Part 2

Table of contents

 

Part 2

Table of contents

2.Vocational education and training in the context of the national employment policy

2.1. Overview of the education system

2.1.1. Legal framework and institutional setting

2.1.2. Policy framework

2.1.3. Resources

2.1.4        Structure and organisation of VET and LLL

2.2.      Responsiveness of the education and training system to the needs of the labour market and the individual

2.2.1. Planning/programming and responsiveness to the labour market

2.2.2. Responsiveness to the needs of individual

2.3. Contribution of the education and training system to promoting social and labour market inclusion.

2.3.1. Access and inclusion.

2.4. Contribution of education and training system to promoting entrepreneurship

2.4.1. Design of entrepreneurial skills

2.5. Contribution of the education and training system to promoting equal opportunities between men and women

2.5.1. Combating gender stereotypes and inequalities


2.Vocational education and training in the context of the national employment policy

2.1. Overview of the education system

2.1.1. Legal framework and institutional setting

 
Legal framework

 

The Constitution of Republic of Latvia (1922; renewed in 1991) states that everybody has rights to education, the state ensures the possibility to acquire basic and secondary education free of charge and basic education is compulsory.

 

The education reforms started with adoption of Law on Education on June 19, 1991. It set the principles of independent Latvian education system and regulated also all VET and CVT issues in general terms.  This law stated that studies till age of 15 or graduation from basic school is compulsory (in Soviet system the secondary education was compulsory).

 

The Law on Crafts (1993) regulates the organisation of crafts, basic regulations for crafts education and order of issuing crafts qualification.

 

The Law on Higher Education Institutions [1] (1995) determines the principles for the organization and facilities for higher education (including second level higher vocational (professional) education leading to the fifth level vocational qualification).

 

The new Law on Education was adopted on October 29,1998[2]. This law states that preparatory courses for basic education for five and six year old children are compulsory and the basic education or the acquisition of basic education till age of 18 is compulsory. It regulates the education system as a whole, determines the rights and responsibilities of the state, local governments, public organisations, professional associations, private persons, educational establishments, parents and students, as well as the types and levels of education and the types of educational establishments.

The revisions of the Law on Education, which came into force on 1 September 2001, define introductory vocational education as the systematic acquisition of knowledge and skills, as well as attitudes in art, culture and sport alongside studies at the primary or secondary level of education, that makes it possible to prepare for studies in vocational education in the chosen sector.

 

The Law on Vocational Education (1999)[3] determines:

·        the principles for the organisation and facilities for vocational education, and the principles for conferring qualifications;

·        the division of tasks, competences and relationships among the state, employers, teachers and students; for the first time the right of social partners has been introduced to take an active part in VET;

·        the paths leading to the acquisition of vocational education;

·        the structure of vocational training curricula;

·        principles of vocational education’s funding.

The revisions to the Law on Vocational Education of 5 July 2001 (coming into force on 1 September 2001) determine two new types of vocational education programmes as there is no separate Law on Adult education. Further vocational education is defined as a specific type of vocational education which allows adults with a certain educational background and professional experience to acquire a certain level of vocational qualification, while continuing vocational education is defined as a specific type of vocational education which allows persons, regardless of their age, prior education or vocational qualification to acquire systematised vocational knowledge and skills.

 

General secondary education is regulated by General Education Law[4].

There is no special law on adult education in Latvia.

 

The Law on State language (1999; coming in force on 1 September 2000) states that in Republic of Latvia the State language is Latvian. The Law on Education stated that in state and local municipalities owned education establishments the teaching language is state language. The exception is the state and local municipalities’ owned education establishment realising minority nationality education programmes.  For those programmes the MoES defines the subjects what should be taught in State language. 

The Law on Education stated that on 1 September 2004 all state and local municipalities owned general secondary and vocational education establishments will start teaching in state language accordingly in 10 grade and in 1st course.  However, in the 13 May 2003 the CoM accepted amendments to general secondary education standard what introduce 60 % of Latvian language and 40 % of minority language usage in teaching process which comprises not less than 5 subjects in Latvian.

 

The law On Regulated Professions and Recognition of Professional Qualifications was adopted on June 20, 2001. Part “A” of law - Regulated professions in the Republic of Latvia- came into force as of July 20, 2001; part “B” - Recognition of professional qualifications of foreign citizens – as of January1, 2003. The EU special and general recognition directives for regulated professions are implemented in this law.

 

According the law “On Assistance to Unemployed Persons and Job-Seekers”[5] (this law came into force as of 1 July 2002) the CoM competence is to set up procedure for organisation and funding of active labour measures, as well as principles for choosing those what will carry them out. These CoM regulations was not adopted till June, 2003, so meanwhile organisation of active labour market measures is regulated by MoW methodological recommendations for organisation of active labour market measures adopted on February 10, 2003.

 

The legal framework is covering all education levels. The Law on Education was improved due to changes caused by education reform and the new one was adopted on 1998. The Law on Crafts is out of date and need to be revised taking account all existing changes in legislation.  There are no separate law on adult education. After long discussions and rejection of draft law on adult education by Parliament, now the issues on adult education are introduced in the Law on Education and Law on Vocational Education. The LLL is not explicitly defined in educational laws. However, the Law on Education defines adult education as multiform education process of individual, which support development of personality and competitiveness in labour market for a lifetime. The discussions on necessity of LLL strategy are needed because the LLL issue is overspread between different laws and the development of LLL is unclear.

 There are no additional laws or serious amendments planned in the near future.

 
Institutional setting

 

The Law on Vocational Education, passed in 1999, determines the competences of bodies responsible for the organisation of vocational education:

The Cabinet of Ministers:

  • determines national policy and courses of strategy in vocational education;
  • establishes, reorganises and closes state education establishments and education support institutions according to recommendations of the Minister of Education or other ministers;
  • passes the statutes of colleges;
  • determines the procedure for the organisation of practical training placements;
  • determines the criteria and procedure for conferring state-recognised vocational qualifications, as well as the form of the certifying documents;
  • determines the procedure for the recognition of certificates of vocational qualifications granted by foreign institutions;
  • performs other functions related to vocational education named in this law and the Law on Education.

 

The Ministry of Education and Science:

·        develops model statutes for vocational education establishments;

·        develops and up-dates the register of professional standards;

·        develops and submits budget proposals for the acquisition of state budget funding, and funds the vocational education establishments and support institutions under its jurisdiction from means granted for this purpose;

·        drafts regulations concerning organisation of practical training placements and other normative acts on vocational education;

·        organises the provision of vocational guidance and studies on the development of the labour market and market demand;

·        hires and dismisses directors of vocational schools under the authority of the MoES;

·        submits proposals to the CoM concerning the establishment, reorganisation and closing of state education establishments;

·        performs other functions related to vocational education named in this law and the Law on Education.

Within the MoES (staff is 103 civil servants), the Vocational Training and Continuing Education Department (VTCED) – 12 civil servants as well as the Professional Education Centre (PEC) with 23 employees under its jurisdiction, deal with vocational education

The VTCED develops national policy and strategy in vocational education and implements them in co-operation with other state institutions. It plans, manages and co-ordinates the development of vocational education on the national level, supervises state operated vocational education establishments, co-operates with employers’ organisations and unions, supplies technical support for the National Tripartite Sub-council (NTS) for VET and employment. The VTCED harmonises vocational education policy with the requirements of the EU and participates in the development of international agreements.  It is also in charge of the implementation of college level vocational education in Latvia.

The PEC organises the accreditation of vocational education establishments and programmes and the development of professional standards, develops the content and methodology of qualifying examinations, co-ordinates the activities of training and examination centres, and holds in-service training courses for vocational education teachers. 

 

Other ministries: (MoC, MoA, MoH, MoE, MoW)

·        develop and submit budget proposals for the acquisition of state budget funding, and fund the vocational education establishments and support institutions under their jurisdiction from means granted for this purpose;

·        co-operate with the MoES in the development and up-dating of professional standards, in the evaluation of the quality of vocational education and in other issues associated with vocational education;

·        in co-operation with the MoES and other state and local government institutions, organise in-service training for the teachers of the vocational education establishments under their jurisdiction;

·        participate in the work of state and local government, union, employers’ and other public organisations and institutions for the promotion of co-operation.

 

The public-sector secondary professional and higher educational establishments are supervised by six ministries. The education administration are organised in an autonomous way by every ministry planning its own network of institutions, admission of the educatees, financial resources, developing the content of the curricula and performing quality control. During the 2002/2003 academic year 35 secondary vocational education institutions were under the authority of the MoA, 47 under the MoES, 8 under the MoW[6], 15 under the MoC, 3 under the Ministry for Interior, 7 under local government authority and there were 9 private vocational education institutions.

 

Obtaining of uniform information is hindered, and the procedure of common decision-making is time-consuming. This fragmentation of the network of educational institutions causes overlapping of functions and unreasonable uses of the limited financial and staff resources. To optimise administration of the education system, it is under discussion how to transfer every secondary professional education establishment and higher education establishment to the subordination of the MoES, with the exception of those establishments where, in accordance with legislation in force, studies and service are governed by Service Regulations.

 

Local governments:

·        establish, reorganise and close vocational education establishments in co-operation with the MoES – establishments formed by local governments are under their jurisdiction;

·        hire and dismiss directors of education establishments under their jurisdiction in co-operation with the MoES;

·        fund education establishments under their jurisdiction;

·        promote the development of business activities within their territory, co-operate with employers’ organisations, deal with issues related to ensuring practical training placements for students within their territory.

 

Co-operation councils

In order to provide co-operation at the national level the National Tripartite Sub-council for Cooperation in VET and employment was established in 2000. This Sub-council is a part of the institutional system of the National Tripartite Council for Co-operation which has been established with the purpose of promoting the co-operation of the government, employer and employee organisations concerning the planning and implementation of national policy and of strategy in vocational education, human resources development and employment. There are some discussions to organise the regional sub-councils as well and regional sub-council in Rezekne region is on preparatory stage. 

 

For improvement of co-operation in VET in April 2000 the Cabinet of Ministers passed the statutes of the Council for Co-operation in Vocational Education. This council includes one representative each of the MoES, the MoE, the MoC, the MoW, the MoA, the Latvian Union of Local Governments, the Latvian Employers Confederation, the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Latvian Confederation of Free Trade Unions and one representative each of the vocational education establishments under the jurisdiction of the MoES, the MoC, the MoW and the MoA.

In contradistinction to the National Tripartite Sub-council for Vocational Education and Employment, the Council for Co-operation in Vocational Education includes representatives from vocational education establishments.

