Health care and social welfare
87 87 83 76
Commerce and administration Natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies
Services Manufacturing and processing
Legal science Engineering sciences and technologies Social, human behavior, information and communication sciences Humanities and art
63 59 58 54
70 % of group
Base: graduates of higher education institution (n=2491, 55% of all)
Note: The percentage of graduates in the specific thematic field of education who after graduation or during studies acquired work corresponding to education (assessment of researchers).
The survey data signify that more often work corresponding to education after graduation was done by those who selected a study program according to the relation with the previously acquired professional qualification (8%) or because they had had worked in this profession (35%). Additionally, work that did not correspond to acquired education were the ones who selected a study program because they were interested in the content of the education program (56%), the program was suggested by friends (16%) and there was a possibility to study in the budget group (14%). In addition, work according to the acquired education is related to skills acquired during studies. Those who work according to the acquired education have leaned practical usage of knowledge better and have gained a better concept about their field. In general it can be concluded that previous work or education in this field as well as practical and theoretical knowledge about the field is an important aspect that determines if the graduate after graduation is going to work in the acquired specialty. For graduates with no such advantages it will be harder to find a corresponding work. It identifies that probably higher education institutions should form a closer relationship with employers and editing the proposal of the education system or by organizing internships in order to create a corresponding opinion and knowledge for those who have not had close relationships with
Motivation of vocational education institutions’ graduates to work corresponding to their acquired education is lower than to higher education institutions’ graduates – only 59% of them wanted to have work that corresponds to acquired education but 15% did not care what kind of work they did (Figure 36). Due to the fact that vocational education institutions’ graduates provide a lower level education they attract a wider range of young people – including those who have rather low motivation to study and work. Higher education institutions’ graduates have more clear intentions about the correspondence of education with work. Figure 37. Correspondence of work acquired after graduation from vocational education institution or during studies with education (%) Work after education institution graduation or during studies corresponded to acquired education...
Health care and social welfare
Architecture and construction Engineering sciences and technologies Services
76 68 58
Manufacturing and processing Natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies Humanities and art
52 48 47
Commerce and administration Agriculture
59 % of group
Base: graduates of v ocational education institutions (n=2047, 45% of all)
Note: The percentage of graduates of specific thematic field of education who after graduation or during studies had work that corresponded to acquired education (assessment of researchers).
In general, 59% of vocational education institutions’ graduates after graduation had a job that corresponded to their acquired education (assessment of researchers). Most often a job that corresponds to their education is for graduates of health care, architecture and construction, engineering sciences and technologies qualification. More rarely, graduates with a qualification in agriculture work according their acquired specialty– only 29% (Figure 37). Graduates of humanities, art and commerce rarely work in the field of their acquired education. As already mentioned, graduates of these education programs also align with the labour market more slowly, i.e. not only can they not find job that corresponds to their acquired education but are more rarely able to find any work.
institutions’ graduates. Due to the fact that the subjective opinion of graduates was assessed on a scale of three points then to have a direct comparison of correspondence of profession with acquired education done by researchers and a subjective correspondence would not be correct. However, we will use it to get an insight. According to the subjective assessment of graduates then 58% of surveyed people were working according to the acquired education and 28% to a certain extent, but work of 13% did not correspond to the acquired education at all. Using calculations done by researchers, then most often specialists of the following fields work according to their acquired education: architecture and construction, pedagogue education and education sciences, health and social care specialists. More than 2/3 of specialists of commerce and administration, agriculture, legal science, services and other specialists worked according to their acquired education (Figure 40). Figure 40. Correspondence of current work with acquired higher education Working (% of group)
Architecture and cons truction
Pedagogue education and education s ciences
Health care and s ocial welfare
Com m erce and adm inis tration
96% 94% 92% 90%
Legal s cience
Natural s ciences , m athem atics and inform ation technologies
Social, hum an behavior, inform ation and com m unication s ciences
93% 91% 90%
Engineering s ciences and technologies
Manufacturing and proces s ing
Hum anities and art
Base: Ƨraduates of higher education institutions, who are working (n=2280, 50% of all)
Note: figure shows percentage of graduates in specific thematic fields of education who have a current job that corresponds to their acquired education (assessment of researchers).
Graduates who work according to the acquired education can to a large extent use knowledge and experience acquired at their educational institution. Much or almost all knowledge acquired in the education institution can be applied by 80% of those graduates who work according to their acquired education. On the contrary, approximately half (53%) of those graduates who do not have a job according to their acquired education may use no or almost none of the knowledge acquired at an education institution in their work. Currently there is no significant difference between men and women in work selection or the possibility to work according to acquired education. Ethnical identity is also not a substantial factor even though Latvians work a little more often corresponding to their education. A higher influence on the analyzed feature is made by language of instruction. 75% of graduates who at higher education institutions studied in Latvian but only 54% of those who studied in Russian have a job that corresponds to their acquired knowledge. However, it might be possible that the difference is caused not only by language but also by the different proposal of the education program (programs that can be studied only in one language) and different requirements toward work of various nationalities. Russians more than Latvians choose better paid work (see further in the text). The higher the education level that is reached by an individual, the higher the possibility that he/she will have a job that corresponds to the acquired education. Those who have acquired vocational or academic master degree (85% and 81% respectively) most often work according to their acquired education. First level vocational education (70%) and academic bachelor degree (64%) graduates more rarely work in the corresponding profession. Graduates working in important cities and in Riga more often have a job that does not correspond to their acquired education. Probably it is not only due to the fact that there are general more vacancies but also due to the larger proposal of better paid or more attractive work due to other reasons or part of graduates after graduation wish to stay in the largest cities regardless of the fact if they can or cannot find a job that would correspond to education. Results of multifactor analysis In order to assess the current profession/ position correspondence to the acquired education as well as to identify factors that determine this situation, multifactor analysis was used. Factors regulating the correspondence or incompliance were identified in multifactor logical regression where the dependent variable was “Correspondence of current profession”. Regression models were calculated separately for graduates of higher and vocational education institutions. The independent variables are provided in Appendix 20. Analyzing data of higher education institutions’ graduates, the following variables were acknowledged as statistically important factors that influence the fact whether or not to work in the profession that corresponds to the acquired education: anticipated remuneration on the corresponding thematic field and level of education; variables for thematic field – “Pedagogue education and education sciences”, “Agriculture”, “Health care and social welfare”, “Legal science” and “Engineering sciences and technologies”; variable for
education level “Academic education (bachelor degree)”; language of instruction; continuing of studies after graduation from the corresponding education institution; age of respondent and respondent’s parents education. Variables of education fields and level that were not mentioned – year of graduation, full/ part time studies, work during studies, work abroad, attending of courses, as well as respondent’s gender, ethnicity and citizenship – these did not have a statistically significant (at the 95% level) effect on the situation. In paired regressions, these factors were significant but they disappeared in multifactor regression identifying that they were mediated factors. The full multifactor regression results are available in Appendix 21. Results of multifactor analysis allow stating factors that affect the choice and possibility of higher education institutions’ graduates to work corresponding to their acquired education. Anticipated remuneration of the graduate at certain a education field and level is such a significant factor. The higher the remuneration is in the profession that corresponds to education the higher is the possibility that the graduate will wish to work in this profession. Different remuneration only partly explains the different probabilities of graduates from various thematic field of education to work according to acquired education. On average, graduates who have studied in a field with higher anticipated remuneration more often choose to work according to the acquired education than those who have studied in fields with lower remuneration. However, there are exceptions. More students of education sciences and teacher training, health care and social welfare as well as agriculture choose to work according to their acquired education than could be expected taking in account only remuneration anticipated in these fields. Probably, an explanation is that representatives of these field have a higher loyalty to their initially selected education/ profession course, a higher level of enthusiasm, as well as a higher ratio of specialized knowledge as well as knowledge that can be difficult to apply in other fields (especially in the case of health care professions). On the contrary, legal science and engineering sciences and technologies students choose to work in professions that are not related to the acquired education more often than would be expected. Students who study in the Russian language more often choose a job that does not correspond to the acquired education than those who have studied in Latvian. On the whole, budget or self-financed studies of thematic field of education do not significantly affect probability to work according to the acquired education. However, when including interacting variables in the regression then we see that in several thematic fields of education those who have studied from budget assets more often than paid studies’ students wish to work according to the acquired education. These areas are as follows: “Pedagogue education and education sciences”, “Health care and social welfare” and “Legal science”. Graduates who continue their studies in other education institutions more often than those who did not continue studies choose to work in professions that do not correspond to their education. It is not a surprising conclusion because the starting of studies in another place is related to the change of education field. Many of these respondents have worked either to
In general, assessment of acquired knowledge and the possibilities to use experiences acquired in education institutions are also lower. 78% of those who work according to their acquired education may use knowledge acquired in the education institution and in contrast, 72% of young people who do not work according to their acquired education may use only some or none of the knowledge acquired in the education institutions. This assessment is not surprising. If a person is given knowledge and skills for accomplishment in certain professional tasks then it is natural that these skill and abilities can be used in other professions in a limited manner if not at all. Most often, graduates of health care and social welfare as well as architecture and construction work according to their acquired education. The worst situation is among young people who have acquired various professions in agriculture. Only 29% of graduates are employed in this field. Less than half of the graduates work in their acquired professions in the following fields: manufacturing and processing, services, natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies. Among vocational secondary education institutions’, graduates more often work in the acquired profession if they have acquired a vocational education after graduation from secondary education institutions (54% with vocational secondary and 64% with vocational education acquired in secondary or vocational school). Probably the selection of profession by these young people was more verified and more based on interests about their future profession. Health care specialists could be given as an example of those who may acquire professional qualification only after reaching the secondary education level. As well as in the group of higher education institutions’ graduates there are no significant differences according to the features of gender and ethnicity for a correspondence of current work with education. Among vocational education institutions’ graduates there are also no significant differences regarding the language of instruction even though respondents who studied in the Russian language more often work according to the their profession. The opposite occurs for higher education institutions’ graduates vocational school graduates in rural areas and small towns who more often have a job that does not correspond to their acquired profession. Probably this can be explained by the fact that there is no demand for certain professions in rural areas or also vocational education institutions’ graduates do not want to work in their profession for the provided remuneration. Results of multifactor analysis Analyzed data for vocational education institutions’ graduates shows statistically significant factors in multifactor logical regression then the choice to work in the acquired profession the following variables were found – anticipated remuneration in the corresponding thematic field and level of education; indicators for thematic fields “Health care and social welfare” and “Manufacturing and processing”; indicator-variable for education level “Vocational training”; work abroad and type of place of residence. The following unmentioned indicators of thematic field of education and level did not make a significant influence (at the 95% level) for choice to work according to the acquired education or
not: year of graduation, full/ part time studies and budget/ paid studies, work during studies, continuing of education after graduation, attending of courses, respondent’s gender, ethnicity, citizenship and parents’ education. In paired regression, several factors were significant but their effect disappeared during multifactor regression that signified that they were only mediator factors. Full results of multifactor regression are provided in Appendix 21. Multifactor regression results allow the stating of factors that influence the choice and possibility of vocational education institutions’ graduates to work according to the acquired education: x As well as in the case of higher education institutions’ graduates choice to work according to the acquired education or not, vocational education institutions’ graduates is determined to a large extent by the anticipated remuneration of the corresponding education field or level. The higher the remuneration, the greater is the probability that the graduate will choose to work in their profession according to his/her acquired education. Differences in remuneration explain the largest difference between the probabilities that graduates of various thematic field of education will work according to the acquired education but there are a few exceptions. As well as in the case of higher education institutions’ graduates students who have specialized in health care and social welfare choose to work in the field corresponding to their education more often than would be expected, taking into account remuneration available in these areas. Those who have acquired a profession in manufacturing and processing also based on remuneration choose to work in profession that is not related to the acquired education more often than would be expected; x Graduates of vocational school choose to work according to the acquired education more often than expected based on the remuneration of this level of graduates; x Graduates of vocational schools who have worked abroad chose to work according to the acquired education more rarely than others; x The youngest graduates (younger than 20 years of age) more often choose to work according to the acquired education than graduates in other age groups; x Vocational education institutions’ graduates who live in places with a higher level of urbanization more often choose to work according to their education (inhabitants of Riga more often than inhabitants of other cities and they in its turn more often than inhabitants of rural areas). Probably it can be explained by the wider possibilities of choice in Riga and other large cities.
3.3.3. Reasons for choosing of work that does not correspond to the acquired education One of the study tasks was to find the reasons why graduates of education institutions do not work corresponding to their acquired vocational education or degree. It may have very different reasons starting from disappointment in their chosen study program to an insufficient supply of vacancies in the corresponding profession. All reasons can be divided in two groups: objective (demand in the labour market, skills acquired in the education institution) and subjective (not being satisfied with the selected profession and not willing to work in it, requirements towards work in general etc.).
As already mentioned, graduates who after graduation had an objective to find work in the specialty in the majority of cases were able to find this type of work. 75% of those who definitely wanted to have a job corresponding to their acquired education found the appropriate job. Additionally, only 24% of graduates who did not care what kind of work they were doing in the corresponding position. Graduates who were not working according to their education acquired in the education institution were asked to name the reasons for their choice or the necessity to do that and to evaluate what they would prefer if there was a possibility to have work corresponding to the acquired education with equal conditions or continue the work they already had. 188.8.131.52. Higher education institutions’ graduates
29% of cases where graduates who currently did not work according to their acquired education or did not work at all mentioned low remuneration for that the reason, 22% stated that there were better career possibilities in other profession but 17% were not able to find work in Latvia that would correspond to their acquired education. Low remuneration as the most often reason was given by education specialists and pedagogues, servicing, health care and welfare field specialists that do not work according to their acquired education (Appendix 22). Better career possibilities in other fields more often were noticed by specialists of the following fields: services, human behaviour, information and communication as well as engineering sciences and technologies. Additionally, specialists of manufacturing and processing as well as humanities and art mentioned the reason that they were not able to find a corresponding work in Latvia. Requirements toward work Even though remuneration and demand in the labour market are the most essential factors, they are not the only ones that influence an individual’s possibility and choice to work according to the acquired education or choose another course of professional career. One of the motivating factors to work in a certain profession is the initially nominated requirements towards work, its usefulness for society, prestige, etc. Other factors – awareness about specifics of the profession, demand of specialists in the labour market, etc. Young people do not always have a clear vision and sufficient information about the profession and employment possibilities after graduation when choosing an education program or a specific profession. In the study, the importance of a work characteristic was clarified towards work in general. Comparing the significance of various work aspects according to the average indicator in all clusters of higher education institutions’ graduates’, the main requirement for work was the necessity of good remuneration. The second main wish was to work with “nice colleagues” and “work stability – security of the workplace” was next. In order to verify the connection between the requirements for work and the wish to work corresponding to the acquired education, a T-test was used for the comparison of average indicators. Among graduates of every thematic field of education, the significance of requirements for work was evaluated by dividing those who are working according to the 113
acquired education and those who are not (Appendix 23). Further, in those cases when the requirements of graduates differed significantly were observed. For graduates of education and teacher training who were working according to their acquired education. the most significant factors in work evaluation are as follows: stability and security of work, usefulness, long vacation and possibility to work creatively. In humanities and art sciences, those who most highly evaluated the possibility to work creatively and to improve professionally continuously and for whom it is important that work is interesting. Those who work in field of service evaluate good career possibilities and possibilities to show initiative comparatively high. Graduates of construction and architecture field give a higher evaluation to the possibility to work creatively. For specialists in human behaviour and the communication field who work according to the acquired education the highest evaluation give to remuneration, stability of work, convenient time for work. Interestingly, natural science specialists and in the group of information and technologies who work in their acquired specialty with the ones who do not differ with higher requirements to ensure the possibility to combine family life with responsibilities at work. Even though in other comparisons of values there were no significant differences observed, it has to mentioned that specialists of separate fields especially highly evaluate some aspects of work, for example, in health care workers significantly higher evaluation that work is useful for society, legal science graduates in general very highly evaluate good remuneration, the possibility to improve continuously and good career possibilities. In the field of manufacturing and processing goods, labour protection and professional and well-informed colleagues are highly evaluated. Assessment of skills acquired and improved during studies Depending on the thematic field of education and level assessment of skills acquired in the education, institution differ. The data signifies that those who are working according to their acquired education on average give higher evaluation for all skills acquired in an education institution. As before, differences in assessment were analyzed according to a T-test comparing the average evaluation between those who work in the corresponding job and who do not. Essential differences between the evaluation of acquired and learned skills in the education institution are observed in the education and teacher training science field graduates’ group. Those who work in the acquired specialty give higher evaluation of use of acquired knowledge in practical life, the ability to explain their opinion and work in a team. Supposedly these are skills that are especially necessary in the work of pedagogue. Specialists working in the field of humanities and art give higher evaluation for the possibility to use their acquired knowledge in practice, knowledge of their field, ability to use time effectively, align with conditions, ability to be able to explain their opinion and present their idea to the audience. Using of knowledge acquired in the education institution and knowledge of their field is also especially highly evaluated by graduates of health care and social welfare, and legal science; ability to adjust, work in a new environment and protection of their rights – by agriculture specialists; ability to plan, manage and organize – specialists in
services and legal science; ability to learn alone and acquire new knowledge – specialists of commerce and administration and legal science. 184.108.40.206. Vocational education institutions’ graduates
In the group of vocational education institutions’ graduates the most common reason given for not working according to the acquired specialty is mentioned: low remuneration (30%) as well as the inability to find a corresponding work in Latvia (15%), better career possibilities in other profession (11%) and wrong selection of profession/ education program (8%). Low remuneration was the most often mentioned reason for not working in the acquired profession by manufacturing and processing field representatives. Comparatively often this reason was mentioned in the field of services, natural sciences and information technologies. Humanities and art representatives most often were complaining about the inability to find work that would correspond to the profession. Representatives of art informed that there are better career possibilities in other specialties. Among vocational education institutions’ graduates, compared to higher education institutions’, graduates have a higher ratio (respectively 5% and 8%) who admit that they initially chose the wrong profession to be acquired. However, numerically this group is too small in order to characterize it between groups. There is a slightly higher number of unsatisfied graduates in the field of health care and social welfare and humanities and art. When choosing an education institution and program, vocational education institutions’ graduates in general were significantly more often influenced by suggestions of friends and parents (26% vs. 12% respectively) and the fact that the education institution was located near to the place of residence (15% vs. 6%). Also, higher education institutions’ graduates more often chose a study program that they had worked in previously (26% vs. 6%), in connection with the acquired professional qualification (15% vs. 2%) (Appendix 24). The answers provided allow the drawing of the conclusion that when entering into the vocational education institution they are more influenced by random, subjective factors and probably there is a lack of information about the selected profession as well as the employment possibilities after graduation. Requirements towards work Analyzing requirements towards work of vocational education institutions’ graduates the same methodology was used as in the group of higher education institutions’ graduates. Results signify that in this case there are also statistically significant differences between graduates who are working according to their acquired profession and ones who do not. For those who work in the field of humanities and art it is more important to grow professionally as well as to receive assessment of society regarding their work. The opposite case is for the higher education institutions’ graduates where more essential differences can be observed in the group of graduates who have acquired a qualification in the service field. For those who worked in the profession acquired in the education institution it was more important to do work that is respected by people and that is useful for the society, work that
allow for the improvement of professional skills and where it is possibility to achieve something. It was equally important to have colleagues with good knowledge and the possibility to unite work responsibilities with family obligations. Commerce and administration specialists differ from the average level with higher requirements for higher remuneration and possibility to work creatively. In the field of engineering sciences and technologies, a higher evaluation is given to good career possibilities, responsible work as well as the possibility to work creatively. There are rather a large number of differences between graduates of architecture and construction field and others. For them it is more important to have pleasant colleagues, stability (safety about keeping of work), work respected by people and work that is useful for society. Labour protection (security) and the possibility to work creatively is not less important. Evaluation of skills acquired and improved during studies Skill evaluation in the group of vocational education institutions’ graduates between those who work according to acquired education and those who do not, the most often observed differences are in the graduates of architecture and construction fields (Appendix 25). Those who worked according to their acquired education give higher evaluation to trust of their own strength, ability to work in team, use time effectively, and ability to adjust and work in a new environment, ability to work with information. Ability to plan, manage and organize is higher evaluated by graduates from manufacturing and processing, engineering sciences and technologies; knowledge of the field – engineering sciences and technologies field, service, health care and social welfare field graduates; ability to work well under pressure – health and social welfare, service field graduates; practical usage of knowledge – service field graduates. In general, comparison assessment of graduates who are working according to their acquired education and not then it can be concluded that between opinions of these groups there are statistically significant differences in the requirements towards work and assessment of skills acquired in the education institution. Observations make us think that the choice or possibility to work according to the education acquired in the education institution are determined not only by objective but also by subjective conditions like value-opinions, motivation, interest about the specialty, etc. Skills and abilities acquired in the education institutions are also higher evaluated by those who work according to their acquired education. It allows making the conclusion that people who knowingly and purposefully chose an education program and specialty to a larger extent later use this knowledge by working according with their acquired education.
