Latvian national Observatory report 2000
MODERNISATION OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN LATVIA

3.4.1.5. Access to further levels of education and employment

In the 1998/1999 academic year 11,703 students graduated from vocational education establishments; of these 8.7% continued their education at another vocational education establishment, but 17.4% enrolled in higher education establishments, and the other 73.9% entered the labour market. Of all students enrolled in higher education establishments in the 1999/2000 academic year, 6,015 had received their prior education at a vocational education establishment, which means that in the course of time almost every other graduate of vocational schools continues his or her education at the university level. Generally people who have acquired a profession work and study concurrently. According to the study by the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the University of Latvia: “A sociological portrait of Latvian youth”, 17% of graduates of vocational education establishments plan to combine studies at higher education establishments with work. A total of 52% of graduates of vocational education establishments plan to acquire higher education. They choose extramural or evening studies, however there are no statistics on this issue.

In October of 2000, 94,270 unemployed persons were registered with the State Employment Service (SES) of the Ministry of Welfare, including 523 year 2000 graduates of state and local government operated vocational education establishments, who made up 0.5% of the total number of unemployed.

An analysis of the distribution of unemployed graduates of vocational education establishments by region indicates that in those regions where unemployment is highest there is also the highest occurrence of unemployed VET graduates. In the city and surrounding region of Daugavpils 124 graduates of vocational education establishments have been registered as unemployed, which is 22.5% of the total. In Riga the number is 83, or 15%.

In May 2000, during the CSB Labour Force Survey additional questions about acquired education were asked to year 1990 - 1999 VET school graduates. From all graduates of the given period 28% were unemployed, 42% were employed in professions other than those for which they were qualified and only 30% worked in the acquired profession. 29% of graduates of vocational secondary education and 27% of graduates of vocational education were unemployed.

From 1997 when the changes in law “On Compulsory Social Assurance for Case of Unemployment” took place, vocational, secondary and higher school leavers are not social insured, so they cannot get benefit for unemployed. It is the main reason for the difference between number of registered unemployed and the real number of unemployed graduates.

Most employed in the acquired profession were among graduates of social sciences, law and business (58.3%), as well as teacher education (57.1%) programmes. It is likely that the overall depression in agriculture is the reason that only 15.1% of graduates of agriculture education programmes worked in the acquired profession.

33% of VET graduates have acquired additional training after graduating. Almost one third acquired additional training in computer literacy, every fifth - in foreign languages, and the same number - in their speciality. It is interesting that 81% of all those who have acquired additional training in their speciality are employed (70% in their profession and 11% in others). That indicates that there is free competition in the labour market and that new skills should be acquired to achieve more stability in the work place. Of those who attended additional training, but did not work during the reference period, in 31% of cases were trained additionally in computer literacy, 25% - in foreign languages and only 14% in their speciality. (The situation three years ago was - those who attended additional training, but did not work during the reference period in one third of cases were trained additionally in their speciality, in 18% of the cases in foreign languages, in 17% of the cases in computer literacy.) 52% of urban graduates who have acquired additional training did it in computer literacy, but 45% of rural graduates in their speciality. This shows that information technologies are not so popular in rural areas.

The main conclusion is that more and more the labour market requires employees with computer literacy and knowledge of foreign languages. VET schools should provide their students with necessary skills and knowledge during studies, but the problem is that computer specialists and foreign language teachers are in high demand in the labour market and they are not interested in low paid work for state educational establishments, so it is difficult for VET schools to find computer and foreign language teachers.

3.4.1.5. Access to further levels of education and employment

In the 1998/1999 academic year 11,703 students graduated from vocational education establishments; of these 8.7% continued their education at another vocational education establishment, but 17.4% enrolled in higher education establishments, and the other 73.9% entered the labour market. Of all students enrolled in higher education establishments in the 1999/2000 academic year, 6,015 had received their prior education at a vocational education establishment, which means that in the course of time almost every other graduate of vocational schools continues his or her education at the university level. Generally people who have acquired a profession work and study concurrently. According to the study by the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the University of Latvia: “A sociological portrait of Latvian youth”, 17% of graduates of vocational education establishments plan to combine studies at higher education establishments with work. A total of 52% of graduates of vocational education establishments plan to acquire higher education. They choose extramural or evening studies, however there are no statistics on this issue.

In October of 2000, 94,270 unemployed persons were registered with the State Employment Service (SES) of the Ministry of Welfare, including 523 year 2000 graduates of state and local government operated vocational education establishments, who made up 0.5% of the total number of unemployed.

An analysis of the distribution of unemployed graduates of vocational education establishments by region indicates that in those regions where unemployment is highest there is also the highest occurrence of unemployed VET graduates. In the city and surrounding region of Daugavpils 124 graduates of vocational education establishments have been registered as unemployed, which is 22.5% of the total. In Riga the number is 83, or 15%.

In May 2000, during the CSB Labour Force Survey additional questions about acquired education were asked to year 1990 - 1999 VET school graduates. From all graduates of the given period 28% were unemployed, 42% were employed in professions other than those for which they were qualified and only 30% worked in the acquired profession. 29% of graduates of vocational secondary education and 27% of graduates of vocational education were unemployed.

From 1997 when the changes in law “On Compulsory Social Assurance for Case of Unemployment” took place, vocational, secondary and higher school leavers are not social insured, so they cannot get benefit for unemployed. It is the main reason for the difference between number of registered unemployed and the real number of unemployed graduates.

Most employed in the acquired profession were among graduates of social sciences, law and business (58.3%), as well as teacher education (57.1%) programmes. It is likely that the overall depression in agriculture is the reason that only 15.1% of graduates of agriculture education programmes worked in the acquired profession.

33% of VET graduates have acquired additional training after graduating. Almost one third acquired additional training in computer literacy, every fifth - in foreign languages, and the same number - in their speciality. It is interesting that 81% of all those who have acquired additional training in their speciality are employed (70% in their profession and 11% in others). That indicates that there is free competition in the labour market and that new skills should be acquired to achieve more stability in the work place. Of those who attended additional training, but did not work during the reference period, in 31% of cases were trained additionally in computer literacy, 25% - in foreign languages and only 14% in their speciality. (The situation three years ago was - those who attended additional training, but did not work during the reference period in one third of cases were trained additionally in their speciality, in 18% of the cases in foreign languages, in 17% of the cases in computer literacy.) 52% of urban graduates who have acquired additional training did it in computer literacy, but 45% of rural graduates in their speciality. This shows that information technologies are not so popular in rural areas.

The main conclusion is that more and more the labour market requires employees with computer literacy and knowledge of foreign languages. VET schools should provide their students with necessary skills and knowledge during studies, but the problem is that computer specialists and foreign language teachers are in high demand in the labour market and they are not interested in low paid work for state educational establishments, so it is difficult for VET schools to find computer and foreign language teachers.

 

Back to table of contents                                To next chapter