 

Institution for EU programmes

The management and implementation of the initiatives of the European Union, partnership and development programmes in the field of VET in Latvia is carried out by state non-profit organization “Agency for Vocational Education Development Programmes” founded in 1995.

The institutional setting of IVET is well developed. Every institution is defined its tasks and duties. The main challenge is that IVET schools are under supervision of different ministries it hinders to use effectively existing resources, not only financial but others as well. The institutional setting of CVT and LLL is not clearly defined. Responsibility for LLL is spread even within MoES. VTCED focuses its work on initial education. The involvement of social partners is well developed on national level, nevertheless the co-operation should be improved on local level

2.1.2. Policy framework

 

The development of vocational education system in Latvia can be divided into 3 stages.

1st stage (1995 – 1998) –the preparatory stage for the development of new legislative framework. The main objectives of VET reform was defined in Education Development strategic programme for years 1998 – 2003. The methodological background for reform was carried out within the following Phare projects: business education reform; higher (college) vocational education reform; the establishment of unified qualification infrastructure.

2nd stage (1999 – 2001) – the experience of the previous years was implemented in the Law on Vocational Education (adopted in 1999) and other normative acts were adopted. Meanwhile Phare projects – Vocational Education and Training reform; Higher vocational education reform; Vocational education and training 2000 – was carried out.

3rd stage (2002 – 2005) the stage of continuation of reforms according to the accession to the EU. The draft of VET system development programme (2003 – 2005)[7] is submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers. This programme sets main objectives of VET system according to Concept of Education Development.

 

Latvian minister of education signed the Bologna declaration on July 19, 1999. So the higher education is developing in Latvia in line with Bologna process in Europe in order to reach common European higher education space till 2010.

 

The Baltic StatesEstonia, Latvia and Lithuania have agreed upon the formation of a common Baltic education space. Three agreements were signed to serve this goal – agreement on the academic recognition of educational qualifications in the Baltic educational space (2000); agreement on the creation of a common educational space in higher education within the Baltic States (2000) and agreement on the creation of a common educational space in general upper secondary education and vocational education within the Baltic states. However, there is no significant mobility based on these agreements, mainly limited by the language barrier.

 

On October 17, 2002 the Parliament has approved Concept of Education Development 2002 – 2005[8] where the principles of LLL Memorandum is involved. The common goal of the Concept of Education Development is to ensure changes in the education system; to promote the formation of a democratic and socially integrated society based on knowledge and the raising of competitiveness of population and national economy, and simultaneously to preserve and develop cultural values typical.

The specific goals of the Concepts of Education Development are[9] the following:

·        Improvement of education quality of every stage and type of education to meet the needs of social and economic development;

·        Granting of access to education for the population in the context of lifelong education;

·        Increase of cost-effectiveness of each stage and type of education.

 

The Concepts of Education Development 2002 – 2005 sets more overall objectives. The VET system development programme, which are now on preparation stage, will set more concrete targets.

 

Ministry of Education and Science organized consultations on EC “A Memorandum of Lifelong Learning” in 2001 and the function of a LLL co-ordinator was appointed but later on abolished. Consultations included seminars, discussions in Internet, questionnaire, six discussions about the key issues and final conference. Final Report[10] includes the summary of discussions focused on main themes and recommendations as regards to the most important problems for Lifelong learning in Latvia. Recommendations included description of problems on national as well as regional level.

 

Cabinet of Ministers passed the Long-term Economy Strategy of Latvia[11] in July 2001 and Ministry of Economics set the list of economic branches with good development opportunities.

Lifelong learning issues are included in Strategic memorandum on the National Development Plan[12] (passed by government in 2001). Strategic memorandum mentioned the priority objectives for the improvement of the quality of labour to meet the labour market demands:

·        Development of systems for vocational training, higher education, continuing education, re-training and general education based on labour market demand;

·        Provision of continuing training opportunities for the employed;

·        Provision of continuing education and re-training opportunities for the unemployed;

·        Provision of an effective basic education and initial vocational education system for young people;

·        Promotion and development of social dialog on regional level and bilateral dialog between employers and unions within enterprises;

·        Provision of equal opportunities on the labour market regardless of gender.

 

The weakest points of Latvian VET system is given in 2002 Regular report on Latvia’s progress towards accession: “Though legislation for a mobile and adaptable VET system is in place, implementation of the education reform should be considerably stepped up. Private enterprises need to be involved actively in the development of vocational education. Particular attention should be paid to further development of a coherent system of continuing vocational training. The vocational training system should assist in the implementation of education policies targeted also at the less well developed regions, particularly, those where unemployment remains very high. The system has to be made more accessible to low-skilled, disadvantage groups. Sufficient funding needs to be ensured in order to support the reform process.[13]

 

VET policy is developed since 1990. Now the legislation defines all conditions, however the funding for implementation is missing.

All strategic documents (in both fields - employment, education and training) do not define quantitative strategic targets (eg to increase/decrease VET participation) and priorities. That makes the monitoring of the policy implementation practically impossible. The quantitative targets and the estimation of the needs for funding are implemented in sectoral strategies e.g.: VET development, HE strategy, promotion of IT; promotion of employment of disadvantaged groups, but these sectoral strategies sometimes are not implemented as funding for them are not found.

2.1.3. Resources

 

Financial resources

Expenditure of the general government consolidated budget for education has increased during the last years as well as the share of education expenses in the gross domestic product (GDP).

 

Table 11: Expenditure of the general government consolidated budget for education,

 

 

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

Total in thousandsLVL[14]

162,586

184,916

246,526

262,716

294,231

328,484

AS % of budget

14.6

14.6

15.7

15.1

16.9

18.3

% of GDP

5.7

5.6

6.9

6.7

6.8

6.9

Source: Economic and Social Development. Report- Ministry of Economy. Riga, June 2002.

 

The public expenditures for education is growing year by year and are rather high as percent of GDP (6.9% in 2001), as well as the share out of total public expenditure (15.1% in 1999, 18.3% in 2001), nevertheless, in total amounts it is not satisfactory by experts’ opinion.  In the European Union, some 11.20 % of public expenditure is devoted to education (1999) and public expenditure on education as per cent of GDP is 5% (1999)[15]. In Latvia GDP per capita is only one third of EU average (see table 2 in Annex ), which means that the funding for education can be increased by increasing GDP. The public expenditure per student by the level of education in 1999 in Latvia is the following – ISCED – 1 = 1300 PPS, ISCED – 2 – 4 = 1600 PPS, ISCED 5-6 = 1900 PPS what is approximately one third of EU average.

In all EU countries the largest share of direct public funding is allocated to secondary education, which receives roughly between 40% and 60% of all funding. In 1999 in Latvia the situation is the same, 17.7% is devoted to ISCED – 1, 56.5% to – ISCED 2-4 and 17.7% to ISCED 5-6. The expenditures for tertiary education is a bit below EU average and is 24%.[16]

 

Concept on Education Development[17] envisage to improve the quality of all types of education and to ensure access to education on all levels in the context of lifelong learning as well as to raise the cost efficiency of education. The cost efficiency of money available for education has always been the target of education policy in Latvia. The total additional funding necessary for the implementation of this concept is 17,154 thousands LVL in 2004 and 17,421 thousands LVL in 2005.

 

The total expenditures for research and development (including business sector) is 0.48% of GDP in 2000 and 0.44% in 2001 and it is very low in comparison with EU average[18].

 

Funding for vocational education establishments (institutions) was 0,7 % of the gross domestic product in 1998-2000.  Vocational education establishments mostly are state schools and state budget is their main source of funding.


 

Table 12: Annual public funding for VET institutions[19]

 

1999

2000

2001

2002

Public Expenditure for IVET (% of GDP)

0.7

0.7

 

 

Subsidies from general revenue

25,361,512 LVL

 

39,813,991 EUR

25,646,414 LVL

 

45,788,991 EUR

26,884,752 LVL

 

47,778,127 EUR

29,611,671 LVL

 

50,791,888 EUR

Self earned income

4,923,313 LVL

 

7,728,906 EUR

4,651,614 LVL

 

8,304,971 EUR

 

 

Sources: Central Statistical Bureau data; Economic Development of Latvia-Riga: Ministry of Economy, December 2001 and MoES data.

 

In 2001 97 % of funds allocated for vocational education establishments was intended for regular expenses. Just 3% of the national budget expenditure on vocational education establishments was expenditure on capital investment. 0.408 million LVL in national budget was used for participation in the European Union programme Leonardo da Vinci.

 

As the VET schools are belonging to different ministries, each ministry plans the average number of students in vocational education establishments and number of training places in each profile. Expenditure per student varied for different training programmes. For the Ministry of Culture expenditure per individual was 1540 LVL and for the Ministry of Education and Science just 599 LVL in 2001.

 

Table 13: Expenditure (not counting investments) per student per year for different vocational education training programmes (LVL[20])

VET schools by governing authority:

1999

2000

2001

2002

Ministry of Education and Science

504

502

568

599

Ministry of Welfare

1095

934

862

916

Ministry of Culture

1064

1228

1323

1540

Ministry of Agriculture

742

750

781

858

Average expenditure per student

662

663

670

749

Source: Ministry of Education and Science

 

The minimum expenditure per student for the implementation of basic vocational education, vocational education, vocational secondary education and first level higher vocational education programmes are determined by Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers, which defines the minimum expenditure per student for the implementation of vocational education programmes. The costs vary by the ministries as the carry out different programmes. For example, the more expensive are programmes in art and music, carried out by schools of Ministry of Culture and in medicine, carried out by schools of Ministry of Welfare. These programmes require more individual approach and more expensive study materials.

 

In order to improve the quality and accessibility of VET according to the draft of VET system development programme 2003 – 2005[21], the additional funding 5070.9 thousands LVL for 2004 – 2005 are needed .

 

The Ministry of Education and Science develops and submit budget proposals for acquisition of state budget funding and funds the vocational education establishments and support institutions under its jurisdiction from means granted for this purpose as it is stated in the Law on Vocational Education.

Other ministries (MoW, MoC and MoA) also develop and submit budget proposals for the acquisition of state budget funding for vocational education establishments and support institutions.

Local governments fund vocational education establishments under their jurisdiction. They get subsidies from state budget for teachers salaries.

 

The system of study grants and student loans for higher education started in 1997. Study grants are meant for covering study fees and student loans for covering subsistence expenditures while studying. In 2000 Cabinet of Ministers made a conceptual decision to start crediting from funds of credit institutions. In 2001 first study loans and student grants were issued by credit institutions.