3.3.4. Work remuneration and its determining factor analysis The study data signify that good remuneration is definitely the main factor in requirements towards work, in its turn low remuneration in a specific field or profession is most often given as a reason why graduates to not work in a specific field or profession that correspond to the acquired education. Survey data analysis shows that there are fields where this argument is confirmed but for graduates of some fields there is no reason to think so. Comparing remuneration in all clusters of graduates, then net salary of vocational secondary
Continuation of education did not have a significant effect on remuneration. Possibly, it can be explained by the fact that this variable actually represents two very different professional choices: continuing of education in the same area along with initial education (probably these studies have a positive effect on remuneration) and continuation of studies in an unrelated field (in this case the career course that has started is stopped and in the short-term, a negative effect on remuneration is to be expected). The complete multifactor regression results are provided in Appendix 26. Multifactor regression results allow the stating of factors that influence remuneration of higher education institutions’ graduates: x The highest remuneration is received by graduates of legal science and architecture and construction field, the lowest by humanities and art, agriculture as well as pedagogue education and education sciences; x Education of every level is of value in the labour market: graduates of every next education level earn more than graduates of the previous level; x When work experience increases, ҏso does remuneration: graduates of 2003 who in general have aligned with the labour market two years earlier earn more than graduates of 2005; x Those who studied in the Russian language earn less than those who studied in Latvian who in its turn less than those who have studied in other languages. Higher salaries for those who studied in other languages could be explained by the fact that “other language of instruction” is a mediator variable for several prestigious study programs that are taught in English (e.g., Swedish School of Economics in Riga); x Those who worked during studies earn more than those who did not. It signifies that the labour market gives higher evaluation to work experience; x Those who have studied abroad earn more than those who have studied in Latvia. There are possible explanations on the supply and demand side. From the demand side, work experience abroad is highly evaluated in the labour market. From the supply aspect individuals who have worked abroad where remuneration level is higher have higher requirements regarding salary and more often than others decline proposals of work where the promised salary is low. Due to the fact that in the current work status regression it is observed that people who have worked abroad are not working, then this is a reason to think that the factor of the supply side is the determining factor and not the value of the foreign experience in the market; x Graduates who have improved their knowledge in various courses and training earn more than those who have not; x With all other factors constant (including field of operation), the average salary for men is 1.3 times higher than the average salary for women. This provides grounds to think that there is clear payment differentiation according to gender; x Inhabitants of Riga earn more than other graduates; x Higher education institutions’ graduates whose parents have higher education level earn more than those whose parents have a lower education level. Available data does
In the regional aspect, higher salaries are received by graduates who live and work in Riga. Their net salary is 309 LVL (Figure 42). The lowest remuneration to vocational education institutions’ graduates is paid in the region of Latgale. A similar situation is also observed in the group of higher education institutions’ graduates. Analysis of factors influencing remuneration The following variables were found when analyzing the data of vocational education institutions’ graduates in multifactor linear regression about statistically significant factors that influence remuneration: – thematic field and level of education, budget/ self-financed studies, work during studies, work abroad, gender, types of the residence place of the residents, parents education. Factors that did not have statistically significant effect (at the 95% level) on choice to work according to the acquired education were found as follows: year of graduation, full/ part time studies, language of instruction, continuing of education after graduation, ethnicity, age and citizenship of respondent. Surprisingly, the year of graduation does not have an effect on the salary of vocational education institutions’ graduates. It makes one think that their career development possibilities are low and that work experience is not remunerated or it is done weakly. Complete results of regression results are available in Appendix 27. Results of multifactor analysis allow the determination of factors that influence remuneration of vocational education institutions’ graduates: x the highest remuneration is received by architecture and construction, engineering sciences and technologies graduates but the lowest by agriculture, humanities and art, as well as natural sciences and information technologies fields’ graduates. The fact that the last category is included in the list is explained by the factor that in this field, in majority of cases, specialists with a higher education are requested; x Those who have acquired vocational training earn less than those who have acquired a higher level of education; x Those who have paid for their studies earn more than those who have studied from budget assets. Supposedly, it can be explained that student financed programs are provided in professions that are higher evaluated in the labour market; x In comparison to higher education institutions’ graduates, the increase of remuneration with improvement of experience of vocational education institutions’ graduates is more slow: in general graduates of 2003 have aligned with the labour market two years earlier but their remuneration is not significantly higher than for graduates of 2005; x Those who worked during their studies earned more than those who did not. This signifies the value of work experience; x Those who studied abroad earn more than those who studied in Latvia; x Vocational education institutions’ graduates – men earn more than women; x Inhabitants of Riga earn more than other graduates of vocational education institutions; 123
Vocational education institutions’ graduates whose parents have a higher education level earn more than those whose parents have a lower level of education.
3.4. Continuing of education after graduation Further continuation of education of vocational and higher education institutions’ graduates after graduation in 2002/2003 a.y. and 2004/2005 a.y. was observed. Results of the study characterize the EU Lifelong leaning memorandum and “Program of Life-long Learning Policy for 2007-2013”. According to these documents lifelong learning has to become a leading principle in the fields of education. It is an important condition in order to have a society and economy based on knowledge. The urgency of lifelong leaning is also accented in the EU Committee of Regions’ opinion “Committee communication “Mobilizing the brainpower of Europe: enabling universities to make their full contribution to the Lisbon Strategy”“. It states that universities should be more included in the lifelong learning concept in order to reach the objectives of the Lisbon strategy and “development of flexible structures is a way to satisfy requirements of a society for higher education that is rapidly changing. Their development firstly is a task of universities. However, on the regional and state level, a flexible structure for the development of preconditions has to be developed”. 1) A formal education that is done in education and training institutions and as the result of their acquiring a state approved diploma or qualification is allocated; 2) Informal education may be done at the workplace, it may be ensured by legal entities or non-governmental organization (e.g., youth organizations, trade unions and political parties) and as a result, no officially approved education documents are issued. Informal education is professional qualification courses, education seminars and education related to interests and hobbies; 3) Everyday learning, is a self-education that is a natural amendment to routine. Opposite to formal and informal leaning, routine informal education is not always knowing learning and thereby people do not always regard it as such that it improves their knowledge and skills. Even though self-education is having more and more of an important affect on work careers of individuals, in this study self-education activities were not included due to the limited volume. Previously in section 3.1 it was explained what the ways are of graduates’ education and work course – whether graduates stop education, try to combine it with continuing education or continue studies without starting to work. Further in the analysis we will look at formal and informal education (with formal education undermining continuation of education or starting of a new education program but with informal courses for improvement of qualification or requalification, educating seminars). Informal education is observed in two aspects – informal education that is not related to work (interest, hobby education, various practical knowledge courses) and informal education related to work, improvement and change of professional qualification, i.e. taking part in courses/seminars. 124
education graduates. Only 24% of vocational training and education school graduates continue formal education, 23% acquired some informal education program that is not related to their profession but 5% of vocational training and education school graduates take part in courses for improvement of their qualification. Graduates of vocational education and training schools most often (58%) chose to continue secondary education. This result signifies that vocational education and training schools do not provide the possibility for their students to acquire secondary education and can cause difficulties and keep graduates of vocational education and training schools from future improvement of their education and qualification in formal education. There are no statistically significant ethnic differences between graduates of higher and vocational education institutions. Among those who have acquired informal education there are statistically significant differences (p = 0,001) – non-Latvians more often take part in informal education activities – on average 58% of Latvian and 64% non-Latvians continue with an informal education course. Statistically significant differences (p = 0,001) are observed only among higher education institutions’ graduates – 54% respectively of non-Latvians and 47% of Latvians continue improvement of their knowledge in informal education. Statistically significant differences are observed in the size of the current residence of vocational and higher education institutions’ graduates. In the higher urbanization environment (Riga, state important cities) there are more graduates (both higher and vocational education) (p < 0,001), who continue formal education compared to those who live in other cities and in rural areas. Additionally, analyzing data about the dependence of acquiring of informal education from the size of the place of residence it is obvious that statistically significant differences are only among graduates of vocational education institutions. Vocational education institutions graduates who live in a less urbanized environment more often choose to acquire informal education.
3.4.1. Formal education Most often formal education is continued by bachelors (63%), those who acquire vocational secondary education (55%) and college graduates (47%). The least often formal education is continued by higher academic education and qualification level (masters, 2nd level higher education graduates). However, they more often choose to improve their knowledge on the scale of informal education (61–66%) or improving skills and acquire new skills in courses of with a professional qualification (43–44%) (Table 10). First level vocational education (college) education institutions’ graduates most often continue education in second level vocational education programs but part of them (29%) choose bachelor programs. Academic program bachelors usually continue studies in master studies (78%). Second level vocational education institutions’ graduates (after secondary school or higher education) also most often (56–58%) continue studies with a master degree
There are statistically significant differences according to gender in the acquisition of additional formal education between graduates of vocational (p = 0,003) and higher (p < 0,001) education institutions. 48% of male and 38% of female higher education institutions’ graduates continue formal education and in its turn between graduates of vocational education institutions there is the opposite trend – 41% of men and 48% of women continue education after acquiring of vocational education. For graduates of 2002/2003 a.y. and 2004/2005 a.y. there were statistically significant differences observed by gender in the following education levels: 1) after acquiring of vocational secondary education (p = 0,015) 52% of men and 60% women continue education; 2) after second level vocational higher education acquisition (p = 0,02) 47% of men and 36% of women continue education; 3) after acquiring of academic bachelor degree education (p = 0,001) 71% of men and 58% of women continue education; 4) after acquiring a master degree 24% of men and 17% of women continue education (p = 0,06). It is important to clarify if graduates who have chosen to continue education and do that in the same or other institution are paying for their education or studying from budget assets (Table 11). On average, 60% of graduates pay for their studies except graduates of vocational education and training who continued their education in vocational secondary education. Further acquiring of higher education, the majority of students are paying for their studies. This signifies the dominating liberalization of higher education with market dictated values.
3.4.2. Informal education Students who have studied in vocational education and training programs on the second level of ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education) comparatively less often choose to attend courses and seminars that help to improve work skills than students who have acquired fifth and sixth level of ISCED. 87% of all participants of courses who acquired skills and knowledge related to work are fifth and sixth level of ISCED. There are several reasons for them continuing their education. The question why graduates decided to continue education regardless of their previously acquired education level was mostly answered giving the following answers: to reach a higher level of education as well as the necessity to improve knowledge. Some of the graduates has accented that in their professional work they need skills that were not acquired in the education institution. Others admit that they are not working according to their acquired education and it is necessary to acquire new skills. When analyzing data about the continuing of education in courses there is an essential difference in informal education division selection for graduates with a lower and higher education level graduates of vocational training and education schools more often have attended drivers’ education courses and courses for improving of professional qualification. Drivers’ education courses were attended by more than a half (57%) of all course participants from the group of vocational training and education school graduates. Courses for qualification improvement were attended considerably less often (23%). A small number of vocational education and training school’s graduates attended computer courses (5%), selling 128
skill courses (5%) and foreign language courses (4%). These courses might have been attended also in unemployed requalification programs. Vocational education (2nd/3rd level) graduates after secondary or vocational education and training schools most often have chosen drivers’ education courses (48%) and improvement of professional qualification (24%). Opposite to this, graduates of vocational education and training schools graduates of this group have more often studied a foreign language (17%), computers as well as various other courses. These courses might have been attended also in unemployed requalification programs. Vocational secondary education school graduates more often have attended professional qualification improvement courses without stating if it was done in the company or in unemployed education courses. This group comparatively often attends drivers’ education courses (30%), foreign language courses (18%), and computer courses (10%). The choice of structure for continuing education for higher education institutions’ graduates differs from the one of the vocational education institutions’ graduates. Most often mentioned informal education activities for higher education institutions’ graduates is a professional qualification, foreign language, accounting, documentation, drivers’ education and computer courses. Courses for improving of qualification among all higher education institutions’ graduates are very common. 59% of college graduates have attended qualification improvement courses but bachelor degree, master degree and second level vocational higher education graduates – even more often (on the average up to two thirds of graduates). This could signify two opposite trends: 1) education acquired in the higher education institution is not sufficient and thereby it is necessary to acquire practical skills and abilities; 2) in the changing labour market it is necessary to improve knowledge continuously and graduates are very active in accumulating and amending this knowledge. A rather widely popular trend to attend courses for accounting and documentation could signify the activity of graduates from higher education institutions to develop their own companies. However, it also shows the lack of practical knowledge in entrepreneurship. Probably further deeper analysis could provide answers to the question why graduates so often choose accounting courses. An interesting trend is observed in the wish of graduates to improve their knowledge of foreign languages. Every fifth graduate and every fourth master and every sixth or seventh bachelor or graduate of a training program is studying a foreign language. It was not an objective to find out the motivation for these studies but this trend confirms the necessity for foreign language knowledge. Probably graduates learn a second or third foreign language that they have not studied at secondary school or higher education school. The study shows that women are more active in attending courses after completion of formal education. The acquired results allow the conclusion that continuing education and training possibilities are less often used by the group of graduates with the lowest education level. Similar results were acquired also in the study of CSB about lifelong learning (Trapenciere, 2004) where it was concluded that continuing education possibilities are better ensured to those workers who have a higher education but obviously weaker – for people with a lower education level.
4. RESULTS OF EXPERTSÂ’â€™ SURVEY 4.1. Operation of vocational education institutions and aligning of their graduates with labor market
Ten experts employed in the system of vocational education and being closely engaged in the specialist training were interviewed on training quality in vocational education establishments and possibilities of graduates to integrate into the labour market.
The analysis of the expert interviews allows defining the following groups of main problems related to the ability of graduates to integrate into the labour market: x Possibilities to integrate into the labour market and main difficulties starting work in a speciality; x Reasons for not working in acquired speciality, unemployment and work abroad; x Relation between demand of the labour market and supply of the education system; x Planning of state-funded study places; x Provision of education establishments with lecturers and material resources; x Link between the education establishments, municipalities and employers; x Specialists necessary for the labour market in future. Further in the text the analytical overview of expert interviews on the above groups of problems is revealed.
4.1.1. Possibilities for graduates to find work and main difficulties starting work in their profession
According to the opinion of experts after obtaining the secondary vocational education graduates have good possibilities to find a job in their speciality, but chances of graduates of basic vocational education establishments are considerably less due to the fact that employers do not want employees with low level of education. In order to increase the possibility of graduates to work in the obtained speciality, the vocational education establishments are striving to ensure the possibility to acquire not only vocational but also general secondary education. The employment of graduates is largely influenced by the ability to find quality internship where young people are trained in their speciality. Finding an internship is related to establishment of connections between the educational establishment and the employer. The major problem here is that the learners are accepted for internship by companies that need labour force for accomplishment of low quality tasks thus not training the young people in their speciality.
The employment is facilitated by establishment of contacts with employers. Should good cooperation with employers be established, the educational establishment can ensure learners with the practice places and consequently – best students with places of work. The possibility to find a job is influenced by the economic situation in the country. In comparison with other countries the ratio of companies per 1000 inhabitants in Latvia is small and these companies mostly are small companies that do not need many employees. Employers choose higher qualified graduates but reject those with elementary education. This problem has a regional aspect as well – it is hard to find a job in rural areas and small towns, but in the major cities of the country there is very often a shortage of qualified labour. The problems faced by the graduates while starting work in their speciality mainly depend on the graduates themselves as well as on the vocational orientation of graduates before enrolment in the particular vocational programme. Very often graduates of the vocational education establishments do not have practical knowledge; they are late for work often and leave work place earlier. They do not tolerate orders. They have got used to being always right. Very often it is avoided to discuss such characteristics. Graduates prefer taking up non-qualified jobs abroad rather than taking a qualified position in Latvia. Another aspect – graduate wants to earn more money not the minimum salary. According to the experts the increase in the minimum salary could facilitate the willingness of young people to integrate into the labour market of Latvia. The main difficulties related with integrating into the labour market and starting work in one’s own speciality are related not only to the relevant place of internship, but also with the knowledge obtained in the elementary school and vocational school, the attitude of young people towards the chosen profession as well as with the offered work conditions, salary, vocational standard and prestige. But it is to be noted that the internship not always copes with its tasks. If the internship would cope with its tasks, very often learners start working in their speciality already during the internship. There are problems with the first and second qualification level – 2-3 year vocational education programmes that do not ensure that the secondary education will be obtained. The demand for specialists substantially varies by sectors. There are sectors where it is easy to find job after graduation from vocational education establishment, e.g. metal working, construction, etc. But there are sectors where it is harder, e.g. accounting, marketing, where a specialist with secondary education and work experience is required. One of the problems why the graduates have difficulties starting work in the chosen profession is related to obtaining knowledge in the elementary school. It is to be achieved that learners attend school, acquire basic knowledge in mathematics, natural science, physics. Should the learner lacks this knlowledge, it is hard for him/her to acquire knowledge necessary for the speciality. Very often learners of primary schools have low study ability thus resulting in low level of basic knowledge. This means that young people are enrolled in vocational education establishments with insufficient basic knowledge and study ability. But the study pressure in 131
vocational education establishments is higher than in secondary schools due to the fact that profession and secondary education subjects are to be acquired simultaneously. Taking into consideration the fact that many learners have to acquire also the basic knowledge in the vocational education institution, it is very hard. Problems are partially caused by the attitude of learners themselves – part of them does not attend school or lessons, they do not have motivation to study. It is very important that young people like the profession they have chosen and that they plan to be involved in the chosen profession in the future. Very often graduates are not ready to start independent work after graduation, this willingness develops gradually. Each of them strives to find the niche in the labour market. Graduates seek for job in companies with good working conditions and good remuneration, equally – they strive for being appreciated.
Willingness to integrate into the labour market is influenced by the dissatisfaction with the offered work conditions. For example: sewers are highly demanded in the labour market and many young people have obtained this qualification, but still – many of them are unemployed. Sewing companies offer bad working conditions, low remuneration and long working hours, besides – this work is very intense. All of the above encourage sewers to look for a different job.
The employers’ attitude towards the young specialist also very often does not facilitate the willingness to work in the speciality. Frequently the employer pays the minimum salary, does not keep promises, and does not pay the salary due. Employers have unreasoned requirements based on the opinion that the young specialist is to master everything, even knowledge not included in the profession standard.
On the other hand some graduates also have too high requirements – they want a good job and high salary not taking into consideration that their experience is insufficient. Graduates are not willing to work in rural areas even if it is not more than 15 – 20 km from the city. Graduates are not willing to work physically. Very often the graduates’ inactivity and uncertainty are the characteristic features facilitating unemployment.
