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

3.5.8. Legislation

The Law on Education (in force as of 1 June 1999) chapter 46, article 3 states: “The content of adult education programmes, the procedure for developing and approving these programmes, standards of adult education, funding and other issues are regulated by the Law on Adult Education and other laws” (note: adult education in the Latvian context is understood as any education pursued by adult persons, and is not equated to literacy and numeracy courses, as in adult basic education). The Law on Adult Education is yet to be passed, although the draft of this law was already submitted to the Saeima (parliament) in 1998. Currently adult education is regulated by the following laws: the Law on Craftsmanship (1993), the Law on Employment (1993) and the Law on Vocational Education (1999).

3.5.9. Weaknesses, strengths and future government priorities in CVT

Strengths:

  • The supply of CVT programmes is very wide. The number of education providers is large, every district has its adult education centre.
  • Professional associations, chambers etc look after continuing vocational training of their members. Sometimes continuing education is compulsory for continuing practising, for example, for receiving certificate etc. It makes people to educate and improves their competitiveness in labour market.
  • CVT can quickly react to changes in legislation, technologies, working methods and ensure training.

Weaknesses:

  • The legislation is not worked out. The responsibilities of state, local governments, employers and employees are not determined.
  • There is an emerging trend of CVT commercialisation. So it can be considered that access to CVT is not equal for all. The only possibility for needy population to participate in CVT is become unemployed.

  • There are no normative acts stimulating the participation of employers in continuing education of employees. If large and economically stable enterprises can afford to invest in the education of their employees then small enterprises are struggling simply to survive.
  • There is no unified quality control system.
  • There is no research on CVT needs. There is no unified state policy on CVT.

The MoES has worked out a draft Education Development Programme 2000 - 2004. One of its objectives is the development of society through ensured opportunities for life long learning.

The main measures in order to realise this objective are:

1. To develop networking of adult education establishments to promote co-ordination;
2. To develop the system of quality assessment of CVT and distance learning programmes;
3. To continue introducing distance learning methods;
4. To strengthen the role of higher education establishments in the socio-economic
development of regions;

5. To promote the accessibility of education and to ensure the population with information about adult education opportunities.
6. To promote the improvement of professional skills for CVT teachers and
7. To develop international co-operation in CVT.

3.6. Links between IVET and CVT

The links between IVET and CVT are very weak. IVET establishments are now interested in offering continuing education programmes, but especially in Riga different private institutions have outrivaled state IVET schools, as they could more quickly respond to the demands of the market. Continuing vocational education programmes are offered by 23 IVET schools, of which only 4 are located in Riga. That means in rural areas IVET schools are a type of cultural and education centre.

3.7. Vocational guidance and counselling

Vocational guidance and counselling are provided by the State Employment Service, the Career Counselling Centre, and certain private enterprises.

Vocational guidance and counselling for the unemployed is provided by the State Employment Service. The SES also organises Job-seekers’ Clubs, an active employment measure, the goal of which is to use psycho-social rehabilitation to promote initiative, capacity for re-training and psychological adaptability to new labour market conditions, as well as to improve the readiness of the unemployed to meet labour market demands. Each year more and more unemployed persons participate in JC activities.

The following group activities were organised with in the framework of JC in 1999:

1. A course on “How to Find a Job” - attended by 7,607 unemployed.
2. Target group activities - these were attended by 1,388 unemployed in
3. Latvian language courses - attended by 642 unemployed with insufficient national language skills.

Other activities were attended by 13,737 unemployed: 2,900 unemployed attended seminars with employers, local government representatives, SES and State Social Insurance Agency staff; 6,432 unemployed attended lectures on career decisions and stress; 4,414 unemployed attended individual counselling sessions with psychologists, lawyers and clerks.

Career guidance for young people is provided by the state non-profit organisation the Career Counselling Centre. The type of help most often sought for and provided is the following:

  • consultations on education and career choice - selection of the most suitable field of activity based on assessment of the client’s interests and aptitudes;

  • information on opportunities to acquire a chosen profession in various education establishments;

  • acquisition of a structured profile of interests and abilities which helps people make a conscious independent career choice;

  • evaluation of levels of professional qualities important to a certain profession and suitability of the client for that profession;

  • psychological support;

  • consultations on different career paths and development of action plans.

The total number of clients served by the Centre in 1999 was 16,067 (an increase of 870 clients over 1998); among the clients were 10,174 students of graduating classes in basic and secondary school, 4,104 registered unemployed persons, 284 students of vocational schools, 193 students of higher education establishments, 376 unemployed job-seekers, 570 employed and 366 parents of students.

Seventy-eight percent of the unemployed persons (or 20% of the total number of clients) arrived at the Centre following orders of SES inspectors, but the rest sought help independently.

Of all students of general and vocational schools and higher education establishments who were clients of the Centre, 66% were girls and 34% were boys.

In April and May of 1999 the Career Counselling Centre performed a survey of 9th and 12th grade students concerning career choice. A total of 1,340 students from various urban and rural schools were surveyed.

On average, 55% of the students surveyed noted that they need help in choosing a career, and 77% of students need information on education establishments, furthermore this assistance is required most often by rural residents. Students in the 9th grade most often wish to receive information on education establishments and professions, but 12th grade students want to learn about education establishments and the labour market. In the career decision process, girls most often tend to analyse their personality and their level of knowledge, while boys tend to enquire about actual work situations and conditions.

In 1999 assistance with finding employment was provided by 43 enterprises (27 were registered in 1999, of these 21 are entitled to assist in finding employment in Latvia, while 6 are entitled to provide assistance in finding employment abroad). As of 1999 the registration of enterprises providing assistance with finding employment is regulated by the normative act passed by the Ministry of Welfare: “The registration procedure for legal entities wishing to provide services to residents in the form of assistance in gaining employment”. A decrease in the number of registered firms has been observed, for example, in 1996 there were 73, in 1997 - 63, in 1998 - 58 and in 1999 - 43. This can be explained by the implementation of the new registration procedure and reporting and control procedures. In 1999, 29 registration certificates were annulled based on failure to meet responsibilities of legal entities involved in providing assistance to residents in finding employment.

Internet employment exchanges are becoming more and more popular.

 

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