 

Table 14: The amount and financing of study loans and student credits 2002 - 2002

 

2000

2001

2002

Millions of LVL[22] issued for credits

5.9

7

11.4

The number of credits

20,273

30,287

37,800

The average amount of credit per year LVL

350

350

420

Source: data of MoES

 

In 2001 the total funding for state and higher education establishments was 68.6 millions LVL, what is 1.4% of GDP. The funding for state HE establishments is 59.1 millions LVL (86% of total) and 9.5millions (14%) for private.

In 2001 the financing from state budget was 30.9 millions LVL (45% of total), making a little increase comparing with 2000 (30.1 millions LVL). Nevertheless, funding as % of GDP continues to decrease – 0.65% in 2001, 0.7% in 2000, 0.9% in 1995. The amount of private resources continues to increase. In 2001 the private funding for HE was 26.6 millions, what makes 39% of total and is three times more than three years before.

The average funding per one student was 950 LVL, the funding from state budget per one state financed student was 1080 LVL (2002).

The study fees vary by establishments and study programmes starting from 145 LVL to 2500 LVL per year.

 

The exact data on the total investment in continuing education in Latvia is missing.

According the data available in CSB annual spending of the state budget devoted to adult education institutions (including the training and retraining of unemployed and training of civil servants) has decreased in last years.

There are different sources of funding of adult education: payment made by participants, employer’s contribution, contribution made by non-governmental organizations, payments made by local governments and the government contribution.

 

Table 15: Funding of adult education institutions (including the training and retraining of unemployed and training of civil servants (thousands LVL[23])

 

1999/2000

2000/2001

Total annual funding

11568.9

10629.4

Of which:

%

%

From the state budget

47,9%

44,8 %

From the local governments budget

3,4 %

3,9 %

Participants payment

22,7 %

25 %

Payment made by enterprises and organizations for training of employees

24,5 %

24,3

Other sources

1,4 %

1,9 %

Source: CSB data

 

CVT supported by employers is available mainly in large-scale economically stable enterprises. These enterprises usually have enough funds, staff development strategy, training centres as well as the strong motivation to develop long-term business.

It is difficult for small and medium size enterprises to allocate funds for staff development programmes because of financial difficulties.

In Latvia, like in other Baltic countries, CVT is regularly provided by large enterprises (90% of them provide training). If the number of employees is relatively small then the training is provided by only every second enterprise.[24]


 

Picture 2

Source: Statistics in focus / Population and social conditions – Theme 3-8/2002 – Eurostat, 2002.

 

 

In Latvia direct costs of CVT courses were 16.9 million LVL or 86 LVL per employee in training enterprises in 1999. Labour costs of employees (indirect costs) while participating in courses – 8.1 million LVL. Thus the total costs of CVT courses amounted to 25 million LVL or 1.1% of the total labour costs in all enterprises (Estonia – 1.8%, Lithuania – 0.8%). In order to make these data comparable with other countries an indicator “purchasing power standard”(PPS) is used, direct costs of CVT courses per employee in Latvia were 124 PPS. If the direct costs of CVT courses and labour costs in candidate countries are compared then it have to be concluded that in Latvia they are considerably lower than in Estonia (201 PPS) and the Czech Republic (181 PPS).[25]

 

Picture 3

Source: Statistics in focus / Population and social conditions – Theme 3-8/2002 – Eurostat, 2002.

 

National taxation system does not stimulate employers to invest in the education of employees. It is necessary to increase the contribution of employers in human resources by the means of taxation system.

 

The expenditures of amount 150 LVL per year for education and training are considered as justifiable expenditures. The individuals can get reimbursements from the individual income taxes.

 

Labour law states that person who studies besides his work can get study leave and it is paid or unpaid according to the contract. For the completing of final exams and final thesis a paid study leave not less than 20 working days should be granted.

 
Human resources

According to the Law on Vocational Education, from 1 January 2004, the right to hold a teaching position at a vocational education and training establishment may be conferred on persons who:

  • hold an appropriate vocational qualification and who have received teacher training;

·        hold an appropriate vocational qualification and are in the process of undergoing teacher training which meets the standards for vocational qualifications of teachers of vocational education institutions determined by the CoM.

 

The vocational pedagogues working in vocational education and training institutions traditionally are mainly specialists with the appropriate secondary special or higher education in the vocational field. Most of them do not have a specific pedagogical (diploma) education. The pedagogical staff in vocational education establishments mainly has two types of education: in vocational field (higher or secondary vocational) or in pedagogy (higher).

 

So as of January 1, 2004 all VET teachers will need vocational qualification and teacher training (pedagogical training). Higher education will not be demand for all VET teachers, as demands for teacher qualification differs regarding the programme tought. Roughly speaking VET teachers should have vocational qualification one level up the qualification level what will get his students and teacher training.

 

Vocational qualifications of teachers at vocational education and training establishments are confirmed by nationally recognised documents attesting to the relevant vocational training (qualification) and teacher training.  The MoES instruction No. 8 of 10 July 2002 “Procedure for teacher training and professional development of vocational education teachers” describes these documents in detail.

Teaching qualifications should be acquired through vocational upper secondary education or higher professional education, or through academic programmes of study relevant to the level and branch of programmes to be taught and these qualifications are confirmed by the following nationally recognised documents:

  • diploma of vocational upper secondary education in a certain field – this confirms that qualifications have been acquired to teach  introductory courses, basic vocational education courses and vocational education courses;

·        diploma of first level professional higher education (college diploma) and diploma of higher education in a certain field – confirms qualifications to teach at the secondary vocational education and first level professional higher education (college) level;

  • documents conferred by professional bodies (the master craftsman’s diploma) in a certain field – confirm vocational qualifications to teach  basic vocational education, vocational education and secondary vocational education programmes.

 

Teacher training required by teachers can be acquired through:

  • a higher vocational education programme that confers a qualification of “teacher”, or an academic programme of studies in education that confers a bachelor’s or master’s degree;

·        professional development programmes (teacher training courses including at least 320 contact hours, programmes lasting at least one year), that confer a certificate that follows a template approved by the MoES, if the person has acquired vocational secondary education (or general upper secondary education and a master craftsman’s qualification granted by the Latvian Chamber of Crafts), or has acquired higher education and is employed by a vocational education institution (this applies only to vocational subject teachers).

  • acquiring teaching knowledge and skills via self-learning, continuing education courses, seminars, projects and other teaching skills development activities.

 

Different courses for teachers are also offered by local government training centres, city and regional education administrations and teachers’ professional associations.

In many cases employees of enterprises work at education institutions without leaving their main place of employment while teaching individual training courses and providing methodological support to other teachers. Cases where teachers take a leave of absence from their education institution to take employment in an enterprise and return to work at the education institution after a pre-determined period are not widely known in Latvia.

           

The Vocational Education Teacher Certification Committee instated by the Minister for Education and Science evaluates and takes decisions concerning the compliance of knowledge and skills acquired by teachers through professional development courses or through self-learning to the Model Basic Vocational Education Teacher Training Programme (authorised by MoES Decree No. 346 of 3 June 2002 “Concerning the Model Basic Vocational Teacher Training Programme”).

Conferral of the above-mentioned certificate is regulated by Decrees of the Minister for Education and Science No. 420 “Concerning the Model Certificate” and No. 419 “Concerning the regulation for certification of vocational education teachers” of 26 July 2002.


 

Table 16: Teachers at vocational education institutions according to age at the outset of the 2001/02 school year.

Education institutions

Number of teachers

age 30 and younger

age 31-39

age 40-49

age 50-59

age 60 and older

State

5186

15.3%

20 %

30.1 %

22.6 %

11.9 %

Local govt.

186

19.9%

20.4 %

35.5 %

18.3 %

5.9 %

Private

210

18.1 %

19.5 %

26.2%

23.3 %

12.8 %

Total

5582

15.6 %

20 %

30.1 %

22.5 %

11,8 %

Source: Data of the MoES Information and Economic Management Department

 

There is a problem of aging of VET teachers in Latvia. Almost 12 % of VET teachers are more than 60 years old. It is difficult to involve a young teachers in VET because the salaries are not attractive to them.

Teachers’ salaries are determined by CoM regulations of 15 February 2000 and the teachers’ salary reform approved by the government.

As of 1 September 2002, the lowest monthly teacher’s salary  (per full-time post) for teachers having work experience of over 10 years is 130 LVL (97 LVL in 2000).  One full-time post is equivalent to 840 teaching hours per year, or an average of 21 hours per week.

During the last two years a mechanism has been developed for raising teachers’ salaries, however, the average teacher’s wage which is lower than the national average salary (the national average monthly wage in 2001 was 159 LVL before taxes) of those gainfully employed, does not encourage the arrival of new teachers at schools. 

In Latvia according to Eurydice[26] data in 2000/01 the minimum teacher salary was 30% of per capita GDP and the maximum salary 48%. It is the lowest rate in all EU and candidate countries. In Estonia minimum teacher salary was 79% of per capita GDP, but maximum – 85%, in Lithuania – minimum – 55% and maximum – 113%.

 

In cities people prefer to work within their chosen profession at various enterprises, not at education institutions.  In rural areas schools are the place where in conditions of general unemployment albeit a small, but stable income is guaranteed each month.


 

Table 17: Pedagogical staff at vocational education establishments.

Academic year

Total

Of the total number of pedagogical staff

Vocational training instructors, %

Teachers, %

Those with a higher education, %

Those with higher pedagogical training, %

1998/1999

5430

27

52

74

43

1999/2000

5380

25

53

75

41

2000/2001

5439

23

55

77

44

2001/2002

5582

20

56

78

47

2002/2003

5693

15

61

81

49

Sources:

Education Institutions in Latvia at the beginning of the school year 2002/2003-Riga, CBS, 2003.

Education Institutions in Latvia at the beginning of the school year 2001/2002-Riga, CBS, 2002.

Education Institutions in Latvia at the beginning of the school year 2000/2001-Riga, CBS, 2001.

Education Institutions in Latvia at the beginning of the school year 1999/2000-Riga, CBS, 2000.

Education Institutions in Latvia at the beginning of the school year1998 /1999-Riga, CBS, 1999.

 

The number of vocational training instructors is decreasing, but number of teachers is increasing during the last years. There is an increasing tendency to for teachers with higher education. In total 67% (see table 16 in annex) of teaching staff has any kind of pedagogical training, so in 2002 33% of VET staff was not ready for requirements of 2004.

Average proportion of pedagogical staff to students in vocational education establishments was 1:8 during the year 2002/2003. This proportion differs in different programmes and sectors. (See table 15 in annex.)