After the analysis of the expert interviews it becomes clear that graduates with vocational secondary education have good possibilities to find job in a speciality, but the possibilities of those with the elementary vocational education are considerably worse. The employment of graduates is positively influenced by a high quality internship, contacts with employers and demand for the labour in the cities of Latvia and developing sectors. But the graduate employment is influenced negatively by such factors as: place of internship, where young
people are assigned insignificant tasks and they are not trained in speciality-characteristic skills, lack of work places, unreasonably high requirements of employers, lack of practical knowledge, attitude of young people towards work, work conditions offered, low prestige of the chosen speciality, unwillingness to work in rural areas and insufficient acquisition of knowledge in the elementary school.
4.1.2. Youth not working in their acquired specialty, work abroad and unemployment
Approximately two thirds of graduates work in the acquired speciality, but in some professions, districts and regions more than 90 % of graduates work in the acquired professions. Not working in the chosen speciality can be evaluated differently. Almost all experts are of the opinion that the most important thing for graduates is to work, to apply the acquired knowledge and pay taxes. Specialists of the Ministry of Education and Science, managers of the vocational education establishments as well as lecturers do not regard it to be a problem that young people after graduation do not work in the acquired speciality. The student has acquired knowledge that he/she does not need at present but that he/she shall apply in the future. According to one of experts: it is good that the learner studies, because this child is not on the street. There might be different reasons, including objective, why a person obtains education but does not work. In order to reduce the number of graduates not working in the acquired speciality, it is necessary to organise regular vocational orientation activities in elementary schools for pupils starting from the 7th grade. At the moment only vocational orientation campaigns are organised for pupils one semester before graduation from elementary school. Pupils are to be encouraged to acquire concrete profession they can earn money on. Not everybody can become a specialist with higher education.
Experts acknowledge that very often young people acquire profession chosen by their relatives not themselves. This results in conflicts in family and childÂ’â€™s unwillingness to study. It is very hard for 15-16 year olds to choose profession or speciality for lifetime. Unemployment threat very often is related to the material situation in family. Bad material situation in incomplete families and large families prevent young people from leaving home, especially if the family lives in the rural area.
Life experience and acquisition of new skills always help people to become more enterprising and creative. In order to ensure that young people work and remain in the acquired speciality, the employer is to ensure stable and high enough remuneration as well as further education possibility.
Educational establishments and the MoES summarise data on graduates of previous academic years. Approximately 60 % of vocational education establishments regularly follow up on the further employment of learners after graduation. Should the learner after graduation change the place of residence or phone number, it is very hard to obtain information on his/her further employment.
The unemployment rate is influenced by the acquired speciality, place of residence, but mainly – by the graduate’s initiative and willingness to work in the acquired speciality. If particular profession is not demanded in concrete district or city, it might be demanded in neighbouring district or city. It is harder to find job in Latgale region, where manufacturing and other spheres of national economy are less developed than in other regions, besides – very often the minimum salary is offered. Graduates are not willing to work for the minimum salary and register as unemployed. Thus it can be concluded that the problem is low level of salary not the insufficient qualification. Also women with small children register as unemployed persons.
It is harder to integrate into the labour market for those graduates that have high requirements towards others but lower towards themselves. It is important that during studies young people learn not only the vocational subjects and general secondary education but also communication and psychology. Sometimes highly qualified young specialists can find jobs only in Riga or far from home, but they are not willing to look for it there.
The concern for unemployment of graduates of vocational education establishments is not caused by the fact that they temporarily are exposed to the unemployment threat, but by the social consequences of this situation. The unemployed are people with low income, people in reproductive age that create families. The portrait of the unemployed person in Latvia is person with low, unfinished elementary education, unfinished or finished general secondary education, with vocational education without secondary education.
In order to integrate into the labour market the graduates try to retrain, to acquire other professions, to move to another district or city or to move abroad. On the one hand experts evaluate positively going abroad and working in the acquired profession, because the above certifies that the education system in Latvia works well, but on the other hand – negatively, due to the fact that graduates work in the labour market of Ireland or other countries. During working abroad the value system of young people changes as well as the attitude towards work, understanding the relationship between the employer and employee, other culture, ability to earn, etc. It would be advisable that after some time these young people return to Latvia and use the acquired knowledge working in their native country.
At the moment the migration of labour can be observed all over the world and this process cannot be eliminated. It is necessary to increase the remuneration level for those working in Latvia to ensure the harmonization of the minimum salary in the EU. This is the task, the long-term aim of the country to accomplish, but in Latvia there are problems with long-term aims. It is the problem of the state that young people after obtaining vocational education go looking for a job abroad, it is not the problem of the educational establishment.
The interviewed experts emphasize the positive as well as negative aspects of not working in the acquired speciality, unemployment and work abroad. Almost all experts do not regard it to be a problem that young people do not work in the speciality, the most important being working at all. Work of young people abroad on the one hand is evaluated positively, because the above testifies that the education system in Latvia is on a rather high level. On the other hand, working abroad is evaluated negatively because graduates of the education system of Latvia enter into labour markets of other counties, very often they are occupied in low-qualification jobs, do not apply the acquired knowledge and pay taxes to another country. Young people unemployment usually results in serious social consequences.
4.1.3. Connection between labor market demand and supply of education system
Majority of experts acknowledge that relation between the demand of the labour market and the supply of the educational system is weak or does not exist at all. The above can be proved by the State Employment Agency data on vacancies and the division of the unemployed according to the professions. The specialities demanded are the same where the unemployment is high. Thus it is necessary to investigate what facilitates such situation. The reasons might be dissatisfaction with work conditions, low salary and unreasonably high requirements of employers. There is a demand for particular professions, e.g., salesperson, tailor, etc., but young people are not willing to choose these professions. Due to the lack of information parents are more willing to pay for computer expertise acquisition instead of suggesting to qualify for state-funded study places metal work speciality that is highly demanded at the moment.
The labour force demand forecast according professions has not been elaborated in the country. The practice so far has been that if the number of places is to be increased in particular study programmes, it has to be reduced in other programmes. Teachers in schools have not seen the data on the labour market demand. There in no mechanism in the country that would facilitate harmonization of the labour market demand and the supply of the educational system.
In 2005 the vocational education system was allocated 54% of necessary funding thus there is not sufficient funding for improvement of material resources and development in vocational 135
education establishments. Employers, different non-governmental organisations and vocational associations should have greater influence upon financial means allocation. Unfortunately there is no such mechanism – the education system develops on itself.
The educational system cannot satisfy unexpected, unplanned demand for specialists due to the fact that the study period is at least 3-4 years. Taking into consideration the above it is necessary to regularly prepare reports on the position of employed specialists, changes and forecast for the near future. These activities could be carried out by the Ministry of Welfare or vocational associations.
Changes in the educational programmes are introduced according to the suggestions submitted by employers; besides, all processes are to comply with the legislation. The profession standards are to be prepared basing on which the education programme standards are to be elaborated. Everything – the programme itself, curricula and subject programmes are to be subordinated to standards. The standard is to be elaborated by employer in cooperation with the educational establishment. At the moment only part of employers take part in standard development or their evaluation. Besides, not only employers know what the profession standard means and what is to be done by the employee of the relevant profession in compliance with the standard. The profession standard should be updated after five, or even better – after three years. A new programme can be developed during one year. If the programme is attractive, learners are willing to choose it despite the fact that the programme is not accredited, e.g. in electronics speciality.
Teachers of vocational education establishments strive to master new technologies introduced in manufacturing. During the qualification internship of learners teachers meet employers and take into consideration their suggestions for study process improvement. The content of the study subject can easily be changed. Taking into consideration new technologies, it can be adjusted during one academic year or even in a shorter period of time. A teacher can complement the lecture with the information on the novelties in the sector. Problems emerge when additional funding is needed. This means that funding for some programme is to be reduced in order to increase it for another programme.
Very often the demand in the labour market is for particular professions, and education establishments offer relevant study programmes, but young people do not choose them. For example: educates are not willing to qualify for metal work speciality, lathe operator, because these are hard professions with low prestige and low salary.
From the analysis of the expert interviews it becomes clear that relation between the labour market demand and education system supply does not exist. The labour force demand forecast by professions has not been elaborated in the country. The development of the vocational education system is impeded by lack of funding. If it is necessary to increase the number of study places in particular programmes, it is to be reduced in other programmes. Employers, different NGOs and vocational associations should have greater influence upon allocation of funding, but employers are to participate more actively in the development of profession standards and education programmes.
4.1.4. Cooperation of local governments and employers
The National Trilateral Cooperation Council has been established, in the framework of which representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science each month organise meetings with employers and other social partners. During the last five years almost no constructive suggestion has been received from employers, instead – only criticism has been stated.
Besides, Regional Councils have been established with following participants: heads of municipalities, deputies, employers, representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, labour unions and representatives of different public organisations. Regional Councils consider issues on demand and supply of particular programme and particular educational establishment.
As long as employers are not interested in cooperation with vocational education establishments, this cooperation will be endangered. It is necessary to carry out research in the different areas of national economy. It seems that at the moment there is no understanding on what kind of specialists are needed on the national level. At present only the personal contacts develop understanding on strong and weak points in provision of compliance of education system to the labour market. Employers are not willing to involve in the education process. On the one hand employers do not want to involve in the development of the profession standards, but on the other hand they criticise the learners’ knowledge and skills at the same time not being able and willing to suggest something. Without mutual cooperation it is hard to implement changes in vocational education training process. It is very important when new professions emerge. The profession standards are developed basing on the Professions Classifier. Sometimes programmes and profession standards are elaborated for professions that are not included yet in the Professions Classifier. The Vocational Education Centre is the institution that submits a letter to the Ministry of Welfare on inclusion of particular professions in the Classifier. The experts in interviews shared their experience on successful cooperation of employers and vocational education establishments. Very often schools have cooperation partners that provide to learners with internship and jobs, and financially support creation of material 137
resources, for example: the company Amserv Motors made a present to the Riga State Technical School – a car Toyota Corolla for motor engineer training.
Successful cooperation between employers, municipalities and local entrepreneurs is ensured when vocational education establishments train learners in professions of high demand, e.g. construction workers. In such cases employers provide the learners with internships and jobs. But still all experts acknowledge that employers’ interest on the training process is to be improved.
4.1.5. Financing and material technical supply of vocational education
Weak points of the vocational education system are the following: x
low funding per student;
decrease in state funding per student in the last seven years;
lack of financial resources for equipment exploitation.
4.1.6. Prestige of vocational education
In the state vocational education establishments there are only state-funded study places. The number of the state-funded study places depends on the budget possibilities, but the above does not coincide with the requirements of today. The funding for vocational education is insufficient.
The Ministry of Education and Science plans the number of learners taking into consideration the needs of the region and number of elementary school graduates. The number of the learners to be enrolled in the vocational education establishments corresponds to the proportional division of elementary school graduates in the region. Thus the availability of education in the country could be regarded as satisfactory.
Each educational establishment can enrol a certain number of learners. It is to be noted that specialities and programmes could be divided in prestigious and non-prestigious specialities and programmes. In such non-prestigious specialities as for example: fish farming, apiculture, etc. it is problematic to form a group. The distribution of state-funded study places in educational establishments is based on the experience in the previous academic year and taking into consideration the requirements of employers.
The conclusion can be made that at the moment the educational planning is driven by the market due to the fact that this is the issue of survival of the educational establishment, not the issue of what is demanded by the labour market or for which specialists the society of Latvia is to pay out of the tax payers’ pocket. The vocational orientation of young people in the country is to be improved in order for the necessary number of specialists to graduate.
4.1.7. Specialists necessary for labor market in future
The Ministry of Education and Science does not have the forecast on specialists demanded in the future. Planning regions have their own plans and they do not negotiate and consult with other institutions.
Pupils of primary and secondary schools are not oriented to the future demand due to the fact that it is not known. The learners’ orientation towards vocational education is very low thus causing problems with labour force resources in the country. The vocational education system is not able to train the necessary number of specialists because there are no learners willing to acquire complicated but necessary professions for the state, e.g. shipbuilder, railwayman, lathe operator, etc.
In order to facilitate the increase in the number of learners in the vocational education establishments, the Vocational Education Department of the Ministry of Education and Science will strive to attain the increase in scholarships for learners of vocational schools.
The demand for qualified specialists will increase in the future, especially in the sector of metal work, service sector, hotel and tourism sectors, and for such specialists as logistics and transit specialists, road building and construction works specialists.
Suggestions x To increase the funding for improvement and development of the material resources of the vocational education system. x To facilitate the involvement of employers in the development of profession standards, provision of quality internships and training of young people in their speciality. x To allocate funding from the state budget to the development of new profession standards and programmes and student training. x To increase the scholarships for learners of vocational education establishments. x To improve the vocational orientation of pupils in schools starting from the 7th grade in order to encourage pupils to study in vocational education establishments and
x x x
facilitate their interest in professions that are necessary for state, while at the same time being with low prestige and physically hard. To develop the demand forecasts for specialists and confirm the above with the Ministry of Education and Science. Municipalities together with employers are to facilitate the development of entrepreneurship and creation of new jobs, especially in the Latgale region. To improve the training and education process in elementary schools to ensure that pupils acquire basic knowledge in mathematics, natural science, and physics and to imbue learners with serious attitude towards studies and work. To facilitate market research on unwillingness of learners and the unemployed to accept the vacant jobs. To develop the mechanism in the country to harmonize the demand of the labour market with the supply of the educational system.
4.2. Operation of higher education institutions and possibilities of their graduates to align with labor market
Ten experts employed in the system of higher education and being closely related to the specialist training were interviewed on training quality in higher education establishments and possibilities of graduates to integrate into the labour market.
Further in the text the analytical overview of expert interviews on problem groups is revealed.
4.2.1. Possibilities for graduates to find work and main difficulties starting work in their profession
Possibility Evaluation All experts acknowledge that people with higher education have better possibilities to integrate into labour market in comparison with persons with lower level of education; the higher the education level, the better the ability to adapt to the labour market changes. In this situation more important than narrow specialisation are the communication skills, motivation to study and ability to adapt to the situation.
The possibility of graduates of higher education establishments to integrate into the labour market is evaluated as average by experts, but representatives of higher education establishments regard that possibilities of graduates of educational establishments they represent are good.
Representatives of higher education establishments mainly consider that possibilities of learners of their establishment in the labour market are good. Main Difficulties What concerns difficulties faced by graduates of higher education institution starting work several aspects were mentioned: firstly, not all learners receive equal training, those having received worse training find it more difficult to find their niche; secondly, lack of work experience, that is more or less characteristic to all graduates; thirdly, some experts emphasised that narrow specialisation can prevent from finding a job if at a particular moment there is no demand for that particular speciality; fourthly, experts acknowledged that for graduates of study programmes with large number of students it could be more difficult to find a job due to higher supply and competitiveness; fifthly, some experts pointed out general drawbacks of the educational system that influence the higher education as well, i.e., insufficient knowledge on natural science and technical issues and insufficient work and self-discipline skills; sixthly, experts suggested to help students to change study programme during studies before integrating into labour market if they have made the wrong choice. Experts point out that it is to be noted that not all students can equally successfully find jobs, for example: 15% of graduates have difficulties starting work. Lack of work experience is one of aspects preventing from finding job after graduation or during studies. Some experts acknowledged that too narrow specialisation and compliance with particular profession standards could hamper finding a job due to the fact that such a profession can be redundant in the labour market, thus resulting in difficulties for the graduate. Experts pointed out that it is unreasonable that employers expect from the higher education establishments such specialists; specialisation is acquired and becomes more profound during work, it comes with experience. Taking into consideration the above, experts regard that employers are to contribute in employees training; higher education institution cannot train specialists that would comply with all employerÂ’â€™s requirements and situations of the labour market. Three months is the optimum period for graduate to adapt in a particular work place. Representatives of technical higher education establishments are of the opinion that graduates of social and humanitarian programmes could have job-finding difficulties due to their large number, but usually the data proving the above is not rendered. What concerns the compliance of education to the requirements of the labour market, experts emphasize that students lack knowledge on natural and technical processes as well self-disciplinary skills or ability to work regularly. Suggestions for career development could be useful. The readiness of young people to study without interruption is to be emphasized. It is suggested to re-orientate university dropouts to other study programmes. The consultation system is to be available. At the moment nobody
cares for the dropouts, but it is important to re-orientate these students. Student self-government could do a lot; the senior students could assist firs-year students. The higher education establishment system is to be amended so that those lagging behind could change to a different study programme.
4.2.2. Employment of graduates of academic programs
Academic study programs are not as directly oriented towards the labour market as the vocational, but also the graduates of the academic study programs are striving to enter into labour market. The expert explanation helps to see the difference between the academic and the vocational programs the division of which is quite uncertain in Latvia and incomprehensible without competent explanation. The requirements concerning at least 26 credit points in practice vocational programs are known as is the assignment of particular qualification to the graduates of vocational programs, but it is hard to distinguish the vocational bachelor’s and magistrate’s degree from the academic ones. Specialists of MoES regard that the transition from the hard sciences to the soft sciences is to be encouraged that would facilitate entering of better trained specialists into the labour market. The creative approach to work is insufficiently trained. Very often universities train their students to act in a way it something has been done so far. The opinion of the MoEs specialists is that approximation of academic and vocational study programmes could help to eliminate the above.
4.2.3. Changes in educational programs
Particular procedure is set forth for implementation of changes in the higher education establishment programmes – accreditation accepts the introduced changes, but between accreditations the State Education Inspectorate helps to implement changes. This function of the State Education Inspectorate still is unfamiliar to the managers of study programmes due to the fact that emphasis is put on controlling function. The MoES specialists have determined that changes in study programmes are not significant if the above do not exceed 20 %; should the changes be greater, it is to be reported to the MoES. According to the above regulations the institutions monitoring the higher education instead of facilitating changes in study programmes impose restrictions. Taking into consideration the rapid changes in all spheres of life, in order to facilitate changes in study programmes it would be important to set forth that changes in study programmes are compulsory and it should not be emphasized that changes cannot exceed 20 %. The monitoring institutions forecast that allowing greater changes would result in the decrease in the study quality in the private higher education establishments.
The monitoring institutions understand the interest of private education establishments and ability to react to the demand of the labour market, but on the other hand they remain suspicious in order not to loose control over them. Competitiveness is and important stimulus in study programme development. Majority of experts acknowledged that programmes existing in competitive conditions are forced to develop more than study programmes having monopoly in particular spheres.
4.2.4. Not working in acquired profession, unemployment, and work abroad
All experts acknowledged that the fact that a graduate does not work in the acquired speciality is not indicative of the study programme.
Some experts pointed out that readiness to start work in a different sphere reflects the graduate’s ability to change sphere of business and adapt to the changing labour market. It does not mean that a graduate has finished working in the acquired profession forever, depending on the demand he/she can continue working in the acquired profession.
Similarly majority of experts regard that there is no basis for concern about unemployment among graduates of higher education establishments.
Experts acknowledged that actually the reasons for the unemployment after graduation can depend on situation and it is not possible to discuss the quality of higher education institution basing on the unemployment rate among graduates; a higher education institution does not train only employees in particular spheres, their tasks are much wider.
Data on the unemployed graduates very often inaccurately characterise situation due to the fact that, according to the experts, women very often strive to register as unemployed in order to receive the childbirth allowance, but precise data characterising the above tendency is not rendered.
Work abroad is evaluated unambiguously – experts evaluate positively the tendency when graduates’ jobs match with their qualification and education, but not when they are occupied in simple jobs where no training is needed.
Experts evaluate negatively the tendency when work abroad is chosen by young people having acquired education financed from the state budget. Majority of experts had one
opinion concerning the above Â–â€“ from such graduates the tuition fee compensation is to be required to be repaid.
The state budget expenditure for professions, where students do not work after graduation or even go abroad, is to be seriously considered. The opinion exists that from students having received state budget grants and not working in speciality, the compensation is to be required to be repaid. Agreements are to be concluded on work in speciality for certain period on time and after that student would be able to change specialisation or go abroad. The work in specialisation after graduation could be facilitated by complete or partial study loans payoff for students who pay their tuition fees.
The expert opinions on relation between the education and the labour market are conditionally of two types: some of them regard that it is not possible to ensure direct compliance of education to the requirements of the labour market, but some acknowledge that it is possible, but in Latvia insufficient work is done to solve this problem (there are no forecasts on development of labour market, planning of educational programmes, their implementation is spontaneous, etc.).
Supporters of the first opinion think that specialists are to be trained that would be flexible in relation to the requirements of the labour market.
The representatives of the private higher education establishments are of the opinion that state grants to education establishments distort the education market due to the fact that state universities are less exposed to competitiveness than the private ones. According to their opinion the education system would be more effective if the competitiveness existed. At the moment part of programmes is funded by the state, but in others there is only paid education. State funded programmes are less exposed to competitiveness. The development is more visible in programmes where the competitiveness exists.
The development of technologies is very rapid today and the changes in the educational system are always lagging behind the first. The educational system is to be more flexible and able to change.
Supporters of the second opinion emphasize the necessity for the information, research, reasoned forecasts on the demand of specialists in the labour market. At the moment the forecasts of higher education institutions are much too intuitive.
Currently higher education establishments base on data on employment of their graduates, on demand of applicant for different programmes, not on serious development forecasts of the national economy.
Experts acknowledge that acquisition of professions that are necessary for the development of the national economy but are not popular among young people are to be particularly facilitated – attraction factors are to be created that would stimulate young people to make the appropriate choice.
Some experts acknowledge that the dominating opinion of the government of Latvia on the deficiency of engineers in the labour market is not reasoned and based on economic calculations.
The information on the professions demanded in the labour market as well as on the labour market tendencies is necessary also for students to be in order to choose the study programme according to this demand, but – there is no such information. Experts acknowledge that several stereotypes exist in the society on the demand of the labour market, bet there are no reasoned information and forecasts.
It can be said that the educational system more complies with the demand of students not the labour market.
Majority of experts point out that the mechanisms providing for the relation between the education and the labour market are, firstly, the date required in the accreditation process on the employment in relevant study programme as well as references of employers, secondly, budget-financed study place planning.
Formally mechanisms and system have been elaborated to involve employers in the education programme development: development of the profession standard, involvement in the study programmes accreditation process, provision of places for internship, etc.
Still, the majority of experts pointed out the lack of cooperation with employers as well as employers’ initiative. The role of employers in dialogue with educational officials is complementary – mainly they wait for invitation and do not volunteer.
Actually employers do have influence on the flow of education resources and division of funding, but experts do not see clear possibility that employers could demand from the state to allocate funding for new study programmes and technologies. Not all employers are open and ready to contribute to development. The MoES receives demand for specialists for various resources: employers, ministries, vocational associations, and all other interested parties. The demand is evaluated and basing on the amount of funding the particular number of state-funded study places is allocated. Until 2002 the state-funded study places division between programmes was carried out by the higher education establishments themselves. Due to the above more state-funded study places were allocated to programmes where higher demand existed, i.e. social sciences. Since 2003 the MoES allocates the state-funded study places to study programmes, decreasing the number of state-funded study places for social sciences, but increasing the state-funded study places in engineering sciences and natural sciences.
Until this year only proportions were changed Â–â€“ the increase in the number of state-funded study places in engineering sciences and natural sciences was accomplished decreasing the number of these places in social sciences. 2005 could be regarded as the turning point in the state-funded study places planning, when additional funding was received that allowed to increase the number of state-funded study places in engineering and natural sciences, not decreasing the number of study places in other programmes. These were programmes, where the tuition fees are higher thus the demand for these programmes is less. At present only 8 % of students of social sciences study for budgetary funding.
Experts of the MoEs point out that majority of students in Latvia pay for studies themselves, the state funding refers only to one fourth of students and this part is too small to allow the state to influence the education policy only with application of financing mechanisms.
This aspect has been evaluated also by managers of education establishments, thus choice of study programmes and speciality is mainly the choice of young people.
Representatives of universities have their own opinion on the state-funded study places planning. Where MoEs emphasise the importance of demand, representatives of universities see inertia and repetition of previous proportion.
Planning in education system is complicated due to the fact that there is certain period of time between enrolment in education institution and entering the labour market during which changes in labour market can take place. Experts point out that precaution is to be observed
when implementing changes in the educational system, because the result of reforms can emerge after several years.
The higher education establishments themselves control the choice of students concerning study programmes. On the one hand – study places are determined by the MoES policy, but on the other – the actual demand for particular study programme.
4.2.5. Problems of educational system
Applicants of higher education establishments have made their choice before enrolment thus it is too late to discuss the ways to influence and facilitate the choice of young people concerning the above. Almost all experts point out that the weak point of education system in Latvia is the elementary and secondary education. At the moment the higher education compensates the drawbacks of the secondary education. The languages and exact sciences are to be better trained and the level of requirements in these subjects is to be increased as well as communication skills developed. At the moment at the level of secondary education the humanitarian trend dominates that largely influences the choice of study programme in the higher education institution. According to many experts one of the main problems of the higher education system is insufficient interest in natural and technical sciences resulting in prospective lack of specialists in these spheres, which originates in the level of secondary education. The above is related to the choice of study subjects in secondary school: many pupils do not choose so called complicated subjects – mathematics, physics, chemistry that later on restricts the study possibilities of these young people.
The choice of subjects in the secondary school leaves impact also on acquisition of natural and agricultural sciences. If the basis is not acquired in the secondary school, actually the choice of these study programmes for young people is forbidden.
The fact of insufficient training is proved also by a large number of dropouts in first study year in engineering study programmes.
Another problem is the higher education institution infrastructure that does not comply with requirement of contemporary science. Funding in education infrastructure and state-of-the-art technologies is insufficient, which actually do not facilitate training of specialists complying with the labour market.
Some experts acknowledged that it is just recently that the equipment of laboratories and technologies in higher education establishments start to change.
Suggestions x To invest more in education development, incl., development of education infrastructure; to develop deliberative long term objectives. x To emphasize the consumer rights protection in the education sector, especially in relation to adults and students. x Not to separate academic and vocational programmes so much, the above are to be more merged and harmonised. x In order to facilitate studentsÂ’â€™ ability to integrate into the labour market, the transition from hard sciences to soft sciences is to be facilitated in the middle of studies or towards graduation. x To facilitate research of the labour market not to allocate funding formally. x To facilitate the development of career consultation system. x To specify the role of the distance education in legislation that sometimes is mistakenly regarded part-time studies. Distance and adult education have perspectives, but at the moment the tendency of adult education is wrong. x Higher education establishments are to cooperate more with employers that would facilitate the increase in number of jobs after internship and graduation.
5. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The serious demographic situation that is characterized by an insufficient generation exchange level and a negative migration balance related to educational level differences according to gender, age and place of residence is a threat to balanced and sustainable regional development as well as for Latvia in general. It is a vitally important task to improve the level of education of inhabitants by increasingly involving them? at all education levels, especially accenting vocational secondary education and the role of lifelong learning, and by acquiring the appropriate qualifications for the labour market in order to increase competitiveness of the labour force as well as socio-economical development of Latvia in general. An Increase in the education level is closely related to the growth of the economy, the increase of residents’ material welfare, a decrease in poverty and unemployment. It is necessary to increase the work effectiveness and employment level by balancing the differences with more developed countries and target indicators nominated by the EU. The continuation of the standard of compared to other countries in conditions of a growing education level may increase the risk of a “brain drain” to economically stronger countries and thereby decreasing growth based on innovation and intellect. The majority of research in Latvia on education institutions' graduates do not provide sufficient representation due to the low volume of the sample and their conclusions at best may be related to specific fields where these research was performed. In economically well developed countries, research of education institutions graduates is well developed. In Central and Eastern Europe this type of research is irregular and fragmentary. Analysis of laws and regulation and experience gained from accomplishing research of graduates’ professional activities shows that there are grounds to reject the existing hypothesis that there are graduate databases in the country, that the data acquisition legislation base and accounting is complete and facilitates the assessment of quality of the graduates' acquired education and further professional activities. To date, the existing activities of graduates after graduation indicator system does not ensure monitoring of their life course, professional growth, the effect of changes of education and employment policy. It is necessary at a later date to perform professional activities research of higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates in order to clarify their preparation according to the requirements of the labour market and to help higher education institutions to improve their education and internship programs. As one of the field policy alternatives, the research authors suggest improving and updating LEIS in order to create and implement an effective monitoring system of higher and vocational education institutions’ students and graduates. Development of such a monitoring system is directed towards the larger interest of employer and education institutions regarding the balancing of the labour market demand and supply and increasing the quality of
education, to attain the information society objectives and to reach the analytical and prognosis objectives that are especially important in the making of political decisions and for the distribution of resources. By implementing a monitoring system using an indicator system (Appendix 6) developed from this quantitative research base, the possibility of research of factors that influence higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates education, employment and their influencing factors will be assured. The graduates' survey results signify that alignment of the higher and vocational education institution’s graduates with the labour market is affected by various conditions – both objective (demand of specialists in the labour market, skills acquired during studies, provided remuneration etc.) and subjective (not being satisfied with chosen the profession and not willing to work in it, requirements towards work in general etc.). According to the evaluation of experts, the main problems of the higher education system are as follows: x Higher education still has to compensate the shortcomings of secondary education level – teaching of languages, knowledge in exact science subjects; x Development of communication skills, low interest for natural and engineering sciences, little contest for study places and an insufficient number of specialists after graduation; x Infrastructure of a higher education institutions that does not correspond to contemporary requirements. Experts of vocational education state that there are the following difficulties for graduates of vocational education institutions for finding a job and starting work in a specialty: insufficient professional preparation for the use of the latest technologies and too narrow specializing that is hard to apply; graduates are psychologically not ready for employment relationships, problems in following work discipline, part of the youth demands too high requirements for a workplace; graduates are not satisfied with the working conditions, they wish to earn more and do not want to work for the offered low remuneration; for young people who have changed place of residence it is harder to find a workplace due to the lack of social connections. During one survey, an initial hypothesis about the influences of various objective reasons on aligning with the labour market and correspondence of professional activities to acquired education of higher and vocational education institutions’ graduates was verified. According to the nominated system of the hypothesis, results of the analysis allow the drawing of several conclusions (results of hypothesis verification are available in Appendix 28).
5.1. Factors of education Graduation year essentially influences not only the salary of higher education institutions’ graduates in the main workplace. When work experience is longer, remuneration is higher: higher education institutions’ graduates of 2002/2003 a.y. who have started their work course
approximately two years earlier currently are earning more than graduates of 2004/2005 a.y. In comparison to higher educations institutions’ graduates then remuneration of vocational education institutions’ graduates does not have significant changes due to longer experience. Education level has a statistically significant effect on aligning with the labour market during studies – the higher the level of studies, the more often students have permanent work during their studies. This trend was observed among students of higher and vocational education institutions. The higher education level is to a person the higher probability that this person will work according to the acquired education. Comparing paid and budget studies of higher education institutions graduates it was found that students who pay for their studies align significantly more often with the labour market than students whose studies are financed by the state. Significant differences between paid and budget student employment was proven in the following thematic groups of education: pedagogue education and education sciences, services, commerce and administration, law, manufacturing and processing. Conversely when comparing the work course of graduates who were not employed during studies, it was found that students of higher education institutions who were studying from the budget assets are finding work faster than those who were paying for their studies. Due to the fact that in the majority of cases students who pay for their studies have aligned with the labour market during studies then probably those students who were paying for their studies and had not started serious search for work until the end of their studies have lower motivation to look for work in general. In addition, budget studies (regardless of field of studies) probably signify good skills and grades that facilitates competitiveness in the labour market. Differences between the employment of students of paid studies and budget studies are statistically significant in the following thematic field groups of education: teacher training education and education sciences, services, commerce and administration, law, manufacturing and processing, social, human behaviour, information and communication sciences. Vocational education institutions’ graduates who were paying for their studies are earning more than those whose studies were from the assets of the budget. Probably, it can be explained by the fact that paid studies programs are provided in professions that are more highly valued in the labour market. The thematic field of education influences both graduates the work career and the choice of work according to the acquired education. The research found that graduates in certain thematic fields of education have a characteristic for a higher level of aligning with the labour market. Among the graduates of higher education institutions these fields are as follows: architecture and construction; engineering sciences and technologies; manufacturing and processing; health care and social welfare; pedagogue education and education sciences but among vocational education institutions' graduates – architecture and construction, health care and social welfare. There are separate thematic fields of education where graduates most often feel the necessity for re-qualification as well as choosing to continue education in some education institutions. Among higher education institutions’ graduates these fields are natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies, engineering sciences and technologies; architecture and construction; agriculture, but in its turn among vocational education
institutions’ graduates – humanities and art; natural sciences, mathematics and information technologies; commerce and administration. Difficulties with successful aligning with the labour market are also for the graduates of agriculture, humanities and art. People who have acquired this qualification most often have no work experience, they more rarely align with the labour market and currently there are comparatively many unemployed among them. Currently 73% of higher education institutions’ graduates are working according to their acquired education. Most often graduates of the following fields work according to their education: architecture and construction, teacher training education and education sciences, health care and social welfare but least often gradates from engineering sciences and technologies, manufacturing and processing as well as humanities and the thematic fields of education. Among vocational education institutions’ graduates, 57% of graduates work according to their acquired education. Most often they represent the health care and welfare, construction and architecture education fields. The least often are students of agriculture who are working according to the acquired education. Research experts that were interviewed did not always give a negative evaluation to the fact that graduates are not working according to their acquired specialty because readiness to start working in another field signifies the ability to remain flexible in the changing situation in the labour market.
5.2. Demographical factors Gender. In work selection and possibilities to work according to the acquired education there are no statistically significant differences between male and female graduates.
The data give a significant reason to believe that there is a gender disproportion regarding the time for finding of work as well as remuneration: men find work faster than women and they also earn more than women. With all other factors being constant, including the field of operation, the salary of men is on average 1.34 times higher compared to that of a woman. Age. There is a connection between graduates’ age and aligning with the labour market. For higher education institutions’ graduates there is a direct linear connection – the older the student is, the higher the probability of aligning with the labour market during the studies. For vocational education institutions' graduates this connection is nonlinear – most often work during studies is started by older students (above 27 years) but they are followed by the youngest (20 years and older) students. The oldest and the youngest higher education institutions’ graduates (younger than 25 and older than 39 years) are looking for work for a longer period of time than the middle age group (25-39 years) representatives. Also, among vocational education institutions' graduates older ones need more time than younger ones for finding a job. Older higher education institutions’ graduates are more often working according to their acquired education compared to younger graduates. It is connected to the well-considered selection of education program as well as the fact that older respondents often have already worked in the said profession prior to starting studies and have chosen to study in order to be able to perform their work responsibilities better.
Ethnicity. The only aspect that shows significant differentiation between nationalities is work during studies – higher education institutions’ graduates-Latvians are more often aligned with the labour market during studies compared to higher education institutions’ graduates of other nationalities. Interestingly, the determining factor is ethnicity not language of instruction or citizenship. On the contrary, in the group of vocational school this effect is opposite to the one observed in the group of higher education institutions – among vocational education institutions' graduates Latvians are the ones who more rarely align with the labour market compared to representatives of other nationalities. Place of residence. The level of urbanization of the place of residence influences the work career of graduates. Both higher and vocational education institutions’ students who live in places with a higher urbanization level are more often aligned with the labour market during studies. Higher education institutions’ graduates most often do not work according to the acquired education if they live in Riga or nationally significance cities. Probably, in Riga and nationally significance cities, proposals of work are more varied, as well as a wider proposal for well-paid jobs as well as differently attractive work. Currently there are significant differences between work remuneration; inhabitants of Riga earn more than higher education institutions’ graduates from other cities and the lowest remuneration is received by those higher education institutions’ graduates who live in nationally important cities. In the group of vocational education institutions' graduates, earnings are higher compared to those who live in other ones.
5.3. Professional occupation factors The anticipated remuneration is an essential factor that influences the choice of higher and vocational education institutions' graduates to work according to their acquired education or not: the higher the remuneration, the higher probability that graduates will choose to work according to their acquired profession. Even though graduates who have studied in fields with higher anticipated remuneration more often choose to work according to their acquired education than those who have studied in fields with lower anticipated remuneration there are exceptions. Firstly, graduates of teacher training and education sciences, health care and social welfare as well as agriculture, work according to their acquired education than it could be projected only according to remuneration available in the field. In these fields it is not financially beneficial to work according to ones acquired education. A possible explanation is that representatives of these fields are more loyal to their initially selected education/ course of profession, have greater enthusiasm, as well as a higher ratio of specialized knowledge that is hard to apply in other fields. On the contrary, students of law and engineering and technologies are more often working in professions that are not related to the acquired education than would be expected. In these fields, those who work according to their education have a higher remuneration level than those who are employed in other fields. Also in the group of vocational education institutions' graduates, remuneration differentiation explains the largest differences between probabilities of various thematic fields of education 153
to work according to ones acquired education. But there are a few exceptions. Firstly as well as in the case of higher education institutions’ graduates vocational education institutions' students who have specialized in health care and social welfare more often choose to work according to acquired education than would be anticipated according to the remuneration in these fields. Secondly, manufacturing and processing professions representatives more often choose professions not related to their acquired education that would be envisaged by remuneration.
5.4. Mediated factors Permanent work during studies has a positive effect on aligning with the labour market. Graduates who have worked during their studies (even if after graduation they do not continue to work in the same workplace) find a job after graduation faster than those who have not worked. This result signifies that in general work experience in the labour market is highly evaluated: graduates with work experience have a high probability of finding a new or another work compared to graduates with no work experience. Work experience also effects remuneration – for both higher and vocational education institutions' graduates there are people who have worked during their studies and currently earn more than those who were not working during their studies.
According to this fact, field experts expressed opinion that higher education institutions should take more into account that there is a necessity to combine studies with work. The possibility to used distance leaning for working students during the acquisition of a qualification and even more for specialists during qualification improvement has to be ensured. In addition, during education, attention has to be paid to the acquisition of practical skills. Practical training should be more widely organized – at the start of work, courses enabling the acquisition of practical skills that amend and consolidate the use of competence acquired at higher education institution allow acquisition of experience in a systematic and effective manner. Parallel to this it is necessary to improve the organization of internships during studies cooperating with employers and professional organization and developing structures involved in manufacturing for the accomplishment of internships and organizations internally in higher education institutions as well as those that are in direct subordination to higher education institutions. Due to the fact that vocational education is chosen by young people relative to the economical condition of the family (they wish to acquired a profession faster in order to start working and help their parents) vocational education institutions have to create a possibility to work simultaneously with studies, receive remuneration for work during internships for the work performed and create special manufacturing companies where they could work prior to receiving a qualification managed under supervising specialists.
Awareness of work career possibilities in the acquired speciality. An important role is the professional orientation and awareness about specific specialities as well as about the possibilities provided by acquiring of this profession in order to choose an education program that corresponds to the wishes and interests when applying for a place at the educational institution. The research data signify that especially urgent is the lack of information in vocational secondary education. Probably the situation will improve due to the fact that professional career education is started but the research objective group is not affected by that. But to improve the prestige of vocational education and make youth profession selection more grounded it is necessary to improve career education at elementary school orienting to profession selection and vocational education.