 

School network

The number of IVET schools has reduced since the beginning of nineties. In the same time the number of HE establishments has increased due to establishment of many private institutions.

 

Table 18: IVET schools and HE institutions.

Year

Number or IVET schools

Number of IVET students

Students per IVET school

Number of HEI

Number of HE students

Students per HEI

1991

145

61,523

424

14

46,279

3305

1995

133

42,377

318

28

46,696

1667

2000

120

48,625

405

33

101,270

3068

2001

126

47,627

378

36

110,500

3069

2002

124

46,533

375

37

118,944

3214

Source: Education Institutions in Latvia at the beginning of the school year 2002/2003-Riga, CBS, 2003.


 

There is no VET school in only 2 of 26 districts of Latvia, 36% of all VET schools are located in Riga (40% of enrolment studies in Riga). In 7 biggest cities there are 447 students per IVET, but in rural areas - 287. Nevertheless, it should be mentioned, that IVET schools in rural areas fills the social function as well. They form cultural and economic centres in appropriate area.

Higher education establishments are all over the country. In order to improve the accessibility of higher education three new state regional higher education institutions were established since 1990.

91% of adult education establishments are registered in Riga. Taking in mind that in Riga lives 32% of total population, IVET is accessible for everyone, but CVT and adult education is mostly provided in Riga.

 

. In Latvia GDP per capita is only one third of EU average, the financing for VET does not ensure development.

There is a high need for teacher training (technological and pedagogical). From 2004 all teachers have to have pedagogical education. It is up to teachers to take care for training. Assistance of education or local administration is very limited.

Teachers work on average 1.2 – 1.3 times of official 21 contact hours teaching load with some excessive workload of up to 30-40 hours per week. This is due to low salaries (looking for additional income). In 1999 the progressive increase of salaries was agreed with the government. However the implementation of that settlement does not progress in accordance to agreed schedule.

There is no need for new VET schools, however, the existing schools should not be closed. The discussions should be raised on more effective use of existing schools for VET and CVT.

2.1.4      Structure and organisation of VET and LLL

 

According to the data of Population Census 2000, the educational level of population aged 15 and over is the following– 13.9% has higher education, 20.2% secondary specialised, 31.0% secondary, 5.9% primary education, 1.5% lower than 4 grades, 0.6% has no official education, 0.25 are illiterate. Comparing with data 1989 the percentage of population who has at least secondary education has increased (60.4% in 1989, 65.1% in 2000)[27].

 

A new negative trend was observed in Latvia – the number of children not attending school increased sharply. According to the data of local governments, 1.8 thousands children in the age for compulsory education did not attend schools and had not completed basic schooling in September 2001.[28] Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that number of children out of schools differs a lot by information source.


 

Table 19: Enrolment of education institutions by level of education (ISCED – 97) in 2002

Education level

Enrolment

ISCED

Pre-primary

59,811

ISCED 0

First stage of basic

103,359

ISCED – 1

Second stage of basic

     Of which

        General

         Vocational

175,860

 

174,606

1,254

ISCED – 2

 

 

Secondary

   Of which

      General

       Vocational

100,212

 

62,343

37,869

ISCED – 3

 

 

Post-secondary

Of which

General

Vocational

7,410

 

487

6,923

ISCED – 4

 

 

First stage of tertiary

Of which

Professional

Academic

117,625

 

73,956

43,669

ISCED 5

Second stage of tertiary

1,319

ISCED 6

Source: Education Institutions in Latvia at the beginning of the school year 2002/2003-Riga, CBS, 2003.

 

Compulsory education and general secondary education

 

Amendments to the Law on Education states that preparatory courses for basic education for five and six year old children are compulsory as of September 1, 2002. These courses can be provided by pre-school establishments and by general schools.

 

The total duration of general school education in Latvia is 12 years. It consists of 9-years of basic and 3 years of upper general secondary education.

 

The regular school year (excluding examination periods at grades nine and twelve, 2 and 3 weeks respectively) lasts 35 weeks, from the beginning of September until the end of May. The total number of 40-minute lessons per week is 20 at grade one, 28 at grade five, 34 at grade nine and 36 at grade twelve.

 

Nine-year basic education is compulsory and it  starts at the age of seven. Those who for some reason have not completed their basic education at the estimated age of 16 should, according to the Law on Education, continue their studies towards completing basic education programme until the age of 18 is reached. They can also opt for basic vocational education programmes, which allow them to achieve a Level I vocational qualification and to complete their basic education programme.

After completion of the compulsory 9-year schooling, 65% of students entered general secondary education programmes, 31% - vocational secondary education programmes and 4% did not continue their education in 2002.

 

Starting with those students, who enter grade 10 in the academic year 1999/2000, general secondary schools offer 4 types of programmes at upper secondary school level. These four programmes are: a “general” programme with no emphasis on any particular subject group, and programmes with emphasis on natural sciences, humanities, or vocationally oriented subjects.

 
Vocational introductory education programmes allows besides basic or secondary education to acquire systematic knowledge and skills in arts, culture and sports, which gives opportunity to prepare for acquisition of professional education in chosen field. This kind of education is voluntary and is carried out by general schools or art, music and sport and is meant for children. The duration of these programmes are set by appropriate school. They do not form a part of general education curricula.

 

After completion of general secondary education in the year 2002, 64% of graduates entered higher education studies, 10% of graduates continued their education in vocational postsecondary programmes and 26% did not continue their education.

 

Picture 4: Study paths chosen by students in 2002

 

Text Box: 64%
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Source: Education institutions in Latvia at the beginning of the school year 2002/2003 – Riga: CSB, 2003.

 

In Latvia within ISCED level 3 the greatest part (approximately 60%) goes to general secondary education. Such trend is within all Baltic countries unlike EU  where the greatest part (54%) goes to vocational education.[29]


 

Initial vocational education

 

Initial vocational education is covering all educational levels in Latvia. VET schools may provide programmes up to first level higher professional education. One school may provide different types of programmes. In 2002/03 there were 124 VET schools in Latvia with total enrolment of 46,533.

 

Basic level education

Basic vocational education – ISCED 2C

Students can be enrolled in basic vocational education programmes without restrictions concerning previous education, but not before the year in which they will turn 15.  The length of basic vocational education programmes is 1-2 years.  The Certificate of Basic Vocational Education indicates that the student has acquired a basic vocational education and has received a qualification pertaining to the first level (theoretical and practical training that prepares one for performing simple tasks in a certain area of practical activity, for example, assistant of cook or carpenter).  In the 2002/03 academic year 2.7% (1254) of VET students were enrolled in such programmes.

 

 

Secondary level education

Vocational education – ISCED 3C

Students can be enrolled in vocational education programmes without restrictions concerning previous education, but not before the year in which they will turn 15.  The Law on Vocational Education states that the learner who has enrolled in vocational education programmes without having completed basic general education must be provided with remedial education and, after completion of final examinations, must be conferred an additional certificate of general basic education.  Practically all students enrolled in vocational education programmes have already completed basic general education.

The national vocational education standard determines that vocational education programmes for those with completed basic education last for 2-3 years.  The completion of vocational education programmes is attested by the Certificate of Vocational education.  This certifies that the qualification granted pertains to the second level of vocational qualifications (theoretical and practical training that allows the holder to independently perform qualified work, for example, carpenter, hairdresser, cook, sewer, welder).  Vocational education does not qualify the student to continue education at university level, however, for those students who wish to continue their studies 1-year remedial general secondary education programmes are offered.

In the 2002/03 academic year 22% (10,082) of VET students attended vocational education programmes.

 

Vocational secondary education – ISCED 3A

Vocational secondary education programmes are open to students who have completed general or vocational basic education.  These programmes last for 3-4 years after basic education.  Upon completion of these programmes a Diploma of Secondary Vocational Education is conferred, as well as a qualification of level three (advanced theoretical training and professional competence which makes it possible to fulfil certain tasks, including the planning and organisation of work, for example, different technicians, car mechanics, modiste, hotel service specialists). This diploma provides access to further studies at higher education establishments.  In the 2002/03 academic year 60% of VET students  (27,730) were enrolled in these programmes.  These are (just as in previous years) the most popular programmes offered by vocational education establishments.

 

Post-secondary education

General secondary education – ISCED 4A

In order to allow graduates of vocational education programmes who wish to continue their studies at higher education establishments to acquire general secondary education, vocational education establishments offer equalising courses.  Those students who have already acquired vocational education can study general education subjects for one year, take national examinations and receive a certificate of general secondary education.  During the 2002/03 academic year 1.1% (487) of students attending vocational education establishments participated in these courses.

 

 

 

Vocational education leading to qualification levels 2 or 3 – ISCED 4B

It is possible to enter vocational education and vocational secondary education programmes after graduation from general secondary education. Then programmes last for 1-2 years and only vocational subjects are taught.

During the 2002/03 academic year 14.5% (6755) of VET students were enrolled in these programmes.

 

Vocational secondary education – after graduation from vocational education programme – ISCED 4A

It is also possible to enter vocational secondary education programmes after graduation from vocational programmes. During the 2002/03 academic year only 0.4% or 168 VET students were enrolled in these programmes.


 

Picture 5

Source: Education institutions in Latvia at the beginning of school year 1999/2000. Statistical bulletin - CSB. Riga, 2000.

Education institutions in Latvia at the beginning of school year 2000/2001. Statistical bulletin - CSB. Riga, 2001.

Education institutions in Latvia at the beginning of school year 2001/2002. Statistical bulletin - CSB. Riga, 2002.

 

The most popular programmes in IVET schools are in engineering.

In the period from 1 September 2001 to 1 September 2002 14% of the students attending vocational education establishments were discharged, 11% of all discharged moved to an other educational establishment, but there is no data about the rest. Half (48%) of those discharged were first-year students.  This same level of student discharge has occurred also in previous years.

The most common reasons for discharge are non-attendance (23%) and failure in studies (24%), which is due to the low level of knowledge that students have upon entering the vocational education establishment. For example, of the students enrolled at vocational education establishments under the authority of the MoES in the 2000/01 academic year, 33% had a mark of 3 (weak) or lower in at least one subject in their school leaving certificate.

This proves that additional funding must be provided so that vocational education establishments might organise remedial education for students in certain subject areas.


 

Table 20:Discharged from secondary education.

 

Number of dropouts

Percentage of total number of students

ISCED level

 

2000/2001

2001/02

2000/2001

2001/02

 

General schools (grades 10 –12)

1932

2003

3.8

4.1

ISCED 3

VET schools

7001

6862

14.4

14.4

ISCED 2- 3 -4

Education institutions in Latvia at the beginning of school year 2000/2001. Statistical bulletin - CSB. Riga, 2001.

Education institutions in Latvia at the beginning of school year 2001/2002. Statistical bulletin - CSB. Riga, 2002.

 

Higher level education

 

According to the Law on Higher education establishments higher education establishments can award the following:

1)      academic education and degrees

a)      bachelor (academic degree);

b)      master (academic degree);

c)      doctor (scientific degree);

2)      fourth and fifth level professional qualification and such professional degrees;

a)      bachelor;

b)      master.

 

Higher education establishments offer the possibility to master higher academic education and higher professional education. Studies are organised in format of programmes. Latvia has practically implemented one of the key principles of Bologna declaration on compatibility of education programmes. After the completion of an academic study programme it is possible to continue studies in the respective professional programme and vice versa.[30]

 

In 2002 there were 37 higher education establishments with total enrolment of 118,944 in Latvia. 62% of enrolled studied in professional education programmes.

 

The number of total enrolment in HE is growing year by year only due to increasing the number of commercial students (those who study for fees). In the same time number of state financed students remains the same.


 

Picture 6

Source: Melnis A. Higher Education of Latvia 2003 – Riga: MoES, 2003

 

 

First level higher vocational education (college education) – ISCED 5B These education programmes are implemented by colleges and higher education establishments. College education provides qualifications of level four.  The length of studies within these programmes is 2-3 years following completion of general or vocational secondary education.  The Diploma of First Level Higher Vocational Education (which has been conferred as of 9 June 2000) attests that the qualification achieved pertains to level four (theoretical and practical training that makes it possible to perform complicated tasks as well as to organise and lead the work of others).  In the 2002/03 academic year 8.4% (9291) of HE students were enrolled in these programmes.

 

Second level higher vocational education (higher professional education) – ISCED 5B

These programmes are implemented by universities and other higher education establishments. The length of studies is 4-5 years following completion of general or vocational secondary education. The Diploma of Higher Professional Education attests the qualification achieved pertains to level five (the highest qualification of the specialist in the defined field that makes it possible to plan and perform research and scientific work in the field). In the 2001/02 academic year 59% (56118) of HE students were enrolled in these programmes.

Since the end of 2000 the professional bachelor’s and professional master’s degrees are introduced in Latvia.

 

The enrolment in higher education was 110.500 at the beginning of academic year 2001/02. The most popular programmes were social sciences, business, law. The main reason why social sciences are so popular is demand driven.  Newly established private HE establishments provide these programmes as they expenses are cheaper than for engineering or health care programmes.

 

Picture 7

Source: Education Institutions in Latvia at the beginning of the school year 2001/2002-Riga, CBS, 2002.

 

 

Continuing vocational education and training

 

Further vocational education is a specific type of vocational education which allows adults with a certain educational background and professional experience to acquire a certain level of vocational qualification. Further vocational education programmes will always lead to some level qualification. It is a part of formal education. There is no statistical data about enrolment in these programmes as they are not classified in National Education Classification yet. The duration of these programmes is 30% of duration set for exact IVET programme.

 

Continuing vocational education is a specific type of vocational education which allows persons, regardless of their age, prior education or vocational qualification to acquire systematised vocational knowledge and skills. The duration of these programmes is more than 160 hours. They do not lead to concrete vocational qualification. It is a part of non-formal education.

 

As further vocational education and continuing vocational education programmes are not included in National Education Classification there is no data available about participation in these programmes. All participants are counted as participants of adult education. CSB collects data about adult education and includes in statistics together about participation in adult education and interest education.

 

The definition of adult education in the Law of Education is:

Adult education – a multi – dimensional educational process of persons, which, ensures the development of individual and his or her ability to compete in the labour market during the course of a lifetime of a person.

The definition of interest education in this law is – realisation of the individual educational needs and desires of a person regardless of age and previously acquired education.

 

The main providers of adult education are local government training centres, institutions subjected to ministries or collaborating with them, professional associations, higher education establishments, regional training centres of enterprises, other public and private educational establishments.

 

Latvian Adult Education Association (LAEA) is a non-governmental umbrella organization of providers of adult education founded in December 1993. LAEA was founded with support from Latvian MoES and Institute for International Co-operation of the German Adult Education Association. The goal of the LAEA is to facilitate the development of the adult education system in Latvia and to participate in the life-long learning policy development, promote development of civic, democratic and open society in Latvia. LAEA members are 75 legal entities (in April 2003) who represent adult education centres in districts, folk high schools, folk schools and non-governmental organizations, training centres, universities, vocational schools and evening schools.

LAEA has created co-operative network of adult education providers, prepared trainers, elaborated and approved training programmes, training and methodological materials.

The most important projects implemented by LAEA are: 

-         Local human resources development within context of European Union Regional Policy;

-         Development of transferable adult education modules and creation of a regional strategic adult education programme

The most important current projects:

-         Civic education for integration of local community;

-         Co-operation of NGO’s and municipalities in creation of learning society;

-         Initiatives for local development.

 

There are 171 adult education institutions registered in the Register of Education Institutions,[31] 6 of them are state owned, 13 - local government, 150 - private and 2 - private with state investment.

123 or 91% are registered in Riga.

Non-formal adult education programmes can be provided by other institutions as well.


 

Table 21: Adult education in 1999 – 2001.

Year

Institutions providing adult education

Programmes, number

Enrolees, number

1999

390

6,044

210,777

2000

367

4,456

196,160

2001

367

5,101

204,856

2002

352

5,062

210,741

Source: Education Institutions in Latvia at the beginning of the school year 2002/2003 – Riga: CSB, 2003.

 

According to the CSB data in 2001 the most popular adult programmes were:

  • Economic education programmes (34438 trainees)
  • Health care and social work (29357 trainees)
  • Drivers courses (20712 trainees)
  • Teacher training (18205 trainees).

 

Picture 8

Source: Education Institutions in Latvia at the beginning of the school year 2001/2002-Riga, CBS, 2002.

 

State and local government as well as private providers and non-government organisations offer continuing vocational education programmes. A total of 352 establishments in 2002 in Latvia provide adult/continuing education.

 

Participation in adult/continuing education has increased sharply, from just over 100,000 in 1996 to 210,741 in 2002. Most courses are of relatively short duration. Approximately half of all programmes on offer are in subjects related to business and enterprise; other important fields of study include computer science, healthcare and agriculture.

 

According to the Continuing Vocational Training Survey carried out by CSB in 1999 only 53% of the Latvian enterprises provided in-service continuing vocational training, but in Nordic countries 89%. Only 12.4% of the total number of employees attended CVT courses in 1999.

 

Table 22: The participation of population aged 15 – 74 in continuing (additional) education and training, 2nd quarter 2002.

By motive to perfect one’s knowledge

Employed 100%

Jobseekers 100%

Economically inactive 100%

Participated in courses, seminars or training

6.8

6.9

1.9

To get skills for a job

17.9

28.3

7.7

To perfect professional knowledge

75.5

61.2

74.3

General interest

6.6

10.5

18.1

Did not participate in training

93.2

93.1

98.1

Source: Labour Force Surveys: Main indicators (in the 1st half of 2002) – Riga, CSB, 2002.

 

According to LFS data only 5% of Latvian population aged 15 – 74 has participated in additional education in the 2nd quarter of 2002.

In 2001 the EU average was 8.4% of population 25 – 64 years old. By 2010, the EU-average level of participation in lifelong learning should be at least 15% of the adult working age population (25-64 age group).

 

At present moment the sphere of information, guidance and counselling in Latvia has been included in several legal acts but it has not been developed as an all-inclusive theme yet and the co-ordination and capacity of the institutions involved in it is not sufficient. The MoW and the MoES is responsible for information, guidance and counselling in country. The goals of guidance and counselling in Latvia are determined by The Conception of Professional Guidance in the Latvia Republic (adopted on November 15, 1994).  The policy of the MoW in the sphere of professional guidance is realised  by the State Non-profit Organisation Professional Career Counselling Centre being under its supervision and which has been functioning in conformity with the Social Security Law (adopted on September 7,1995) and the Supporting Law of the Unemployed and Job-seekers (adopted on May 9, 2002). The action of the Professional Career Counselling Centre (PCCC) in the sphere of career guidance and counselling was fixed in the Latvia National Employment Plan 2001 and 2002. The policy of the MoES in professional guidance and counselling is reflected in the Law of Education (adopted on November 17, 1998) and in the Law of the Professional Education (adopted on June 30, 1999). These regulations denote that local governments foster the delivering of professional guidance and counselling for school students.

The PCCC was established in 1987; at present it has counselling cabinets in 17 regions of Latvia and a mobile counselling group. The total number of the staff there is 53, the total number of the employed counsellors is 37, among them 3 men and 34 women, the average age of the counsellors is 36 years. The requirements for working in PCCC are higher education in psychology (academic or professional, the period of time for acquiring education is 4 – 5 years), but higher pedagogical education is admissible as well.

In the year 2001, 21,969 people have received consultations, among them 14,457 pupils of senior forms, 4,373 unemployed persons (57% by request of the SES), 487 students of vocational schools and 386 students of higher education establishments, 795 unemployed job-seekers who were not registered with the SES, 1278 employed persons and 193 parents of school children.  As compared with the previous year, the number of persons consulted has increased by 21%.

Clients of the Centre can receive the following services:

  • individual and group consultations on issues of career and training decisions and professional aptitude;
  • individual consultations on job search issues;
  • training seminars for young people and adults on career development and job search issues;
  • informative consultations on training opportunities in Latvia and abroad.

 

The MoES in the framework of the Agency of Vocational Education Development Programs in 2000 has established the Professional Guidance Information Centre, which is dealing with information about vocation education in Latvia and in EU countries. The action of the PGIC is partially financed by the MES and partially by the means of the EU’s Leonardo da Vinci co-operation program of education. The centre, having two staff members, co-operates with similar organisations in Europe, together forming the Euroguidance Network.

 

In Riga one private organisation - The Professional Guidance Centre has already been functioning since 1998 ( since 2000 as public organisation) which is directly engaged in delivering information, guidance and counselling services to school students.

 

The school study program does not envisage a special career guidance course. In form 8 in the courses of “Bases of Economics” and in form 9 in the course of “Civil study” professional guidance and themes of career development are integrated and for which 2 – 3 lessons a year are devoted. Starting from 2002 in forms 1 – 9 a new subject of general education will be introduced – Social science in which there will be integrated a career theme and it will be devoted 1 – 2 lessons a year in each form. In the class-masters’/mistresses’ lessons the development of career is one of the topics looked upon.