Selection of vocational education programs are more often affected by random and subjective factors – suggestions of friends, parents and close location of education institution to place of residence than selection of higher education programs . Consequently, selection of a higher education study program is more often determined by the profession where there is prior work experience and a relation to acquired professional qualification. It also explains large dissatisfaction of vocational education institutions' graduates with a chosen education program and the fact that motivation to work according to the acquired education of vocational education institutions' graduates is lower than by higher education institutions’ graduates. Due to the fact that vocational education institutions provide a lower level of education they allocate a wider scope of young persons including young people with low motivation to work and study. Education institutions as well as other competent authorities should not only inform about what is planned to be acquired in the specific education program but also about employment possibilities after graduation from education institutions and the demand of the labour market for a certain profession. At the moment there is no summarizing information about professions that correspond to every thematic field and level of education. The emplacement of a professional orientation service availability for students as it is planned by tasks of the Latvian National Lisbon program for 2005-2008 will facilitate the selection of an appropriate profession and will increase the aligning of graduates with the labour market after graduation. In order for education institutions to perform well-timed changes in education programs as well as for graduates of elementary and secondary schools to make a well-founded selection of a profession it is necessary to perform a prognosis about the labour market development and professions requested in the labour market. This prognosis will facilitate the connection between the demand of the labour market and the supply of vocational education system that currently, according to the assessment of experts, is weak and insufficient. An important aspect that determines if a graduate after graduation will work according to their acquired education is prior work experience or education in this field as well as the level of acquired theoretic and practical knowledge in the specific field. For graduates who do not have such advantages, the possibility to find work according to their acquired education is harder. Those who work according to their acquired education give higher evaluation as well
as use of them in their present work. It signifies that it is necessary to develop a corresponding preview and knowledge about the profession and specialty to those who have no such experience for both higher and vocational education institutions and organizing internships. Motivation to work in a profession that corresponds to the acquired education. The choice to work according to the acquired education in the education institution is to a large extent dependant on motivation of a graduate to do that and consequently that is related to the selection of a study program as well as skills acquired during studies and other subjective evaluation factors.
Graduates who after graduation had an objective to find work according to their specialty have in the majority of cases found such work. Currently 75% of those who wished to work according to their acquired education are doing that. In its turn among those who did not care what kind of work there are only 24% working corresponding to their acquired education. Those graduates who currently are not working according to their acquired education and are not working at all gave a reason of low remuneration (especially, education specialists and pedagogues, service, health care and social welfare specialists). The next most often mentioned reasons – better career possibilities in other professions (service field specialists, human behaviour, information and communication as well as engineering sciences and technologies specialists) and inability to find work in Latvia that would correspond to their acquired education (specialists of manufacturing and processing as well as humanities and art). Among graduates of vocational education institutions an often mentioned reason is also the wrong choice of profession/ education institution. Human capital dimension – education level of parents is a mediated factor that affects the possibilities and time for finding work. Vocational education institutions' graduates whose parents have elementary or lower education are looking for work longer and later settle in a job than graduates with higher education level; most successful and most rapid work is found by graduates whose parents have a vocationally higher education. Probably it can be explained by the inheritance of human and social capital. The Language of instruction influences the professional operation of the higher education institutions’ graduates. Those graduates who have studied in Russian more often choose work that does not correspond to their acquired education and earn less than those who have studied in the Latvian language. In general, the highest salaries are to graduates who have studied in English language. It could be explained by the fact that prestige programs are provided in English (e.g, programs of the Swedish School of Economics) and graduates of these schools also have higher competitiveness in the labour market in Latvia. Continuing of education after reaching of a certain educational level. Higher education institutions’ graduates who have continued studies in the same or other education institution more often choose to work in a profession that does not correspond to the initially acquired education than those who do not continue education. This observation is not surprising because the starting of education somewhere else is often related to changing of the field of
education. Many of the graduates from this group are working according to the latest education that is acquired after 2002/2003 a.y. or 2004/2005 or they are working in the field that they are acquiring education right now. In the expertsÂ’â€™ evaluation, the education system should be more flexible and able to change. Possibilities for specialists to return to the education system and to continuously improve their qualifications as well as re-qualification, amend knowledge and skills have to be extended. It is necessary to create modules and a separate course system where with help of e-education, distant education could be used by working specialists without having to stop working. It is also necessary to envisage the possibility of acquiring new qualifications based on previous knowledge and competencies, helping to have a flexible reaction to changes in the labour market requirements. Permanent work abroad. Most often after graduation vocational education institutions' graduates are the ones who are going to work abroad. Those who have work experience abroad choose less often than other graduates to work in Latvia according to their acquired education. Both higher and vocational education institutions' graduates who have worked abroad earn much more than those who have not done so. There could be explanations from both the demand and supply side. Probably, from the demand side, work experience abroad is highly valued in the labour market. Probably, from the supply side where individuals have worked in a country with comparatively much higher remuneration level they have higher requirement towards remuneration and thereby they turn down other job proposals that have lower remuneration. Due to the fact that results signify that many graduates that have worked abroad are not working at the moment, then the supply side is the determining factor and not the value of foreign work experience. Providing comments on employment abroad experts gave a positive evaluation if graduates were working abroad in their acquired specialty and are planning to return to Latvia after time. In its turn negative evaluation was given if those who have gone to work abroad have acquired education from state budget assets.
6. POLICY ALTERNATIVES FOR PROMOTION OF PROFESSIONAL OCCUPATION OF GRADUATES AFTER GRADUATION According to the direct objectives of PAGHVEIAG, study policy alternatives have to promote a possibility of higher and vocational education institutions' graduates to align with the labour market in their acquired specialty. For the facilitation of graduates of a professional occupation after graduation and evaluating various alternatives, MW has accepted three policy alternatives. 1. The strengthening of the qualifications of higher and vocational education institutions' graduates by implementing the ensurance of career education and career counseling in higher and vocational education institutions (hereafter referred to as “Alternative I. Improvement of the career education system”). The professional development career support system is to be developed by increasing its efficiency and facilitating higher and vocational education institutions’ students to align with the labour market in a shorter period of time and facilitating those who have started to work during studies and are starting work after graduation. 2. The creation of an effective monitoring system of higher and vocational education institutions’ students and graduates based on the study of labour market necessities (hereafter referred to as “Alternative II. Creation of a student and graduate monitoring system”). The monitoring system of higher and vocational education students and graduates is to be developed according to EU and world good practice examples applying the unified instrumentary that is available to government with the principle of voluntary participation for usage of personal data and information for the harmonization of demand and supply of the labour market as well as the creation of an analytic and study base for employment and education policy. 3. Increasing of motivation of higher and vocational education institutions’ students to work in the corresponding profession after graduation by facilitating an employment legal relationship with flexible conditions with application and implementation in practice (hereafter referred to as “Alternative III. Improving of motivation of students and graduates for work in the chosen profession). This alternative is directed towards improvement of the motivation of students and graduates as well as employers for graduates’ to work in the selected profession. It envisages an employment legislation review and an application for flexible financing of study programs envisaging also financing of privately provided study programs in the way of contest from the assets of the budget, the leveling of the student stipend system with study and a student crediting system including a wide number of students and fields, implementation of liabilities for those who are studying from budget assets, extending of social guarantees by allocating ESF and other possible assets as well as facilitating the development of cooperation and partnership networks. 158
All three alternatives selected by MW are directed towards education and graduates’ employment policy and accomplishment of their priorities according to NDP for 2007-2013. Policy alternatives have been analyzed using European Commission guidelines and recommendation from the document ex-ante assessment, State Chancellery guidelines “Policy influence assessment in policy development system” developed in 2005 and guidelines developed for the labour market study of MW performance. Economic and financial analysis of alternative was performed using European Commission guidelines. Alternative analysis is based on data resulted from the PAGHVEIAG research, other result of studies performed in Latvia and other countries, as well as policy guidelines of MES, MW, and ME in the fields of education, employment and economic development. The tasks of the nominated field policy alternative analysis envisage the comparison of state budget expenses in every specific alternative variant, assess private sector cooperation possibilities and to analyze possibilities to allocate EU structural funds for the optimization of field development financing. Policy alternative evaluation is made up of two parts: policy alternative analysis and comparison of these alternatives. Selection of a policy alternative is provided in every section of analysis for every alternative including the following information: general characteristic of the alternative, political and economic possibility of an alternative, financial analysis of an alternative and possible implementation risks and activities for their elimination. For the comparative evaluation of policy alternative, one of the qualitative analysis methods is used – multi-criteria analysis. Every alternative of the policy is assessed according to the following criteria (applied statistical weights for every criterion are provided in brackets): 1) Assessment of problem solution (correspondence to the necessities of society) (0.25); 2) Attainability of education policy objective corresponding to employment policy (influence) (0.1); 3) Institutional assessment for alternative accomplishment (0.15); 4) Effectiveness (correspondence of alternative results to education policy objectives) (0.25); 5) Political and economical possibility (sustainability) (0.25). Every criterion is assessed with an expert method by allocating a certain number of points according to the assessment scale of the criteria. Researchers involved in the study assessed every criterion using the following assessment scale: 0 – criterion cannot be fulfilled; 1 – can be minimally fulfilled; 2 – can be partially fulfilled; 3 – can be fulfilled to a large extent; 4 – can be completely fulfilled. Every criterion was applied to statistical weights that characterize the significance of criteria in the total assessment. Policy alternative assessment according to the above mentioned criteria was made by researchers Juris Krumins, Arija Konstantinova, Zigrida Gosa, Galina Kanejeva and Jolanta Guza, taking into account higher and vocational education assessments. Assessment of every criterion provided in Table 13 is the average evaluation of the researchers. Section 6.5 provides a description of the effectiveness of analysis of alternative policy costs (this analysis is apart from social economical analysis of an alternative). The results of policy alternative costs and effectiveness analysis are provided in Table 14. 159
6.1. Improvement of career education system (Alternative I) 6.1.1. General description of the alternative Characteristic of the situation Rapid economical and political changes, changes of the labour market structure, development of new education institutions, multi-forms of study program since retrieving of independence have created necessity for development of such system that would help individual to align with education process and the labour market more successfully. Going from centralized command economy to market economy distribution of education institutions’ graduates was stopped and new specialists have to look for work themselves. Thereby main meaning for integration in the labour market is acquired by individual with knowledge, skills, abilities and personal qualities (e.g., attitude for work). One of possibilities to education person for growth possibilities is implementation of career development support system. Systematic work and consultations with inhabitants about the selection of an education and profession became available with the development of the Riga city youth Professional Career Counselling Centre in 1987. Initially, centre services were directed towards providing of consultations for pupils but from 1990 it expanded its range of services, opening branches outside of Riga and providing services also to adults. According to the order of MW in August 2004, the state non-profit organization “Professional Career Counselling Centre” was reorganized into PCCSA. It continued to provide counselling for scholars, students, employed and unemployed individuals (Table 15). In spring 2006 the agency already had 23 branches and thereby it ensured education and professional counselling as well as career planning and services for the finding of work in almost all regions of Latvia. According to the statistics of PCCSA about those who received services in 2005 it is obvious that students and graduates of vocational and higher education institutions form only 3.3% (219 higher education institutions’ students and 583 vocational education institutions’ students were consulted) and in 2006 only 2.42% from the total number of people who received counselling. Thereby, a trend is observed that the significance of PCCSA is increasing in counselling of the unemployed but the number of higher and vocational education institutions' students who received counselling is decreasing. From this data it can be concluded that the agency in the above mentioned education stage does not ensure counselling in sufficient volume. In addition to PCCSA on the institutional level, consultation about possibilities of studies in Latvia and abroad are ensured by the Career development department at State Education Development Agency by aggregating and publishing information (in printed and electronic form) about the education possibilities in Latvia and Europe as well about contemporary career development support methods and materials. In order to ensure favourable preconditions for mutual cooperation development and to coordinate career development 160
internship and work during summer, fill in applications or submit Curriculum Vitae to the potential employer. Some higher education institutions like UL, Banku augstskola and Vidzemes Augstskola have created career centres with an objective to cooperate with employers and organize educational activities about career development possibilities and promote student integration into the labour market. However, regardless of these activities, the volume and quality of services provided in the education system is not sufficient. One of the problems that have a significant effect on further education choice is insufficient information about the education possibilities after elementary school and selection of the wrong direction at the secondary school. It limits possibilities of young people to start studies at higher education institutions because they have not studied the necessary subjects and have not passed the necessary centralized exams. The Survey data of PCCSA signify that at the moment scholars of grade 12 are better informed about the possibilities to continue education after secondary school but there is a much lower awareness about issues on professions, the labour market and job search. PAGHVEIAG study results show that young people have a lack of information about employment possibilities in their chosen field. When choosing a study program of higher education, 23% of respondents stated that there is almost insufficient information available about employment and 11% stated that it was completely insufficient. Similarly, availability of information about employment possibilities was evaluated by vocational education institutions' graduates – 22% said that there is rather insufficient information but 10% completely insufficient. It shows that in education programs, people graduate without being allocated a professional qualification or that they are not explicitly oriented to a specific profession group (e.g., studies of economics) young people have a lack of understanding about possible employment after graduation from higher and vocational education institution. One of the main reasons for choosing the wrong study program and discontinuing of studies during the first years of education is insufficient information about the study program and employment possibilities. The urgency of this problem is approved by the study “Correspondence of vocational and higher education programs to requirements of the labour market – 418 respondents or 9% of people surveyed who had studied in the period from 1991 to 2006 stated that they discontinued education due to wrong selection of education institution and specialty. Continuing education is influenced by various collateral factors, for example, suggestions of parents and friends, location of the education institution and various stereotypes about employment possibilities in the labour market. Due to the fact that the number of higher education institutions is growing and prejudice about vocational education is formed then scholars prefer further education in a secondary school and higher education institution. In 2001, 33% of scholars continued education in vocational education institutions but in 2004 – only 30%. The opposite process is taking place in higher education – in 2001, studies were started by 60% but in 2004 – 70%. The number of people who have acquired secondary education and choosing vocational education is also decreasing (from 12% to 8%). This situation is facilitated by the assumption that a precondition for successful integration with
the labour market is higher education. However, this often leads to the wrong selection of education institution and study program and then to discontinuing of education. If this trend is maintained then there will be threats for fields of the economy that need qualified and professionally prepared employees for performance of various specific tasks. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has identified the main objectives of a career development support system by researching career development support system that has been created in various countries. Their achievement would not only facilitate youth transition between various education levels and integration with the labour market but would provide career support in a wider context. A career support system includes services for persons of any age in order to ensure the selection of education and profession, improvement of professional qualification as well as career planning. A career support system helps to reconsider ones own ambitions, interests, qualification and talents and understand the structure of the labour market and education system. Information about employment and education possibilities within scale of this system is being prepared, analyzed, systemized and where necessary made more available for clients. Accomplishment of a career support system activities is intended in the reaching of three main objectives. The objective of learning (knowledge) envisages investments in human resource development in the aspect of lifelong learning, professional qualification and improvement of skills, improvement of education system operation efficiency (decreasing of number of discontinued studies, increasing of number of graduates), a career support system as a tool to improve the labour market demand and supply levelling. The objective of the labour market is to improve correspondence of labour market demand and supply by decreasing the number of unemployed, improving mobility of the labour force, and the objective of social fairness – to create possibility to align with the labour market for people with a low qualification, immigrants, ethnic minorities and people with special needs. Alternative analysis from the aspect of problem solving Situation analysis in strengthening of professional qualification identifies the main problem related to reform of the vocational education system – a transition from a self-sufficient system to an open and flexible self-developing system that also envisages a career development support system as close to the audience as possible. The objective of reform is to create a levelled, self-regulating system in Latvia corresponding to the vocational education system for the state and labour market necessities that would facilitate competitiveness in the local and European market. One of the tasks is to develop a single vocational education development strategy for all of the country as a precondition for selection of career education and career consulting field and target groups. On the scale of a career development support system improvement, MW is developing a PCCSA function concentration for requalification activities for unemployed adults and adults who are not working. PCCSA regional centres and consultants provide information support for approximately 40 thousand clients annually. The change of such a large and experienced institution and given of the functions and competence of education institutions there is an
identifiable risk for career support system. A large part of PCCSA clients (scholars, employed, vocational education institutions' students and their parents) may not receive the informative and counselling system in full but a temporary system until the full development of a career development support and counselling system in the higher and vocational education institutions system. The order of CM No 214 “Improvement of career development support system” from March 29, 2006 envisages MES to perform the development of amendments for LHE about career education function ensuring at higher education institutions until the end of 2007. With the LPE amendments (October 11, 2006; Section 6) a norm was made about the implementation of professional orientation and career education in the vocational education system. A problem is caused by the implementation of this delegation on time and ensuring of the coordination with strategic objectives. At the moment, career development support activities at education institutions are preformed in a decentralized manner and are not coordinated. They are informative and counselling services of general education, vocation education institutions, government administration authorities, non-government and private sector that include all territories of the country and are directed most to most various types of audiences. If this system is maintain, then the improvement trend in awareness and career development field is not going to change. Results of the PAGHVEIAG study identify insufficiency of one basic element – the availability of information about employment possibilities after graduation. Aligning of higher and vocational education institutions’ students and graduates with the labour market is slow and ineffective, especially for graduates of vocational education institutions. The study results identify further that 30-40% of students and graduates may not be ensured with information necessary for then and support of consultants for accomplishment of their interests in the labour market. It may have an unfavourable effect on the filling of vacancies as well as in delaying the economic development in general. Alignment of graduates with the labour market is happening in two stages: work during studies and starting of work after graduation. In general, 70% of full time students and 62% of budget students were working their during studies and thereby aligning with the labour market during and before graduation. It explains the faster and more complete return of specialists that show understanding and knowledge of students and graduates about the requirements of employers. In the future, this issue will be solved by the provided Alternative I. Vocational education system students and graduates are those who face difficulties to integrate into the labour market. It might have several significant reasons, which were found in the PAGHVEIAG research. These difficulties are determined not only by the dissatisfaction with payment for work, provided environment or possibilities for growth but in a large extent by the wrong selection of specialty and thereby a large number of dropouts during studies, inability to positions oneself in the labour market and low motivation to work in the selected profession. Alternative I provides career development system improvement activities that are directed towards the selection of field of studies by higher and vocational education students and
developing of a target-oriented career after studies. The objective of the alternative is to achieve employment of graduates in the shortest time possible after graduation and to facilitate their work career in the selected profession. Education and career courses for higher and vocational education institutionsÂ’â€™ graduates are significantly affected by the career support system activities' accomplishment on the level of elementary and secondary education that is recommended to be assessed in other research performed for this reason. The ratio of dropout students at higher education institutions founded by state and legal entities from the total number of students has increased during the last three academic years in full and part time studies. Among higher education institutions colleges, the ratio of dropout students was 18-20%. In 2004/2005 a.y. 26% of part time studies students were dropout students. It causes problems for dropouts as due to their insufficient qualification, lack of work experience and vocational skills they are not able to align with the labour market successfully. Accomplishment of Alternative I envisages to decrease the number of students who do not complete studies. Students of this target group are evaluated as potential career development support system clients. Currently there is no unitary information about the professions for every thematic field and level of education. By providing a career support system services for pupils and students as it is intended by the education and employment policy planning documents, a corresponding selection of profession would be promoted and that would facilitate the alignment of graduates with the labour market after graduation. Information about the labour market demand and employment possibilities after graduation would make the selection by young people more corresponding to their personal abilities and the interests and requirements of the labour market. Ensuring availability of this information and being determined with school youth about career education issues it would be possible to keep new people in the education system and on the scale of education processes, to support them for selection of a suitable specialty and acquiring of a corresponding qualification. Legal scope for accomplishment of the alternative The legal and normative base for alternative implementation is accepted politically, as well as planning documents and laws and regulations that envisage development of a career development support system and determine mutual harmonizing and a career support system function development in corresponding laws (LHE, LE, LPE), constitution of higher education institutions, regulations of vocational education institutions, etc. The main amendment fields of these documents are related to the distribution of a career development function delegation and the responsibility for accomplishment of functions, process for submitting of reports and control and news to various institutions (ministries, municipalities, education institutions, professional associations, graduates, etc.). Alternative implementation activities According to the tasks of the PAGHVEIAG study, Alternative I envisages the development of a career development support system for the target group of higher and vocational 165
education institutions students and graduates. This alternative is directed towards a career development support system development that includes developing counselling centres and the strengthening of existing centres in total, envisaging 60-65 such centres – at least one in every registered university or college as well as the development of a vocational education career development support system development at least on the regional level, envisaging 527 career development centres in all territories of Latvia. The scope of Alternative I does not include such career development fields as the youth career development service improvement for education institutions of general education and adult career development service improvement. Institutional system of alternative implementation The implementation of the alternative is managed and coordinated by MES in cooperation with MW, ME and institutions subordinated to them as well as higher and vocational education institutions. The existing institutional system is to be maintained. However, it is recommended to review and optimize a separate function accomplishment in the field of cooperation, communication and exchange. Career development and counselling support centre development is included in the existing education system.