 

There is no career guidance counsellors in the vocational or higher education establishments. HE sometimes organizes career days where representatives from enterprises participate as well. It is more or less the duty of graduates themselves to find the job. The career guidance counsellors would be very useful in the vocational education schools and they would help the graduates to choose the further career.

The lack of co-ordination and distribution of competencies between the MoW and the MoES in the sphere of information, professional guidance and counselling is the main obstacle for establishing a unified system of professional guidance in Latvia. At present the positions of involved ministries differs. The position of the MoW is to provide availability of information, guidance and counselling services to the population. But the position of the MoES is to integrate the guidance in the study and up-bringing work curricula and leaving the guidance provision to self-governments. As a reason also could be mentioned that an institution of the MoW – the PCCC has been functioning since 1987, it realises counselling services to the whole population of Latvia but its financing possibilities are limited. Whereas the MoES has turned to the development of professional guidance in the system of education only during the last years and perhaps in the future a constructive dialogue could start between these two ministries.

 

Assessment and certification

 

All education programmes should be licensed by MoES, except, state and local government founded education establishments can provide adult un-formal education programmes without licence, other legal or physical bodies after getting licence from the local government.

In order to issue state recognized final documents all vocational education programmes (except continuing vocational and vocational introductory education programmes) should be accredited. The programmes are accredited by Commission (composed of) appointed by the Minister of Education and Science.

In order to get state funding education establishments should be accredited as well. Only accredited education establishments can participate in competition for providing training courses for unemployed.

 

In 2000 CoM adopted No. 383 “Regulations on vocational qualifications which are acquired by sitting centralised qualifying examinations” confirm the list of second and third level qualifications which are conferred after the sitting of centralised qualifying examinations.  They came into force as of 1 September 2001.

In order to provide the implementation of centralised examinations, MoES Guidelines No. 11 of 10 October 2001 “Procedures for the centralised examination process” were drawn up.

Nine Training and Examination Centres dealing with a total of 23 professions were  operational during the 2001/02 school year.  Qualifications examinations were taken at Training and Examination Centres by 3,816 students, of which 2,913, or 76%, acquired a qualification.  The PEC of the MoES developed content for qualification examinations in 32 professions, for the other professions content was established by the training institutions themselves. These centralized exams should be passed also for those who study in further vocational education programmes. The main aim of centralized examinations is to assess true knowledge of graduates by equal means. The participation of social partners is mandatory in these exams.


 

Practical training

 

All VET programmes has its compulsory part – practical training. It can be carried out by VET schools, enterprises or persons who has masters (craftsman) diploma issued by Chamber of Crafts.

In the first courses the practical training is carried out mainly in the workshops of the VET school and minimum is 2 days per week.

Before graduation everybody should pass qualification practice which depends from the programme and should last from 480 to 960 hours. It is mainly carried out by enterprises. The contract between the VET school, employer and student should be signed before the practical training starts. The contracts states the main responsibilities of the school, student and employer. The school nominates one of its teachers as responsible person for this students within his practice. The teacher observes the performance of the contract and is the first person who solves the conflicts between the student and the employer. The employer nominates the trainer for the student whose responsibilities is to organise practical training within enterprise according to the programme.

 

It is the duty of school to find enterprises where students can pass their qualification practice. As many of enterprises are small and can take only some students there may be a situation that each student passes its qualification practice in different enterprise.

 

Enterprises which has started to cooperate with schools in many cases continue to do it year by year as they see this practical training as way they can get additional cheap employee or they can train their new staff without additional investments.

 

During this qualification practice the student is enrolled in VET institution and leaves it only after graduation.

 

The VET system is in place. The horizontal path on secondary education level is limited. Traditionally population is oriented to get a higher education level, however the prestige of VET should be raised up.

On the other hand the VET system seems to have a quite strong practice orientation (from 1-2 months in the first years, up to 5-6 months in the last year(s). However, enterprises complain about the low level of knowledge and skills of students and students (receiving even a small salary) are not properly catered by the company. Incentives to the enterprises could improve the quality of work practice and its learning outcomes.

The lack of co-ordination and distribution of competencies between the MoW and the MoES in the sphere of information, professional guidance and counselling is the main obstacle for establishing a unified system of professional guidance in Latvia. The professional guidance should be developed in school level.

CVT and LLL should become more accessible to different target groups in regions.

 


 

2.2.    Responsiveness of the education and training system to the needs of the labour market and the individual

LFS data on educational attainment of the employed population in 2002 show that educational attainment of Latvian population is rather high: about 86.2% of employed population has at least general secondary education and higher. Latvian labour force shows quite high proportion of employed with higher education (21.6%), and high proportion of employed people (40.4%) has vocational education and professional secondary education. However, the proportion of employed with basic education or lower is quite alarming: about 13% of employed have basic education or even less.

 

Table 23: Employed population by educational attainment (4th quarter, 2002), in %.

Educational attainment of employed

Total in %

Male

Female

Total

100

100

100

Scientific degree

0.4

0.4

0.4

Higher education

21.6

18.5

24.8

Vocational education and professional secondary education

40.4

40.1

40.7

General education

23.8

23.4

24.2

Basic education

12.9

16.3

9.4

Primary

0.9

1.3

0.4

Less than primary education

-

-

0.1

 Source: LFS, Riga, 2003.

 

Gender division of educational attainment of employed shows that the proportion of females with higher education is higher than that of males.

This development does not mean that qualification structure is meeting the labour market demands. National development plan[32] of Latvia and Long term economic strategy[33] states that Latvia needs more qualified workers and the qualification level of employed should increase drastically, particularly in the fields of natural sciences and engineering. The same scheme concerns also professionals with higher education. Employers’ research shows that labour market needs more qualified labour force in many professions and qualifications, for example, accountancy, engineering, ICT, etc. Those specialists who are in labour market for several decades need training and continuous education.

 

In Latvia the rate of unemployment among young people aged 15-24 (22.2%) is considerably higher than among persons aged 25-54 and exceeds the average figure in the EU (15.1%), indicates that special measures are necessary to facilitate the integration of young people into the labour market. [34]

Unemployment is greatly linked to the level of education. The lowest unemployment rate is among persons with higher education (7.1%). It is three times higher among registered unemployed with basic education and incomplete basic education (23%) in 2001.[35]

 

On 1 October 2002, the State Employment Service registered 764 unemployed VET schools graduates from 2001/02, this represents 0.8% of the total number of registered unemployed persons and 5.3% of the total VET schools graduates from 2001/02.

In the previous year - 2001, the State Employment Service had registered 561 unemployed VET schools graduates from 2000/01, this represents 0.6% of the total number of registered unemployed persons and 4.4% of the total VET schools graduates from 2000/01.

 

Table 24: Percentage of the VET school graduates in the total of registered unemployed.

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

1.2

0.7

0.5

0.5

0.6

0.8

Source: SES data

 

During the CBS May 2000 LFS, participants who had graduated from vocational education establishments in the period between 1990 to 1999 were asked additional questions regarding their education. Of all vocational school leavers of the given period, 42% are working in a different field, and 30% are working in the field for which they were trained. Data from a similar survey done in 1997 show that at that time, among persons who had left vocational education establishments in 1993-1997, 34% were working in a different field and 30% were working in the field for which they were trained[36].

So, as a whole, the employment level of vocational education establishment leavers has increased, even though the reason is their increased capacity to find work in another field, as the percentage of those working in the field they trained for remains the same. The fact that only one third of school leavers work in the field for which they were trained can be explained in two ways – either they had an overly idealistic view of their chosen profession and they are not willing to do the work or there is no demand for this qualification on the labour market. There is a lot of work to be done by career guidance counsellors, as well as staff of vocational education establishments, in order to ensure the training of a truly competitive labour force with qualifications demanded by the market.[37]

 

2.2.1. Planning/programming and responsiveness to the labour market

The collapse of the centrally-planed economy and other changes in Latvia since 1990 had a profound impact on vocational education. As vocational education in Latvia has had its origins in a command economy, relevance to the current and developing market economy is a major problem.

In the last years a number of elements have been developed in order to respond to labour market needs better.

 

Labour market information

 

In the area of identifying labour market needs and skill needs several key projects have been carried out, different researches and surveys on VET and the labour market have prepared by the Latvian National Observatory, the Latvian Academy of Science, universities, non-governmental organisations.

Some data about necessary basic skills (from World Bank project) will be ready at the end of 2003

 

The regular information on labour market demand and unemployment has been obtained from:

-         annual reports on economic development, which treats economic and social development, priorities and reforms in economic policy, published by the MoE;

-         regular reports on registered unemployed people and vacancies, collected by the SES;

-         annual reports on registered unemployed graduates, including VET schools graduates as divided into schools, qualifications and regions, collected by the SES since 1995;

-         The LFS of CSB. It is aimed at obtaining detailed information on the situation in Latvia’s labour market and economic activity of its inhabitants;

 

On the national level studies on vocational education take the form of state ordered applied researches.  Unfortunately finances for carrying out these studies are insufficient.

 

Information about skill needs is being collected, but not in a systematic way that it does inform planning of education only to a limited extent.

Up to now there are no appropriate mechanism for getting data about the skills demanded in the labour market useful for medium- and long-term forecast needs of occupations.

 

Involvement of social partners

 

Recently employers participate more and more actively in realisation of vocational education, nevertheless this co-operation is insufficient.

 

The rights of social partners to take an active part in vocational education and training are determined for the first time by the Law on Vocational Education.

 

In order to promote involvement of the social partners in the development of vocational education the CoM approved regulations “Procedure how the State delegates public organisations separate supports and management functions of vocational education” on May 2001. These regulations provide considerable possibilities for the public organisations. It is said in the regulations that State institutions are not allowed to delegate public organisations to take up the following functions: approval of policy and strategy of vocational education; approval of normative regulations; co-ordination of the system of vocational education and supervision of its activities; distribution of state budget and control of financial resources.

For today none of the social partner organisations has not shown initiative to take over any of the functions.

 

In order to provide co-operation at the national level in 2000 the National Tripartite Sub-council (NTS) for Co-operation in Vocational Education and Employment was established. It is a part of the institutional system of the National Tripartite Council for Co-operation which has been established with the purpose of promoting the co-operation of the government, employer and employee organisations concerning the planning and implementation of national policy and of strategy in vocational education, human resources development and employment.

The most significant issues to pass before the committee in the years 2000 -2003 are the following: the drafts of the Latvian National Employment Plan; the procedure for organising practical training placements; the Law on Assistance to Job-seekers and the Unemployed; regulation for the centralised vocational qualification examinations and approval of their commissions, regulations for examination in programs for unemployed; the State demand in vocational education; occupational standards.