6.1.2. Political and economical possibility of the alternative On May 27, 2004, in a common meeting of the EU State ministers of Education, Youth and Culture reviewed issue “On enforcing of a professional orientation policy, system and practice in lifelong learning in Europe”, Latvia accepted the resolution of this council and undertook to ensure professional orientation activities in education and vocational education systems especially in institutions that have an essential role in the making of decisions of a person’s education and career. This resolution is a tool for improvement of the quality of studies and insurance of education. The work group managed by MW prepared the concept “Improvement of career development support system” that was approved by order of CM No 214 on March 29, 2006. The concept determines certain institutional responsibilities of state institutions about systems implementation and a solution was provided – the reorganization of the Professional Career Counselling State Agency by assigning the education institution to deal with career issues of their students. Thereby, with approval of the concept and the document “Guidelines for education development for 2007-2013”, a career service was assignment to all types of education institutions was made. As the result of these activities and the making amendments in LPE (October 11, 2006), the responsibility of MES was enforced about professional orientation and implementation of career education in education (Section 6). The education policy development document “Guideline for education development for 2007-2013” reaching objective “To ensure supply of education corresponding to necessities of development of economy” sets a certain direction of education “Improvement of career education for acquiring of acknowledged further education and development of own career”.
For reaching of the objective the following tasks were named: to enforce career education accomplishing support institutions; to create a national database about education possibilities in Latvia; include career education in the work program of long-term education and support the professional improvement of teachers; to develop and publish materials necessary for career education; preparation of the necessary consultants in higher education institutions to ensure the state career development support system; to support new information and career development centre development in all types of educational institutions and the development of existing centres; to support the development and publishing of education institutions’ web pages, informative, methodology, advertising and other materials. The direct recipients of a career development support system are pupils, students, education institutions, employers and vocational associations. Resources for successful accomplishing of objective are achieved by determining that one of the priorities in Latvia’s policy planning documents is the development of human resources including career support system implementation of education institutions plan. According to the program of Objective 1 for 2004-2006 of the Latvia National Development Plan (Single Programming Document) several activities of ESF projects were accomplished and their objective was to facilitate a successful support system implementation – distribution of information resources, accomplishment of informative activities, etc. Simultaneously, the national program “Insurance of career education program in the education system” on the scale of which materials for teachers were developed – “Career education for Grade 7-9”, “Career education for Grade 10-12”, “Career education in vocational secondary school” as well as a 72-hour program of continuing education for teachers (in scope of this program 283 vocational education institutions’ teachers and 3,536 general education school teachers increased their qualification). The occupational standard “Career consultant” has been approved. This program has been licensed by five higher education institutions in all regions of Latvia. For the planning of financial resources for a career support system implementation for 2007-2013 it is planned to support the following from resources of the state budget: career education, long-term professional improvement of teacher of education work, preparation of career consultants at higher education institutions, enforcing of capacity of career education support institutions as well as using EU structural funds – development of a new information and career development support centre in all types of education institutions and development of existing centres. It is planned to allocate 15-20 million LVL from the state budget and ESF funding for reform of the vocational education system for the period 2007–2013. Employers are also interested in a professional career development system creation and state their readiness to get involved by creating cooperation with the career centres at education institutions. Cooperation between employers and education institutions is already being accomplished and will provide results in the motivation of students at education institutions (workplace scholarships during studies) as well as ensuring guaranteed workplaces in the companies of the employers.
In general, society gains the possibility to receive information and counselling support for development of their knowledge and skills for fulfilment of their working career during all their life. On average, the state is spending 6,500-10,000 LVL for the preparation of one specialist at higher education institutions or colleges depending on the specifics of the education program. Improvement of the career support system would substantially increase the effectiveness of education system by ensuring that students are working according to their acquired education. By evaluating career support system effect on the economic productivity of the labour force increases because employees are ensured the most suitable selection of profession taking into account their abilities and interests. The career support system is directed toward the development of the inhabitants career in the long-term (during their entire life). Thereby, a professional support counselling receiver can more easily plan the improvement of professional qualifications in the context of lifelong learning in order to make timely adjustments to changes in the labour market and receive the necessary competencies.
6.1.3. Financial analysis of the alternative In order to implement the accomplishment of the interests of higher and vocational education institutionsÂ’â€™ students and graduates regarding availability of career counselling then it is necessary to implement the norm in the Law of Higher Education about professional career support function adding to the operation of universities and colleges determining MES as the competent institution about implementation and control of this norm. For a transfer of the career development support system functions to higher and vocational education institutions it is necessary to envisage additional financing at least at the current price level that according to calculations of PCCSA is 8-10 LVL for one consultation of one client, by planning an increase of 30-50% from the state budget investment and development activities at least for the current financing level in the next 3-5 years and until 2010 reaching 90% allocation from the necessary MES financial calculation for the vocational education system. Good experience from older EU member states and world countries signifies that on average the number of 3 professionals is sufficient for 1,000-3,000 students depending on the specifics and trends of studies and the labour market. Alongside career consultants there are psychologists and career researchers who are working in career centres that forms 3-10 employees according to the delegation of functions and specifics of the target group. Taking into account the experience of PCCSA, the number of career development support centres could be 27 with on average three consultants in each. Thereby it can be evaluated that for the salaries of centre employees it is necessary to have 580 thousand LVL. In total, it is necessary to have 120 thousand LVL investments for the development and 200 thousand LVL annually for maintenance taking into account that each workplace on average costs 1500 LVL. When adding the purchase of fixed assets and current assets then the development of the system requires 320 thousand LVL of financial resources. Thereby for ensuring the 168
centres’ operation it is necessary to have approximately 900 thousand LVL in the first year and 500–600 thousand LVL in every following year. It is important to accent the essential role of researchers in the operation of this centre. With development of a student and graduate data monitoring system information, analytic and study usability role, roles of data in process analysis and the acceptance of decisions is increasing. A career development support centre operation, report, study and analytic base is to be included in the monitoring system of higher and vocational education institutions’ students and graduates by creating the subsystem “Career education”. Education institutions do not have free assets for development of career development support centres. Thereby a financial risk exists if the necessary additional financial resources will not be allocated. The system can be created in a period of 2 to 3 years by dividing the necessary financing in parts. If a counselling centre development is made in all higher and vocational education institutions then the capital investments that are necessary are 150 thousand LVL in the first year. Maintenance of a career development support centre requires approximately 50 thousand LVL to each education institution and in total it forms 1 million LVL a year but for the period of three years the necessary amount is 3 million LVL. A counselling centre system does not have to be made from the very beginning because the responsible institution is MES and corresponding institutions that are subordinated to it. Additionally, career consultant qualification improvement is envisaged by the MES concept “Improvement of career development support system” and for this objective 2.9 million LVL are planned to be spent until 2009.
6.1.4. Socio-economical analysis of the alternative One of the conditions, in order to ensure the priorities “Preparing of the labour force for demand of the labour market” of the Latvian National Development Plan for 2007-2013 accomplishment is to improve the career development support system by providing professional orientation and career counselling for inhabitants in education institutions and place of residence. The essential meaning of the implementation of this system in education institutions is in the context of lifelong learning because acquired skills regarding career planning and development are necessary for continuous growth during all of life. Rapid changes in the labour market impose higher requirements for employees competences. Thereby, accomplishment of the basic elements of a career development support system in the long-term will facilitate the acquisition of the skills necessary for individuals that are necessary for further selection of education and profession; motivation for further education and employment in fields necessary for economic development; the possibility to receive support for transition from education to the labour market as well as at various education levels. Companies, in cooperation with education institutions and providing places for internships, work during summer and by organizing presentation and taking part in career days introduce youth to professions, positions and the necessary knowledge that is necessary for accomplishment of the requirements at the company and allocation a person as a potential 169
employee. In total it will create motivation of youth for further activities. It ensures support for the communication with potential employers. By implementing a career development support system and working with a target audience of schools receive a motivated, active person that is willing to study. It provides a possibility to improve the quality of the education program and in general to improve the environment of studies in an educational institution. The system implementation is one of the activities that provide a possibility to decrease the number of dropouts at the beginning of studies. In communication with employer, an education institution receives news about the labour market for further ensuring of services and improvement of the study program.
6.1.5. Possible implementation risks of the alternative and their elimination activities Alternative implementation risks are related to insufficient financing of higher and vocational education institutions. Additional financing for investments in the development of centres, MES has to envisage from the state budget in midterm project that CM indicatively approved till the period of 2009. Thereby, allocation of resources is possible in the volume of existing resources or by their redistribution by priorities or MES has to provide a grounding and request additional financing determining the career development support system development as a priority. Until 2009, the mid-term budget determines that a knowledge based society is a priority according to NDP for 2007-2013. Alternative implementations risks are connected with specialists-consultant – their number and qualification is insufficient. By accomplishing the ESF co-financed national program “Ensuring of career education program in the education system” “Career consultant” occupational standard was developed by there are no indicators prepared for assessment of their performance. In the current situation, when vocational education system reform is taking place, the career support standard and qualitative indicators are being developed and coordinating them with requirements of the EU, the Organization of Economic Development and Cooperation and world good practice. Alternative implementation risks are intensified by state higher and vocational education institution administration that includes the competencies of several ministries. Field administrative barriers facilitate the fragmentation of academic and vocational education and delays rational and effective usage of financial and material resources. In order to eliminate deficiencies it would be necessary to set a single state vocational education institution administration model that also includes a unified structuring and operation model of a career support system by redistributing specific support field and target groups according to the main operation field of the education institution. Simultaneously, with optimization of vocational education institutions performance and development of career support centres, the possible risks of a counselling centre system regarding fragmentation and not being transparent will be lowered. Risk and quality management of alternative implementation is ensured by MES that has a competency of vocational education system reform and career development support system. It is significant to accent that the alternative risk lowering instrument is the 170
coordination of its activities with the students and graduates monitoring system development management that is also the responsibility of MES.
6.2. Creation of the monitoring system of students and graduates (alternative II) 6.2.1. General description of the alternative Characteristic of the situation In order to enact an effective study of the labour market necessities based on monitoring of education institutions' students and graduates it is necessary to have a register of students and graduates. Based on data about individuals in the register according to the interested institution request for the necessity of a detailed study it is possible to create representative sample clusters. Data of the register can also be used in linked studies by combining them with complete observation data (e.g., population census), other sample observation data (e.g., survey of the labour force) and registers (e.g. Inhabitant register, Employed register). Legal grounding for graduates’ personal data processing is in paragraph 5 of Section 7 of the Personal Data Protection Law that states – “the data processing is necessary in order to ensure the public interest “. A certain amount of experience for development of the education institutions’ students and graduates register and ensuring of monitoring has been accumulated by accomplishing a register of children who have reached compulsory school age, an academic staff register as well by developing LEIS and within scale of it – ISHEIL. The project operation field of LEIS and within scale of it, ISHEIL includes informing activities for the development of study content, management, informative service and infrastructure as well as user training at various levels – at education institutions, MES and institutions subordinated to it. Project accomplishment was started in 1997 and it was finished in 2005 envisaging to be continuous in the following years (it is mainly related to the modernization of hardware and software of the provided information technologies, education of IT teachers, maintenance of developed registers, completion of development of education management information system). Education management by LEIS and ISHEIL ensures e-government and electronic document exchange in every education institution. From education institutions registers, laws and regulations regalement Pupils register who have reached the compulsory school age and register of academic staff in higher education institutions and colleges. The academic staff register according to Section 87 of LHE requirements envisage to record the following data about the person, first name, last name, ID number, data when accomplishment of responsibilities are started, scientific sectors, sub-sectors corresponding to the position, and education program group name.
Pupil register development in schools is determined by CM Regulation No 439 “Procedure for accounting of children who have reached the age of compulsory education” from December 28 of 1999. This regulation has been issued according to paragraph 5 of Section 14 and the third part item 11 of section 17 and fourth part of section 13 of LE. Accounting of children who have reached compulsory education age is performed and information about children who have reached the compulsory education age is updated every year and it refers to children in the ages from six to eighteen years. Information about children who have reached compulsory education age include the child’s name and last name, ID number, residence address and code, data about education institution that the child has entered and left. CM Regulation No 439 “Procedure for accounting of children who have reached the age of compulsory education” is mainly directed to determine the number of children in the age of 6-18 year of age and who have not acquired compulsory elementary education. The district or city education authority verifies information received from MES about children who have reached compulsory age of education and do not attend school in cooperation with the department of OCMA, a branch of theocial Insurance Agency, municipality registry office, police department and other institution who accumulate data about children who have reached compulsory age of education as well with local municipalities that organized children education in education institution after clarifying of location of a child. The local municipality informs the district or city education administration after the child is established in an education institution. It submits the corresponding data to MES annually before December 15. Even though Section 26 of LHE states that students along with academic staff form the academic staff, there is a lack of external regulating norms for the accounting of students. The student register so far was developed based on the Regulation of CM No 368 “Procedure and term how higher education institution submits information about its operation to MES” from August 14, 2001. Higher education institutions have to submit information about students in an electronic form but this is a compulsory requirement only since 2004. However, starting from May, 2006 these regulations have been cancelled. New regulations of CM No 348 “Procedure how higher education institution and college submit information about its operation to MES” from May 2 of 2006 have been issued according to the second part of Section 75 of LHE and they came into effect from May 10 of 2006 and they do not envisage a student register. Alternative analysis from the aspect of problem solving Currently, regulations and laws do not envisage a centralized aggregation of personal data about students and graduates of higher and vocational education institutions. Education institutions may perform processing of their student data but they have to submit accumulated information about the number and content of students, as well as about those who studied, those who have received an academic degree or professional qualification during the academic year. Currently there is no possibility to verify the accomplishment of Section 47 of
LHE that determines that simultaneously it is allowed to study for the assets of the budget only in one study program. Existing laws and regulations do not envisage the possibility for MES to update personal data in relation to education institution graduate addresses for performance of graduates’ professional operation. For example, the letter that MES sent to DIR OCMA asking a favour to provide graduates addresses, first name and last name for performing of the PAGHVEIAG study because it was in the interest of society. The answer was the conclusion of Data State Inspection that DIR OCMA does not have a legal grounding to receive first name, last name and address of graduates to MES. It was accented in the conclusion that according to the first part of section 10 of the State administration structure law, state administration is under force of law and rights; it operates according to the scale of competencies set by laws and regulation and may use its authority only according to the meaning and objective of the authorization. The diploma register mentioned in Section 59 of LHE does not envisage the receiving and maintaining of ID number of graduates in this register. The diploma register about diploma records title of a diploma, and not a degree and/or name of qualification. Thereby the state has not created a law and regulation base for the monitoring of professional operation and studies of education institutions graduates according to their acquired qualification. Legal grounding in existing laws and regulations for receiving and processing of students and graduates data is insufficient. Development of a monitoring system allows eliminating differences in statistical accounting and data of the Student register that is explained by different ways for receiving of information. It is necessary to develop a higher and vocational education institutions' students and graduates register with MES as a data processing system administration so that it would be possible to perform regular (once in two or three years) observations of a representative sample on higher and vocational education institutions’ students and graduates based on reliable and sufficiently detailed information about the professional occupation of graduates after graduation. In the procedure determined by laws and regulations data system administrator based on requests of various users would prepare and provides a summary of requested information. The data processing system administrator or operator could be another institution that could perform functions that are similar to those that were previously accomplished by LEIS and ISHEIL. In order to do that it is necessary to amend LHE and LPE and envisaging that education institutions provide to MES data about first name and last name, ID number, title of education program acquired academic degree and professional qualification of students and graduates to MES. Personal data by the data processing system administrator would be submitted annually to CSB that would update graduates’ addresses and telephone number and would regularly perform graduate sample surveys – two, five or ten years after acquiring of the last diploma. Survey results would be published.