 

In order to work out an effective system for co-operation with the social partners at regional level it is planned to create Regional Tripartite Councils of Co-operation in Vocational Education. In January 2003 the NTS accepted draft of regulations for regional Tripartite Council of Rezekne.

In the draft of program of development of the system of vocational education for years 2003-2005, worked out by the MoES and which has been approved by NTS, it is foreseen to create a regional council of vocation education in Vidzeme in 2004 and also in Kurzeme in 2005.

Co-operation with the social partners at regional level has been started up, but it has been impaired by the slow administrative territorial reform.  

 

In April 2000 the CoM passed the statutes of the Council for Co-operation in Vocational Education. In contrast to the Subcommittee of the Tripartite Council for Co-operation in Vocational Education and Employment, the Council for Co-operation in Vocational Education includes representatives from vocational education establishments. But the work of this council is not so effective as the previous one, because it is consultative by nature and it duplicates the activities of the Sub-council.

 

Curriculum design/development

 

The educational programmes of VET were traditionally orientated to the acquiring of a specified profession. In the soviet period “full” general secondary education programmes where always included in the secondary VET curricula. However frequently, general education subjects were taught rather formally even if their presence in the curriculum decreased the number of hours devoted to vocational training and therefore the results of the education were not always good enough.

 

Beginning from 1994 several international assistance projects were carried out and they have supported the development of new vocational education and training curricula.

The most important investment in curriculum development was made within the Phare programmes “Vocational Education and Training Reform”, “Business Education Reform”, “Higher Vocational Education Reform”, “Vocational Education and Training 2000”.

 

Law of Vocational Education and the related regulations so far have determined the role of social partners and educators in working out curricula.

VET curricula are being developed on the basis of two standards:

-         the National Standard of VET,

-         the occupational standard.

 

The National Standards of VET are developed by the MoES and they are adopted by the CoM. They determine the strategic objectives of education programs, the compulsory contents of education, the basic principles and the procedure of assessment in accordance with the level of education.

 

The National Standard for vocational education determines the following curriculum content:
Vocational education leading to a qualification of level 2:
Relation of theory to practice is 35:65%; general academic subjects vs. professional subjects - 60:40%. Distribution of general academic subjects: language and communications 45%, math, natural sciences, technologies 33%, social science and cultural studies 22%.

The National Standard for vocational secondary education determines the following structure for curricula:

Secondary vocational education leading to a qualification of level 3:
Relation of theory to practice is 50:50%; general academic subjects vs. professional subjects - 60:40%.
Distribution of general academic subjects: language and communications 45%, math, natural sciences, technologies 33%, social science and cultural studies 22%.

 

In March 2001 was adopted the Regulations of the CoM on the National Standard for First Level Higher Vocational Education (a qualification of level 4). The Regulations proscribe that training programmes of this level are implemented by higher education establishments or by colleges.

The size of the training programme as a whole and the individual training courses is expressed in credit points. One credit point is equal to 40 hours of work. The size of a programme is between 80 and 120 credit points. Practical training placements cannot take up less than 16 credit points and the qualifying project assignment cannot take up less than 8 credit points (while not exceeding 10 % of the total volume of the programme).

 

In November 2001 was adopted the National Standard for the Second Level Higher Professional Education. It proscribes that second level higher professional education and fifth level professional qualification can be obtained within the following programmes – professional higher bachelor study programme, professional higher master study programme, professional higher education study programme.

 

Occupational standard determines the basic demands of vocational qualification, as well as the specific demands necessary for doing the main tasks in the given profession.

 

Regulations for working out occupational standards approved by the CoM define that it is the MoES which organise the process of working out the occupational standards. For this purpose a division has been formed by this ministry in the PEC. When working out the occupational standard, a special team is being formed, involving representatives of enterprises and professional organisations of the branch in it. The human resources of the PEC allow to organise working out only 20 occupational standards per year.[38] Trade Unions, employer organisations, professional organisations and educational establishments can work out drafts of occupational standards themselves and submit them to the MES.

 

Every Occupational standard is adopted by NTS for Co-operation in Vocational Education and Employment and registered in the Register that has been issued by MoES.

 

The first Occupational Standard has been registered in March 2001. On April 2003 there are 148 Occupational Standards in it for various professions. The MoES has foreseen that the occupational standards for all professions should be prepared by 2006.

 

Curricula are developed by education establishments, based on certain standards. In order to be able to implement curricula, a licence must be received from the MoES. Only graduates of accredited programmes have the right to receive a state-authorised certificate of vocational education and professional qualification.

Subject curricula are developed by teachers who teach the relevant subject and these are approved by the director of the education establishment.

 

On the whole the state legislation has been arranged, it determine working out VET curricula, but the functioning of this system still needs improvement.

The main problem is involving social partners in working out and actualisation of the occupational standards. Social partners should be activated to do their duties and make use of their rights.

 

As a good example of social partners’ activity Professional Education Board for the Information Technology, Telecommunications and Electronics sector can be mentioned. It was set up in 2000 by 4 ICTE industry associations, in order to promote development of the VET system in the branch. This Council was set up after co-operation of these associations in the Phare program VET2000, within the framework of which a survey of the information technology, telecommunications and electronics sector in Latvia and first occupational standard was prepared. [39]

 

Revisions (done on 05.07.2001) in the Law on Vocational Education provide that a programme of further vocational education contains not less than 30% of the compulsory professional subject matter contained in the national education standard for vocational education or secondary vocational education programmes, or not less than 30% of the compulsory content of the national standard for first level higher vocational education programmes. In this way the relationship between the content of initial vocational education programmes and of further vocational education programmes is defined.

 

On 1 September 2001, Regulation No. 383 (2000) of the CoM “On vocational qualifications which are acquired by sitting centralised qualifying examinations” came into force. This regulation confirms the list of second and third level qualifications, which are conferred after the sitting of centralised qualifying examinations. Persons who complete further vocational education programmes must also take centralised examinations.

The length and content of continuing vocational training is determined by the training programmes.

Higher and vocational education establishments continuously develop new further vocational training programmes for the acquisition of vocational qualifications. These programmes apply modularisation, distance learning, as well as traditional teaching methods.

 

Delivery

Social partners play important role providing placement for trainees and developing partner relationship with VET schools. At present this type of co-operation is based mainly on the initiative of educational establishments and responsiveness of enterprises. Although many VET schools are able to keep contacts with enterprises, which give financial support and provide placements for trainees, the co-operation is not sufficient and more interest is needed from the employers.

In Latvia 76% of all enterprises are micro enterprises with no more than 9 employees and 20% are small enterprises with 10 - 49 employees in year 2002.[40] Many of those are occupied with their problems of existence and are not specially interested in co-operation with VET schools.

 

In order to make the enterprises more interested it is necessary to create stimulating factors for closer co-operation with VET schools.

 

Enterprises who are aware of the continuously changing nature of the business environment willingly participate in funding the training of their own staff. Generally these are large-scale economically stable enterprises which have their staff development plans, training centres, etc. on the spot.

Small and medium enterprises, which have comparatively lower profits, find it much more difficult to invest in staff training, because ensuring survival is foremost.[41]

 

In order to increase the contribution of employers to the training of workers, it is necessary to apply tax reductions to investments into human resources.

 

The employers take part in the qualification examinations, providing assessment of the trainees’ knowledge and skills. The overall regulations allow organising vocational qualification examinations in each educational establishment. Taking into account that only few schools have sufficient technical basis or modern technologies and that it is necessary to introduce in the state a unified methodology and regulations of examination, there are being set up training and examination centres in VET schools. In Riga VET schools 9 examination centres have been set up, in which vocational qualification examinations are being organised in accordance with the branch principle.

As the examination centres are situated in Riga, all students from VET schools outside Riga have to come to the capital to pass the examining. This increases the costs of examining and makes it harder for the representatives of local enterprises to participate in the work of examination commissions.

In order to improve this situation it is foreseen in the draft of development program of the system of vocational education for years 2003-2005, worked out by MoES, to create territorial examination centres. It is foreseen in the draft program set up an examination centre in Latgale in 2004 and in Vidzeme in 2005. Besides that it is planed to make a register of territorial experts, which could be used when organising qualification examination commissions.

 

Computerization of Latvian Education system has been launched by Latvian Education computerization system project (LIIS) in 1998. This project foremost and mainly aimed general education schools.  Until 2002 computer classrooms were available for 81 % of general education schools. Computer classrooms were available in all general secondary schools, in 80% of primary schools, 81% of evening schools (night schools) and 62% of special schools.

In 2001/2002 Internet connection was ensured for 67% of general education schools (in 2000/2001 for 55%) and there were on average 26 pupils per computer. The ratio computer per student was 1: 19 in VET schools.

It is expected to reach the rate 10 pupils per computer and continue the computerization of schools as well as education and training of teachers (NEP 2002).

 

Table 25: Computers and internet connections in VET schools.

VET schools

Total

Internet

Total

3702

1321

Ministry of Education and Science

1078

363

Ministry of Agriculture

195

64

Ministry of Culture

321

167

Ministry of Welfare

99

47

Ministry of Interior Affairs

111

20

Municipal VET schools

74

40

                               Source : MoES data

 

 

Up to now there are no appropriate mechanism for getting data about the skills demanded in the labour market useful for medium- and long-term forecast needs of occupations. For that promotion of research on the labour market issues is necessary. One of the solutions would be setting up research centre that would do labour market research and monitoring.

 

On the whole the State Legislation has been arranged it determine working out VET curricula, but the functioning of this system still needs improvement.

The main problem is involving social partners in working out and actualisation of the occupational standards. Subsidized practice places are only some in agricultural sector.

 

In order to make the enterprises more interested it is necessary to develop stimulating factors for closer co-operation with VET schools.

Most schools are very poorly equipped, equipment is old – a few have quite good equipment, but this greatly depends on the enthusiasm of the director. Economy of scale would require very careful planning and difficult decisions which schools should be provided with what equipment. Practice and apprenticeships could to some extend substitute the practical lessons in school workshops. For that even better collaboration with employers will be needed.

 

 

2.2.2. Responsiveness to the needs of individual

 

The structure of educational system tries to offer young people flexible pathways that enable equal access to education and training for everybody. The basic selection criterion is educational achievement. It means that in reality, the educational system is rather selective already from the beginning of elementary education. At least that is a case in big cities where there are so called “elite schools” that have requested entrance tests at first grade (age 7), seventh grade (14) and 10th grade (age 16). In some schools the entrance rate is 1:7.