Experience of such surveys in the state statistics system is accumulated in Norway, Finland and Sweden. Possibilities of data analysis would increase also for MES that would be able to perform practical studies on lifelong education and graduate – career possibilities itself or order them from science institutes. Results of such studies could be used for making of a prognosis about the labour market and education system, effectiveness analysis of accomplishment of new laws and regulations, etc. A Student and graduate register is an important precondition for performance for the professional operation of graduates. In order for monitoring to provide, detailed data about graduates it is necessary to perform sample surveys regularly. The PAGHVEIAG study can be regarded as the first significant sample study of this kind. For example, in Sweden professional operation follow up studies of graduates are regularly performed after every two years and they are performed by Statistics Sweden. From nine million residents of Sweden 6.5 thousand of secondary education school and 6.5 thousand of higher education institutions graduates are surveyed. Also in this situation according to the assessment of Swedish experts based on a small number of qualification/ profession graduates groups it is hard to perform a trend analysis and make a prognosis. Thereby using classification, Swedish specialists unite graduate similar groups with a small number of graduates in larger groups with higher acquired qualification aggregation level. In Sweden, the education institution student and graduate database is maintained according to laws and regulations by Statistics Sweden that also makes a regular observation of samples. Sometimes studies are done in cooperation with universities. A Student and graduate database in this country is a part of a long-term created general and specific register base. Improvement and usage of these registers is based on effective cooperation of the National Higher Education Agency, National labour Market Council, and Statistics Sweden. Since 1985, the Swedish education register contained data about inhabitants in the age of 16-74 years about their education status, highest received education, and year when it was acquired. It is recommended that a student and graduate monitoring system in Latvia is developed according to the Swedish example as well as to perform regular observation of an education institutions graduates sample. Unfortunately, currently there is no single register of Latvia’s vocational and higher education institutions’ students and graduates. We recommend including a norm about regular personal data (including ID number, etc.) receiving from education institutions in Law of Education and Law of Vocational education and future Law of Higher Education. We support the opinion of CSB that a database of education institutions’ students and gradates that would be made of data provided by education institutions would provide personal data and other information based on laws and regulation that could be possibly used for a regular study that would be done by MES as well as CSB in cooperation with higher education institutions and science study institutes. Unfortunately, possibilities of higher education institutions and science study institutes to update addresses of their students and graduates in comparison to MES and other state institutions are not equal. On August 11 of 2006, Regulations of CM No 639 “On pricelist of paid services of Office of Citizenship and 174
Migration” states that pricing for data of one person is 0.70 LVL (VAT is not applied to this service), i.e. for ¼ more than before. MES and other state institutions do not have to make these kinds of payments. Including of sensitive data (e.g., ethnic aspect) in graduates' surveys could decrease the response rate. Thereby, further in studies of education institutions graduates it is recommended to included a question about language of instruction like it is in Sweden – “if person was born in the state or in a foreign country” Receiving of personal data from the student and graduates register as well as other registers for necessity of studies to receive summarizing information have to be grounded by laws and regulations (in Law of Science operation, future LHE or in constitution of higher education institutions). Taking into account that since the Law about declaring of place of residence that came into effect on July 1 of 2004 (both in 2003 and 2004) the number of those that have changed permanent residence place from one administrative territory has rapidly grown and has exceeded 60 thousand compared to 30 thousand in previous years (CSP 2005: 18) as well as the fact that the actual place of residence often does not correspond to the declared one, then further it is necessary to record the actual place of residence of the student at the moment when studies are started and concluded. Information about those who have acquired a qualification and graduates of education institution referring to their professional operation after graduation should be included in the State statistics information program for every specific year. The responsible authorities and information receiving source could be identified as CSB and MES. Maintenance of the MES register could be trusted to Latvia’s LEIS that has accumulated experience and has trained staff. However, legal and organizational status of LEIS as well as reliability and completeness of data has to be improved. A higher and vocational education institutions’ student and graduate register is important for the education system because it: x Provides necessary information about lifelong learning of inhabitants of Latvia transferring from one education level to another or sometimes receiving repeated education, increasing qualification with help of formal and informal education; x Ensures necessary information about professional operation of students and graduates after or during acquiring of education. Tasks of the register are as follows: x To provided the possibility for interested parties to verify formal education – this possibility is necessary accepting pupils/students at education institutions or accepting a new employee for a work position; x To ensure the necessary information for approving of a decision for planning and accomplishment of education and economic policy. Parties interested in the development of higher and vocational education institutions graduates monitoring system are corresponding ministries (MES, ME, MW), state agencies,
Council of Higher Education, Higher Education Quality Evaluation Centre, higher and vocational education institutions, employers, vocational associations non-government organizations, career counselling centres, recruiting companies, applicants and their parents, candidates of finals, students and graduates. Legal scope for accomplishment of the alternative The higher and vocational education system structure and its operation is determined by LHEI and LPE and legal and legislation regulations and law subordinated to them. LHEI will be substituted by LHE that is currently being developed. Its new version has to include delegation to MES for development and maintenance of a student and graduate monitoring system. In its turn, the vocational education student and graduate register should be determined by LPE that regulates the field or its development and to envisage delegation with LE that is under the umbrella law. Currently the existing bases of legal and legislation norms does not completely ensure receiving of characterizing information and acquiring of data about higher and vocational education staff and graduates education process further course in laws, legal and legislation documents that are directed towards the assessment of education system efficiency and increasing of it. It is necessary to review and improve several norms in order to ensure development of a monitoring system as well as its successful operation. Paragraph (4) of Section 5 of LHEI envisages that “higher education institutions organize their operation in the interests of the society as well as inform society about its operation, direction of studies and science studies and possibilities by facilitating choosing of studies and study work selection according to individual’s interests and abilities. They provide for society the acquired scientific, art and professional cognitions, methods and study results” by developing information circulation and data servicing systems and register for this purpose. Alternative implementation activities The register of higher and vocational education institutions’ pupils/ students and graduates is a centralized database that contains standardized and objective information about the acquired formal education of every inhabitant of Latvia as well as about education documents issued to inhabitants. The register should include elementary, secondary, vocational and higher education (also informal education if possible) and ensure data about education acquired in the lifelong period. Implementation of a monitoring system envisages the developing of data and information system about students and graduates of higher and vocational education institutions. The address base of this information system would be a base for creation of a sample cluster in order to perform quantitative surveys about the life course of graduates after graduation.
Alternative includes two main tasks: Necessary amendments and supplements to legal documents and legislation laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia (see before); Development of a register of higher and vocational education institutions’ students and graduates: Development of database management information system architecture, design and documentation envisaging a link with other registers (Student register, Diploma register, Inhabitant register etc.), Software development and testing, Training of servicing staff as well as an education institution employee responsible for data input, Data input in the register database when data is not available from existing registers, Technical administration of the system during operation – supervision of server, user correct management and technical support, etc.. Institutional system of alternative implementation The following institutional system is recommended by accomplishment of the alternative: x The responsible institution is MES that is being a delegated function of development and maintenance of Register of higher and vocational education institution pupils/ students and graduates envisaging financing from the state main budget for the new budget program “Monitoring of graduates”; x Register of higher and vocational education institution pupils/ students and graduates is being integrated with CSB, the labour force quantitative survey performance by allocating necessary resources to CSB for this objective; x Adopting good practice of Northern countries and EU member counties (Italy, Netherlands, Great Britain, etc.) for the operation insuring of a Register of higher and vocational education institution pupils/ students and graduates it is necessary to create an education institutions cooperation network (decentralized database management system). A good example for such cooperation is LEIS and ISHEIL and thereby development of a register on the basis of LEIS would be cheaper than development of a completely new register; x $monitoring system of pupils/ students and graduates has to be created by cooperating with the state agency “Latvia Statistics and The labour Market Prognoses Institute” (this agency will have available the labour force demand and supply prognosis models that are developed in the labour market study “System study of the labour market demand long-term prognosis and analysis of possible improvement”; x By developing a Register of higher and vocational education institution pupils/ students and graduates it is recommended to integrate with internationally acknowledged graduates monitoring systems, e.g., EU Member State education institutions’ graduate database network EAL-NET, etc. 177
6.2.2. Political and economical possibility of the alternative The legal grounding of graduates’ personal data processing is the Personal data protection law. Result of development of monitoring system of pupils/ students and graduates is data and information analytic and study system that provides reliable and easily usable information, reports and prognosis. All interested institutions (MES, ME, MW, CSB, etc) in development of such a system who need data about educatees or education institutions’ graduates for education, economy, employment, culture and other field policy accomplishment. Thereby a monitoring system is a necessary informative and analytic instrument for policy development, those who are making decisions, state administration institutions, societies and foundations, inhabitants groups (mainly pupils and students) and political organizations. Development of a monitoring system can be limited by education institutions founded by legal entities rejecting to publish information with commercial value. Thereby, it is necessary to make amendments and supplements in the legal norms of the Republic of Latvia that was mentioned before. Students and graduates are waiting from the monitoring system support in the creation of career as well as development, support for integration with the labour market and lifelong learning during all of life. The monitoring system will be able to ensure than in an indirect manner, i.e. Register of higher and vocational education institution pupils/ students and graduates and other databases will allow the acquiring of data in order to receive career counselling on thescale of a career education system. It is important to mention that there is no necessity to build a monitoring system from the beginning but it is necessary to improve the management system of the existing database. A monitoring system can be created on the bases of LEIS and ISHEIL by integrating management systems of these databases with data registers that exist in the country. Based on this forerunner it is possible to create monitoring system within 2-3 years. Resources from the central government budget and EU structural fund financial resources are available for the development of a monitoring system. Firstly, MES in the action plan “Declaration about accomplishment of activities intended by CM in the field of education, science and sports” envisages informatization of all state and municipalities institutions with an objective to continue LEIS and ISHEIL projects in cooperation with e-government strategy accomplishers in the scale of ERAF national program ““E-government base infrastructure development and improvement”. Secondly, during 2007-2013 it is planned to accomplish an education system informatization program “Information and communication technologies for education quality” (it also may be regarded as a continuation of the LEIS project). This program is directed towards improvement of the education system management efficiency. The special Assignment Minister of Electronic Government Affairs is responsible for that.
6.2.3. Financial analysis of the alternative According to experts assessment, development of a Register of higher and vocational education institution pupils/ students and graduates costs 200 400 LVL but further maintenance of the register – 101 400 LVL annually. These expenses do not include analytic service costs that are planned by every institution that is performing data analysis and processing (e.g., Latvia Statistics and The labour Market Prognoses Institute, MES, PCCSA, career counselling centres of higher and vocational education institutions, etc.). These expenses can be decreased by 30% if software developed in the LEIS project for the period of 2001-2003 is used. In addition, expenses in related education institutions may arise by preparing data for incorporating of data in the monitoring register when transferring to single, standardized data and information format and transition time is necessary. MES is responsible for the planning of resources necessary for a monitoring system development and maintenance by submitting information about the necessary financing to Secretariat of Special Assignment Ministry of Electronic Government Affairs in the scale of the education system informatization program “Information and communication technologies for quality of education”.
6.2.4. Socio-economical analysis of the alternative As a result, the main beneficiaries of alternative accomplishment are institutions responsible for planning and accomplishment of education and employment policies and mainly MES, ME and MW. Indirect beneficiaries are employers and inhabitants that wish to acquire education for accomplishment of their professional career as well as interest in education. The remaining two alternatives observed in the PAGHVEIAG study depend also on the accomplishment of this alternative because the Register of higher and vocational education institution pupils/ students and graduates is an information source for the career support centre operation (Alternative I) and improvement of motivation for working in the chosen profession of educatees and graduates (Alternative III that is mainly directed towards improvement of the higher and vocational education financing system).
6.2.5. Possible implementation risks of the alternative and their elimination activities Monitoring development risks due to heterogeneity and technical format (it refers to database software and user software) are mainly related to the integration of various databases and registers into a single system. These risks can be decreased by ensuring a possibility for developers of the Register of higher and vocational education institution pupils/ students and graduates to connect to registers and databases of other state administration institutions. Taking into account the possibilities of modern information possibilities it is possible to combine any databases but in order to accomplish that there is the necessity for time and resources (special programming tools for combining of databases are being developed).
Thereby, preparing technical specification for development of a Register of higher and vocational education institution pupils/ students and graduates it is recommended to perform an initial study of the registers database architecture to find all databases and registers necessary for the operation of the monitoring system. Risk decreasing activity in the short-term is the gradual development of the system with gradual data and information format transfer to currently involved institution databases ensuring standardization in a 1-2 year period.
6.3. Increasing for motivation to work for educatees and graduates in the chosen profession (alternative III) 6.3.1. General description of the alternative Characteristic of the situation During previous years the number of students has increased. In 1997/1998 a.y. there were 64,948 students at higher education institutions including 31,633 that were financed by budget assets but in 2005/2006 a.y. – 131,072 students but only 24,871 (19%) were financed by the budget. By analyzing students distribution among thematic fields of education it can be concluded that in 2005/2006 a.y. the largest percent of students was in social science, commercial science and legal science fields – 54% (including 92% self-financing students), education and humanities – 12.3% (7.2%), engineering sciences and construction sciences – 9.9%, natural sciences and mathematics – 5.5%. As it is seen then there is a large disproportion in the distribution of students, especially among students who pay for their studies themselves. Evaluating the number of prepared specialists and vacancies necessary for the labour market it has to be taken into account that the state finances only one third of the total number of students. In order to comply with the requirements of the labour market in a flexible manner there is a necessity for change in the financial mechanism The valid LHEI determines the procedure for financing of higher education institutions. In the project of LHE norms are implemented that will help amore flexible financing of new study programs – so far financing was available only to accredited study programs but new norms of the law will allow the receiving of state assets by financing also private higher education institutions in accomplished study field that are urgent for the state. Financing will be allowed to be announced in the procedure of the contest that will facilitate the improvement of study quality. The long-term conceptual document: Growth Model of Latvia: Human in the First Place” the main growth resource for Latvia is the nominated knowledge and wisdom of inhabitants and their skilful and object-oriented usage. Delay of qualified specialists’ preparation for economic sectors is caused by the disproportion between the general education and vocational education program selection after elementary school. The number of young people who after acquiring elementary education choose to continue studies in secondary school and are not choosing studies in vocational education institutions is increasing. In 2000, 34.8% of 180
elementary school graduates continued studies at vocational education institutions but in 2005 – 29.9%. It means that the demand of the labour market for various specialists is worse and worse ensured. In Latvia, the ratio of educatees in vocational education programs on the secondary education level is comparatively low: 45% men and 31% women. It is considerably less than in other European Union states: in Czech Republic – 85% men, 76% women, in Netherlands – 72% and 52% respectively and in Denmark 59% and 47%. In Latvia the causes for the disproportion of educatees in vocational education programs on the secondary education level is insufficient orientation to practical work, duration for acquiring of vocational secondary education that is one year longer than in general secondary education, the comparatively long distance of vocational education institutions from home, lack of material resources that do not allow living at dorms (size of the stipend for students with high grades is 20 LVL but for low-grade students – 8 LVL a month), outdated infrastructure, lack of crediting for vocational education institutions’ pupils, large ratio of pupils with low basic skill level and low motivation to study, insufficient professional orientation or career education in the period of elementary education, insufficient cooperation between vocational education institutions and employers, insufficient financing for a vocational education system in the long-tem, content of vocational education, competence of pedagogues and program accomplishment quality that not always is corresponding to the requirements of the labour market. Results of the survey of vocational education institutions’ graduates allow the making of a conclusion that 30% are completely informed about employment possibilities, rather sufficiently – 38%, insufficiently – 10% of graduates. Graduates stated that work corresponds to the requirements of the surveyed person in a large or very large extent – 63%, but does not correspond – in 5% of cases. Work to a large or very large extent corresponds to the interests of the surveyed person in 67% and it completely not corresponding – in 5% of cases. Work of a survey person does not always correspond to the person’s qualification. In a large or very large extent it corresponds for 55% but does not correspond completely – in 24% of cases. Graduates are not always using their acquired knowledge at workplaces. From the total number of surveyed 52% are using in their current work knowledge and skills acquired at the vocational education institution at a large or very large extent but 17% of graduates are using none of acquired knowledge and skills. Study and student credit cancelling for those specialists who after acquiring of higher education are working according to their acquired education and state or municipal institutions that with an order are determine by CM is a mechanism that is effectively working in practice. It ensures allocation of specialists in professional fields that are important for the state. State administration specialists were included in the list of professions where employed are cancelled credits from the government budget in 2004. In 2006 credit for studies for 76,646 LVL was cancelled for 968 specialists who were working in professions necessary for the state. Student credit was cancelled for 846 from the total amount of 117,697 LVL. However, the volume of cancelled credits is insufficient in order to solve the employment problem in certain state sectors, for example, state administration. Legislation 181
allows the solving of this problem with CM regulation fields and the number of specialists for whom it is required to cancel credits. For part time students who are working simultaneously there are insufficient social guarantees for acquiring of vocational education program. The second part of Section 157 of The labour Law determines that it is the employer’s responsibility to provide study leave for passing of state exams or development of a diploma paper as well as presentation and this vacation may not be shorter than 20 working days a year. During this study vacation, the employee is being maintained by work remuneration. However, part time students by law are not guaranteed with a study and internship vacation. Internship (its duration during the study program may reach 26 weeks) realization is problematic if work is not related to the chosen vocational study program specialization. Employers often are not interested to provide paid study leave or unpaid vacation to such employees. In order to facilitate the availability of vocational education and facilitate employers to support employees who are simultaneously acquiring vocational education it is necessary to envisage the state budget financing so that it would cover the part time educatee work remuneration during practice or study vacation. Results of the PAGHVEIAG study showed that in general in the labour market high evaluation is given to work experience: a graduate with work experience has high chances to get a job or find another one than a graduate without any experience. Experience also has an effect on remuneration – among graduates of higher and vocational education institutions the ones who were working during studies are currently earning more than those who did. Field experts think that higher education institutions should facilitate the combination of studies and work in order to facilitate the possibilities for working students to use distant education, and for specialists to increase their qualification during the work process. It is essential to level the acquiring of education with maintaining of work accomplishment quality. Alternative analysis from the aspect of problem solving In order to increase motivation to study at vocational education institutions, proposal of the alternative is to increase the stipend and number who are receiving it as it arises from reasons for discontinuing of studies or not studying at all. Selection of priorities among youth between studies and earnings is determined by the low standard of living and insufficiency of social guarantees. The alternative envisages solving this problem by the possibility of differentiation of the study stipend for fields that are significant for the state and graduate increasing of them during the education process. Implementation of the provided solutions of the alternative is an expensive and time-consuming process. In parallel to budget financing allocation of ESF is planned. In order to increase the motivation of the employer to get involve in the education process of specialists by covering study vacations for pupils alternative suggest state support instruments for entrepreneurship in fields and those companies that fulfil this request and cover expenses for those specialists who work and study in fields and professions that are necessary for economic
development. Payment or a compensating tax allowance is a preventive activity and an instrument for decreasing the problem or its elimination in the future. Legal scope for accomplishment of the alternative Until the moment when LHE comes into effect, legal grounding for implementation of the Alternative are guidelines for education development for 2007-2013, concept “On stipends”, LE, General education law, LHEI, LPE and legal documents related to them. The essential condition for accomplishing of the alternative is LHE (project of law for the first time was announced in the State Secretariat meeting in September of 2006) that will replace LHEI that is valid at the moment. Alternative implementation activities Alternative implementation activities can be divided in three parts: 1) activities that are directed toward increasing the number of educatees in the next education stages after elementary education or general secondary education acquiring (stimulating educatees to acquired vocational education and training, vocational secondary education and cooperation of employers during education acquiring process); 2) activities to facilitate cooperation of educatees and employees in the process of acquiring of education; 3) activities that facilitate graduate selection of the future career in the acquired profession. A graduate who has completed studies from state assets has no liabilities to the provider of the money – the state. An individual may not work in the acquired profession or even leave the country. A variant is proposed to conclude agreements with the student about working of the corresponding time in the chosen specialty or if leaving a country then according to a certain procedure to reimburse the expense invested in their education process. Assessing this proposal it has to be concluded that maintaining of such a system would require large administration expenses. It is related to several conditions like not all those that start studies from the budget assets complete them; aligning with the labour market is not happening right after graduation. Here it is necessary to mention such conditions as family social conditions, child care leave, wish to improve qualification abroad, etc. It causes problems with the return of the debt and issues of human rights. Accomplishment of focused and according to state development policy increase of amount of stipend and number of stipend receivers could be accomplished differently for those who are studying in various education fields. In order to ensure potential employees for the state in the necessary professions it is recommended that the stipend is levelled to a credit (approximately 170 LVL) for priority fields (natural sciences, environment sciences, engineering sciences, manufacturing and construction, health care) bachelor, vocational and master program students. Study data signify that in these priority fields that have a base of exact sciences has the highest deficiency of specialists. A Stipend would eliminate such a negative trend of discontinuing of studies or to prolonged studies or for example a large number of dropouts in engineering science students (20-30%) during the first years (studies are too complicated in order to combine them with work). The stipend level as a credit would 183
allow the receiving of a stipend for those who are not studying from assets of the budget (usually a stipend is envisaged only for budget students). In order to ensure more active alignment of low qualification employees between studies and labour relationships it is necessary: 1) To make amendments in Section 157 of the The labour Law or in collective agreement to determine the rights of the employee to receive education leave and internship leave maintaining salary or average remuneration; 2) in the the labour agreement or collective agreement procedure for receiving of education leave (e.g., providing of leave based only on application or notice of education institution); 3) to determine that the employer has to cover expenses for employee's education leave if the employee is acquiring education corresponding to the employer’s operation; 4) in cases if the employee is acquiring education does not correspond to the profile of the employer' operation but vocational education, training or internship that is significant for the economy then cover it from assets of the state budget. Thereby it could improve the distribution of pupils who are not studying according to the labour market requirements between vocational education institutions and secondary schools because 20-25% of general secondary education graduates go into the labour market with no qualification and low basic skills. Levelling of stipend to a credit will decrease the number of those who have discontinued studies as well as increase the number of people who have acquired a degree or qualification in priority fields. Educatees who will have agreements with higher education institutions about receiving of such stipend will be motivated to complete studies by acquiring of the appropriate degree or qualification. If degree or qualification is acquired in the time set by CM then the stipend has to be repaid as a credit. Stipend levelling to a credit (80 LVL) is suggested to be envisaged in doctor degree studies if doctor studies are completely timely and the doctor paper is presented accordingly. In order to facilitate preparing of the highest qualification specialists, additional stipends for master and doctor degree program students have to be ensured using ESF assets. In order to accomplish this recommendation, 11 million LVL are necessary. This financing can be made from state budget assets but also from employers' assets by providing tax incentives. Institutional system of alternative implementation The existing institutional system is maintained on scale of which it is recommended to clarify distribution of certain functions by institutions involved (MES, ME, MW, Ministry of Regional development and local government, social partners). Mainly it refers to the exchange of information between ME that is responsible for the prognosis of the labour market including determination of the number of necessary specialists for economic fields in Latvia and MES that is responsible for the preparing of specialists. In order to solve the issue of stipends in the project “On Stipends” of MES concept to implement corresponding norms and perform precise calculations. System implementation, maintenance and management do not require additional costs because this function could be performed by the Study Foundation with one additional staff member.
6.3.2. Political and economical possibility of the alternative Activities provided in the scale of alternatives correspond to the Latvian National Lisbon program for 2005-2008, NDP 2007-2013 and other policy planning documents. Activities of alternative are known and correspond to the Council of Higher Education, Education and Science Trade Union, Latvian Student Federation, Latvian Association of Private Universities and other parties involved in the system. Activities suggested in the alternative are essential for the main beneficiaries of their accomplishment – higher education institutions, graduates, employers, society in general. Alternative activity implementation costs are measurable with assessment of the benefice form all participants of the process, economy sectors in the entire territory of Latvia. Accomplishment of alternative activities is closely related to the development of several other national policy directions, especially to development of the economy, employment and social welfare. Alternative activities are also closely related to the monitoring system development provided in scale of the Alternative II of this study because there is a system information and data source and feed-back for receiving of data, analytic information and prognosis usage for the making of decisions.
6.3.3. Financial analysis of the alternative The conception “On scholarship” developed by MES provides several scenarios for financing for its implementation for four years within 30–40 millions of LVL (the offer of the Latvian Student Federation) or at an average of 14–15 million LVL (the offer of the MES). Whatever the choice of Cabinet of Ministers should be the problem that study crediting is not supporting the opportunities of students and the motivation to acquire study programs fully is not being solved. The alternative offers to increase the number and amount of study credits and student credits within the framework of the Cabinet of Ministers providing the financial rise for the measure up to 120–150 thousand LVL per year (at present – at the average 117 thousand LVL per year). In turn, in the institutions of higher education for studies chosen the rise of scholarship is possible only to 170 LVL per month, planning 3–10 million LVL per year for that. The rise in scholarship for doctor’s studies is provided by EU funds. It is preferable to review the possibility to attract EU funds also for raising the scholarship of higher vocational study programs to prepare specialists in fields that are significant for the national economy. The assessment of experts shows that in 34 university colleges and 24 colleges in Latvia, that offer 250 study programs per year, half-time studies are taken by 48.6 thousand students in university colleges and 55.1 thousand students in colleges, i.e. in total it is 103.7 thousand students. They pay 1070 LVL (440–2500 LVL) per year on average for studies – near to the prime cost of studies. Not all students from this category work. As the study of PAGHVEIAG shows, the specific weight of part time students working during the process of studies is 55–75% of the total amount. Taking as the basis the arithmetical mean– 65%, it is 185
possible to estimate the approximate number of students that need paid leave for studies and examinations – 67–70 thousand working students. Accepting the fact that the system of state administration employs at least 1/3 of students working, 2.7–3 millions LVL are needed per year to provide paid leave for studies and exams of 20 working days in the amount of a minimum salary (120 LVL) for the employed in the private sector as stated by the law. To increase the interest of employers to employ students and to motivate them to already align with the market during studies the alternative offers to cover compulsory paid leave for studies and examinations stated in the law of the labour from the budget in the fields that are favourable for the state in terms of political priorities. The implementation of the measure should be accepted as the support for the state of business and at the same time provision of social security for pupils and students. The implementation is possible in stages or in parts determining the fields and programs, branches of the national economy, professions and other categories for which the repaid leave of studies and examinations may be applied.
6.3.4. Social economical analysis of the alternative Implementing the alternative, three main groups will benefit: employers (opportunity to obtain a skilled labour force for the respective professions), graduates of the institutions of education (opportunity to obtain education that gives higher financial yield if appropriate education/ study program is chosen, and gaining financial supply of the state if necessary to obtain education) and state in general (in this case the state is represented by the MES that has the opportunity to dispose the funding of the state budget more effectively to prepare specialists for the priority branches of the national economy).
6.3.5. The possible risks of implementation of the alternative and the measures of their prevention The possible risks of implementation: 1) Graduates of elementary schools and secondary schools do not want to obtain vocational education (i.e. the supporting system of professional career that motivates the graduates of elementary and secondary schools to obtain industrial or vocationalsecondary education has not fundamentally improved); 2) Employers do not provide the students of vocational education institutions with appropriate work places, thus the students do not have the opportunity to practice during studies; 3) The macroeconomic policy of the state is attracted to the decrease of the budget deficit and inflation thus the financing for education (scholarship, study and student crediting, compensation of leave of studies and examinations for employers etc.) has not been raised;
4) The technical basis of the vocational education institutions do not conform to the present level of technologies, thereby the students do not have the motivation to obtain vocational education.
6.4. The comparison of policies of alternatives Table 13 shows the comparison of three political alternatives chosen by the Ministry of Welfare accordingly to the method of multi-criteria analysis. The specific weight of criteria has been determined accordingly to the significance of assessing criteria and the level of detailed elaboration of the analysis. The criterion “On attainability of aims” has the lowest weight – 0.10, as the aims of alternatives correspond to the directions of policy, strategies and action that are the priorities of National Development Plan for years 2007–2013. All three alternatives are horizontally and mutually complementary. Comparatively low special weight – 0.15 – has the criterion “Institutional assessment” because the institutional system of implementation of alternatives has been consolidated in the legislation of the Republic of Latvia that may serve as a guarantee for the operation of the system that should be improved not developed again. In turn, equivalent statistic weight – 0.25 – has been allocated for the criteria “Political and economical probability”, “Assessment of the effectiveness” and “Assessment of the solution of problems”. The assessment of political alternatives and their mutual comparison shows that the experts of the study of PAGHVEIAG has given the highest evaluation to the establishment of the monitoring system of students of the highest and vocational education. That is understandable because the monitoring system of graduates in its terms is a management information system that provides information necessary both in decision making, and for establishment of a support system of career development and motivation system of graduates. Assessing the number of points for each alternative given in Table 13 it is clear that the first and the second alternative have a similar number of points (the difference is only 0.15 points). Thus both alternatives are equally important and prior comparing to the third alternative. The third alternative has a lower assessment, firstly, because it partially depends on implementation of first two alternatives, and, secondly, the initiators of policy of education and employment have a lower possibility to influence the implementation if this alternative. Regardless of the fact that the MES has the power to improve the policy of education financing, there exist several factors that cannot be affected by the Ministry to motivate the students to work in their chosen profession – the prestige of the profession, the salary in the respective profession, the opportunities to practice, the social factors (households where the person lives that should study, the level of income and education, the accessibility to the social infrastructure), the degree of the education acquired by the person that should study, the quality of the education acquired and opportunities to continue the studies for a higher degree, etc. These indirect factors are the basis to the fact that the third alternative has only a half of the assessment to the criteria “Institutional assessment”
and graduates monitoring are compared per one monitored unit). Assessment of the effectiveness of expenses is accomplished for one year – 2007, accepting that it is possible to implement political alternatives in 2007 (the results will also be similar if the reporting year is accepted to be 2008). Thus the expenses for alternatives are calculated following the prices in 2007, and the newest statistical data of beneficiaries are used (e.g., the total amount of students in 2006/2007 academic year). Expenses of alternatives include both expenses of investment and expenses of residence. To have the possibility to mutually compare the expenses of alternatives, expenses of investment include not the total expenses but the average depreciation of fixed assets per year (undepreciated value divided with the number of years of the depreciation period). Expenses of investment are necessary for the implementation of the first and the second alternative. This capital investment is mostly related to the purchase of information technologies (system software of database management), furniture, computers and office equipment. Thus the period of depreciation of fixed assets is considered to be 5 years. To assess the results of implementation of alternatives quantitively it is necessary to use data of a number of units in the target groups mentioned before. The total number of respondents in each group is given in Table 14 using the following assumptions: x
The students of vocational educational institutions – the total number of students in the vocational education institutions in Latvia in 2004/2005 academic year (the last academic year for which the data is available in the MES);
Students of the institutions of higher education – the total number of students in institutions of higher education in Latvia in 2006/2007 academic year;
Graduates – the number of graduates of vocational educational institutions in 2004/2005 academic year (period from 01.01.2005. to 01.10.2005.), the number of graduates of the institutions of higher education in 2005/2006 academic year (acquired the academic degree or qualification).
Resulting from the implementation of alternatives beneficiaries may also become other target groups mentioned in the Table 12 that are not examined in the analysis of alternatives. Data from table 14 shows that the most favourable is the second alternative in terms of the effectiveness of expenses as it provides the establishment of a monitoring system of students and graduates. The expenses of this alternative per beneficiary (on one unit of monitored within the framework of monitoring) are the lowest (0.67 LVL). The assessment given in the Table 14 conforms to the range of alternatives given in Table 14 acknowledging the second alternative to be the most favourable.
considered to be the graduates of institutions of the higher and vocational education although the mentioned groups may become beneficiaries both in case of the first and the third alternative. Analyzing data given in Tables 13 and 14, we conclude that all three alternatives are necessary to implement but the priority is the second alternative.
6.6. The summary of analysis of political alternatives Results of the PAGHVEIAG study and analysis of the proposed alternatives firstly recommends the development a monitoring system of students and graduates of institutions of higher and vocational education that would provide information and data in decisionmaking in the case of preventive or improvement measures of problematic fields. It is possible to use them both for the improvement of career supporting system, and motivating the graduates to continue studies in the profession chosen. Conclusions and provisions for each alternative are given in the following text.
6.6.1. Conclusions and provisions for improvement of career supporting system The results of the PAGHVEIAG study indicates that a system of career supporting is necessary for both target groups of the present study – students and graduates of institutions of vocational and higher education – to convince of the choice of profession, to change it in time or to improve the knowledge after graduating the educational institution and entering the labour market. The authors of the study advise to increase the accessibility of consultation services of educational and professional choice, and also career planning and search for employment by establishing a career support system of vocational educational institutions at least at regional level, providing 5–27 career supporting centres in the territory of Latvia. In turn, career supporting system of university colleges may be improved by providing 60–65 career development centres in total, at least one in each region for a university or college registered in the Republic of Latvia. The improvement of consultant qualification provides “Statements of Education Development 2007–2013” planning 2.9 millions LVL until 2009. Establishment of new career supporting centres of all kinds of educational institutions and development of the existing centres should be carried using the assets of the state budget and EU funds. A career support system that provides qualitative and sufficient services of career planning and support should be prescribed in the program of career inclusion in the long-term education process and it should be financed by the assets of the state budget, teachers should be qualified professionally for implementation of career education, career consultants should be prepared in university colleges, the capacity for education supporting institutions should be strengthened. 191
The operation of career development and supporting centres, the basis of reports, studies and analysis should be included in the monitoring system of students and graduates of higher educational institutions establishing its subsystem “Career education”. A new institution has not to be established for the comprehensive management of career supporting system and the coordination as the MES and Sciences is responsible for parts involved: Ministry of Welfare and Ministry of Economics and subordinated institutions, and also institutions of higher and vocational education. Establishment of career development and consulting centres is included in the current educational system. Legal grounds should be consolidated to improve career supporting that is already done within the amendments in the Law of Vocational Education (11.10.2006.) stating responsibility of the MES professional orientation and career education implementation into education system (Section 6). In turn, in the Law of Higher Education norm on inclusion of function of the professional career supporting system in the basic operations of university colleges and colleges should be consolidated. The results of the PAGHVEIAG study confirm that one of the aspects that affects the inclusion of graduates of vocational and higher educational institutions negatively in the market is the lack of practical knowledge. This problem should be solved by collaborating the institutions of vocational and higher education, employers and representatives of non-governmental sector, organizing the work of students during the summer, involving students in actual projects that are implemented in companies, and carrying out graduation work on topics essential to the operation of these companies.
6.6.2. Conclusions and provisions in the implementation of a student and graduate monitoring system The results of the “PAGHVEIAG” study indicate that the accessibility to the information and data on employment and alignment with the market of the graduates of institutions of vocational and higher education is inconvenienced. The currently effective laws and regulations provide an all-inclusive opportunity to activate personal data of students and graduates of educational institutions. The alternative offered by the authors of the study “Establishment of effective vocational and higher education institution student and graduate monitoring system based on the study of the labour market needs” advises to re-establish the system that has recently existed in Latvia – ISHEIL with the subsystem of LEIS improving and developing them according to requirements of the current and future educational system. A register of students and graduates of higher and vocational education institutions should be established in Latvia with the MES as the administrator of the data processing system. After request of different users administrator or operator of data processing would prepare and deliver summarized information as stated by the law. The manager or operator of data processing would be some other institution that would carry out similar functions as was previously done by LEIS and ISHEIL. For this purpose, the Law of Vocational Institutions and Law of university colleges should be supplemented prescribing
submission of student and graduate names, surnames, ID number, name of study program, grade and professional qualification to the MES and Science by educational institutions. The manager of the system of personal data would submit the information to the Central Statistics Bureau every year which would update addresses and telephone numbers of graduates and would perform selective inquiry – two, five or ten years after receiving of the last diploma. The results of the inquiry should be published. For monitoring to give detailed information of the graduates the surveys of graduates should be performed regularly. Authors of the study support the opinion of the Central Statistics Bureau that the database of student and graduates register would be used for regular surveys on the basis of regulations that would be performed both by the MES and the Central Statistics Bureau collaborating with higher education institutions and institutes of scientific research. A student register should register the actual residence place of students in the future both at the beginning and the end of studies.
6.6.3. Conclusions and provisions for the improvement of the motivation of students and graduates for employment in the chosen profession In recent years the number of students that pay for studies has increased, and a large disproportion in the division of studies by fields is considerable. The number of specialists prepared and vacancies necessary in the labour market are not balanced. The balance is possible with more flexible financing of the new study programs after reception of a license. Authors of the study advise to allocate the investment also for the private higher education institutions on the topical study directions announcing the competition. More and more youth after obtaining education in elementary schools do not choose vocational educational institutions, but continue to educate in secondary school. Thus insufficient preparation of specialists occurs for the sectors of the national economy as there exists a disproportion in the choice of students to obtain education in secondary schools or acquire a vocational program. Authors of the study advise (1) to continue the rise in financing vocational educational institutions improving the material-technical base and increasing the quality of faculty work; (2) to implement a crediting system of vocational educational institutions that would give the opportunity for low-income families to choose acquisition of professions necessary for the development of the national economy and the labour market. Accepting proper regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers it is necessary to increase the number of persons that have extinguished credits. The amount of cancelled credits is insufficient to solve the problems of employment in certain sectors of the state, for example, state administration. For future market forecasts, an increased number of persons would be necessary that would have cancelled credits accepting proper regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers. The possible offer to extinguish credits should also be applied to work places in the private sector – professions that generally are under the influence of the private sector, for example, engineering – building.
To provide the potential number of employers in the state for the most necessary professions, authors of the study offer to introduce a scholarship equalized to the credit (approximately 170 LVL) for students of bachelor of prior fields (natural sciences, environment sciences, engineering, manufacturing and building, health care), vocational and master’s degree. To solve the question of conception by the MES on scholarship appropriate norms should be implemented in the project and calculate the maximum sums necessary. To implement the system and manage it – large additional expenses are not necessary as it would be carried already by the current Study fund with one additional position. To involve low qualification employers in the study process and provision of legal work flexibility for half-time students which are working at the same time needed: 1) to amend the article Nr. 157 in Law of the labour, determining the right of employee on leave for studies and examinations and leave of practice in contract or collective agreement retaining the salary or average salary; 2) to provide the arrangement of leave of studies and examinations in the contract or collective agreement (for example, assigning it according to application of employee and notice of educational institution; 3) to determine as compulsory obligation for the employer to pay the leave for studies and examinations of student in cases when employee has obtained appropriate education for the operational profile of employer; 4) to determine that in the case of inappropriate education is obtained by the employee for the operational profile of employer but significant vocational education for the national economy the leave of studies and examinations should be paid by the assets of the state budget. To promote the preparing of specialists of higher qualification additional scholarship for master’s degree and doctor’s degree should be provided by the assets of European Social Fund. To implement this provision, 11 million LVL are needed. The financing may be formed not only by the assets of the state budget but also by the assets of employers receiving tax allowances. The previous practice does not provide rational expenditure of the assets of budget regarding to the labour market. A graduate that has finished studies from state assets has no liabilities for the money supplier – the state. Authors of the study advise to conclude an individual contract with the student on an appropriate working time in the profession chosen or to repay expenses resulting from the study process or leaving the country as stated by the law.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors of the study are grateful to ministers of the MES Ina Druviete and Baiba Rivza, the specialists of Higher education department of the MES and Sciences, Vocational education and further education department, Latvian Education Informative system, experts of higher and vocational education, university colleges and vocational education institutions for support in giving the information of the number of graduates for the implementation of project. We are grateful to the board and workers of “DIR OCMA” for updating the addresses for the selective study within the framework of project. We are also grateful to respondents for answering the questions and interviewers – for doing the “field work”. Significant information with notes in the final part of the project was given by the Central Statistics Bureau and representatives of certain institutions, and also participants of expert discussions.
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APPENDIXES INDEX OF APPENDIXES Appendix 1. Number of graduates (excluding graduates of doctoral and resident programs) of higher education institutions of Latvia in 2002/2003 a.y. .............................. 203 Appendix 2. Number of graduates (excluding graduates of doctoral and resident programs) of higher education institutions of Latvia in 2004/2005 a.y. .............................. 205 Appendix 3. Graduates of higher and vocational education institutions being in continuous absence: distribution by country ................................................................... 207 Appendix 4. Thematic blocs and characteristics of questionnaires ..................................... 208 Appendix 5. List of experts of higher and vocational education ......................................... 210
CONTENT OF CD (CD is available at Department of Labor of MW)
1. Results of sample research data file with description of variables 2. Questionnaire of graduates of higher educational institutions 3. Questionnaire of graduates of vocational educational institutions 4. Questions of expertsÂ’â€™ interviews
Appendix 5 List of experts of Higher Education and Vocational Education
Janis Aboltins (†)
Rector of Business University College TurƯba
Study Pro-rector of Riga Technical University
Director of Jelgavas Crafts Secondary School
Director of Vocational Education Centre
Head of Higher Education and Science Department
Rector of Vidzeme University College
Director of Higher Education Quality Evaluation Centre
Principal of Saldus Professional Secondary School
Chairperson of Latvia Adult Education Association
Director of Law College
Chairperson of Advisory Council “Education for All”
Director of Vocational and Further Education Department
Education methodologist of Saldus Professional Secondary School
Principal of Riga State Technical School, President of Vocational Education Institutions Association of Latvia
Head of Financing and Crediting Division of Higher Education and Science Department
Secretary General of the Latvian Rectors’ Council
Deputy Chairperson of the Latvian College Association, Principal of Riga Technical School
Education methodologist of Saldus Professional Secondary School
Deputy Director of Vocational and Further Education Department
Rector of Latvia University of Agriculture
Head of Higher Education Policy Division of the Higher Education and Science Department
Principal of RƝzekne Vocational Secondary School
Principal of Purvciems Crafts School
The study sampled the main problems and barriers of professional operation after graduation of graduates of Latvia’s higher and vocational e...