Since 1998 educational system starts to be more individual needs oriented. Secondary education offers 4 types of programs (Law on general education, Paragraph 42, 1998): General (1), Humanitarian and social (2), math, science and technology (3), vocational (4). Introduction of the Program approach enables young people to select a program that is more appropriate to their interests and needs. In all schools (both general and vocational education) students have rights to receive individual consultations at school in each school subject (by subject teachers).

 

Another root of initial training system is apprenticeship, which is relatively underdeveloped in Latvia. Based on the 1993 Law on Craftsmanship the state has given the Latvian Chamber of Crafts (LCC) the right to evaluate the level of vocational qualification of craftsmen in 159 vocations and to confer a document attesting to the corresponding level of professional knowledge. Persons completing an apprenticeship can obtain official recognition by taking a journeyman’s qualifying exam organised and implemented by the relevant professional association within the LCC. Apprenticeship route is followed by less than 2% of all new entrants to the labour market.

 

Those young people who are not able to manage with general basic education program could take the basic vocational training (level 2) that is offered in three basic vocational schools in Latvia.

Besides, for those young people who are early school-leavers, risk children, etc., a Program of Social Correction is introduced (Law on General Education, Paragraph 59, 1998). The main objective of the social correction classes/schools is to offer programs of social or pedagogical correction, providing quality education to children from risk families, juvenile delinquents, etc. According to legislation, any school has a right to open a class of social correction for children who needs social or pedagogical correction. All schools that offer program of social correction must ensure the afternoon classes for individual work with pupils who study in these classes.

 

Those young people who are talented and study at specialized art, music or craft schools receive very individualized attitude and teachers work individually with students. Students receive supplementary support services. 

 

There are no “Open Universities” in Latvia. Distance learning is developed in several universities and offers programmes for higher education. Distance learning centre (DLC) of Riga Technical University works since 1998, and offer programs for various adult populations. This centre offers programs in business, basic ICT skills, professional communication (Internet), E-commerce, languages, management of innovations. Their clients are craftsmen, municipal employees. Centre has trained about 800 persons in urban and rural communities. Since 2003, DLC participates in the PHARE project for regional development in Latgale. Within the project about 300 craftsmen and unemployed people have received basic training in ICT, business planning and innovation management. Project offers also 9 months English language courses for the same target group.

 

LLL is becoming more important and attracts more people. However, LFS data show that continuous training attracts rather small proportion from the total number of employed population and job seekers (4.2%). Data provide information on motivation for continuous training that the main motive is related to employment – to improve professional knowledge (76%).

 

Table 26: Participation in continuous training, by motive to improve knowledge (%)

Motives

 

To get skills for job

14.6

To improve professional knowledge

76.1

General interest

9.2

Source: LFS data, Riga, 2003.

 

At present there are no data about agreements between social partners to facilitate access to LLL through flexible working arrangements and modernization of work organization

2.3. Contribution of the education and training system to promoting social and labour market inclusion.

2.3.1. Access and inclusion.

 

Education Law declares that every resident of Latvia has equal rights to education. Education policy documents stress importance of equal access to education for everybody, and some policy measures are employed to ensure equal rights to education, integration into Latvian educational system and society in general. In late 90-ies a few programs were introduced: transition to upper secondary education in State language starting from September 2003, bilingual education in basic education since 2000, programs of pedagogical correction for pupils with behavioural and social development programs.

However, the situation is quite difficult for several groups of population which face increasing social differentiation.

 

Economic disparities become more important in access to education and success in education. Household budget surveys show that families with children under 15 constitute 41% from population with income within 1st (lowest) income, and 11% within 5th quintile.

 

Table 27. Population by income quintiles (%).

 

year

Total

Quintile groups

1. (lowest)

2.

3.

4.

5.

Total consumption

1998

100

9.9

14.7

17.7

21.4

36.3

1999

100

9.6

14.3

16.9

22.3

36.9

2000

100

9.1

13.9

17.0

21.5

38.5

Population

1998

100

25.6

20.9

17.2

18.9

17.5

1999

100

26.5

21.1

16.6

18.4

17.4

2000

100

26.7

20.3

16.9

18.9

17.2

Households with children under 15

1998

100

37.9

23.2

12.5

14.3

12.1

1999

100

41.2

22.1

10.0

14.5

12.2

2000

100

41.4

20.8

11.5

15.3

10.9

Source: Poverty indicators in 1996 – 2000 - Riga, CSB 2001., p. 5.

 

State support for families with children is not sufficient. It means that rather big group of households with children has quite small income and cannot afford school text books, work-books and school supplies. State and municipality are not able to provide each pupil with text books, and not every household is able. It means that economical situation of parents is a factor that influences access to education.

Poor families have difficulties to provide their children with qualitative education.

 

After graduation from basic education children from poor families usually chose vocational education. Some of them have to quit education because life far away from home is too expensive, youth at age 16 is not grown up enough to manage with various problems.

Starting from 1997, students of tertiary education may apply for study and student loans. However, students (their parents) usually have to cover fees for the first semester. Poor households cannot manage with that (about 200-500 LVL). There is no specific support for students from families with low income.

 

Regional disparities is another differentiating factor. PISA study results demonstrate that the achievement results in reading differ between schools and settlements. According to data, 35.5% of disparity of results is due to school type and settlement (polarization of schools). Results are higher in urban schools, secondary schools, and lower in rural, small schools, evening (shift) schools and vocational schools.

 

Completion rates in general secondary education are rather high (90%), but in vocational education they are slightly lower. The MoES estimates that approximately 85% of those who enter all types of vocational programmes actually complete their programme and graduate. Dropout is more frequent in "vocational" and "basic vocational" programmes and less in "secondary vocational". Among those who graduate, about one in six enters higher education, while the remaining graduates entering the labour market directly from vocational education. Long term poverty is one of the factors that influence concentration of students with poor knowledge in the vocational education sector. In many cases, economical problems are closely related to social and behavioural problems.

 

Risk groups of social exclusion:

-         Socially disadvantaged

-         Early school leavers and drop-outs

-         Persons with special needs (persons with minor disability are integrated in mainstream education, persons with higher disabilities attend schools for persons with special needs)

-         Access of disadvantaged groups to continuing training;

-         Non-Latvians – ethnic minorities (including the explaining of this status, citizens/non-citizens, the language issue, out phasing plan, some basic indiators etc.)

-         Other issues (e.g. regional differences between schools, “crisis districts”,  access to pre-primary education)

 

Although education is not compulsory beyond the basic stage, people have a right to a secondary education regardless of their age. There are no tuition fees in state and municipal vocational schools, and students receive a personal maintenance grant and reimbursement 50% of travel costs from home to school. Most vocational schools also provide subsidised accommodation for students.

 

The Professional Career Counselling Centre offers counselling to clients on the choice of the most appropriate area of activities and occupation, on issues of professional suitability, and on psychological issues related to job-seeking and also information about educational establishments. However, the guidance and counselling practically do not work with socially excluded groups. 

 

The ethnic minorities have rights to obtain the education in minority programmes. In 1999, a new legislation was accepted stating that starting from 2000, 1st year pupils started to learn bilingually, and since September, 2003, the transition to State language in 60% of subjects should be taught in Latvian in upper secondary education. All the students in minority schools learn Latvian. Teachers from minority schools were trained in the Latvian language and methods of bilingual teaching. Every teacher had an opportunity to attend the courses for free. 

 

Table 28: Language of instruction,  2001/2002 (in %).

Language of instruction

Pre-school establishments,

General full-time schools

Vocational schools

Tertiary education

Latvian

72.5

68.8

80.5

87.9

Russian

22.7

30.7

19.5

9.3

Polish

0.2

0.3

-

-

Ukrainian

-

0.09

-

-

Belarusian

-

0.02

-

-

English

-

-

-

2.8

Source: Education Institutions in Latvia at the beginning of the school year 2001/2002-Riga, CBS, 2002

 

As shown by the table, only four ethnic groups among the citizenry exceed the 1% mark – Latvians, Russians, Poles and Belarussians. The Latvians comprise the absolute majority of all citizens of Latvia.

 

Table 29: Permanent residents and citizens by ethnic origin, July 2001.

Ethnic origin

Percentage of ethnic group among citizenry

Percentage of ethnic group among permanent residents

Latvians

76.3

58.8

Russians

17.4

28.8

Belarussians

1.3

4.0

Poles

2.2

2.5

Ukrainians

0.4

2.5

Lithuanians

0.9

1.4

Jews

0.3

0.4

Others

0.9

1.4

Source: Department of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, 2001.

 

When discussing the representative proportionality of different ethnic groups, one most remember that in some types of work, e.g. the civil service, only citizens can be employed, while other types of work are accessible to persons without Latvian citizenship.

Reviewing the ethnic proportions of districts administrations and elected districts representatives, the data shows the Latvians dominate as the absolute majority in the districts councils and administration[42] of Latvia.  Minorities are proportionally less represented in district councils and administration than their proportions in these districts, both among permanent residents and citizens. Survey data shows that minority representation is very uneven and disproportionate. In many districts several minorities are not represented in the councils and administration. From other side there is there are councils and administration where a certain minority representation exceeds by several times the proportion of this ethnic group among the given districts citizenry or entire population.

 

Table 30. Employment in the state enterprises (%).

Ethnic group

Ratio in the Latvian railway

Latvian shipping company

Lattelekom

Latvian Post

Latvians

28.9

51.8

66

71.8

Russians

51.6

35.9

25.2

19.5

Belarussians

8.4

4.0

3.3

3.1

Poles

3.7

5.0

1.8

1.25

Ukrainians

5.0

0.9

1.8

2.0

Others

2.4

2.2

2.0

2.3

Source: Pabriks A. Occupational representation and ethnic discrimination in Latvia, Soros –Foundation – Latvia, 2002.

 

Statistical data indicate that at state enterprises and former state enterprises that have been recently privatized, minorities are a larger part of the work force than ethnic Latvians. Minorities are more often employed in manufacturing, transportation and communications, trade, police. (Rose, Richard. New Baltic barometer IV.2000)

 

On February 6, 2001 the CoM of Latvia approved of the National programme “The Integration of Society in Latvia”. In the field of education the programme stated the need to provide teaching of Latvian language upon the level to use as language for mutual communication; to organise education system as main tool for development of tolerance, development of political culture and to provide minority education programmes for integration in society and in the same time for national identity.  

 

When analysing the proportions of Latvian and non- Latvian students within the VET system, one can conclude that it is possible to get vocational education and training in both Latvian and Russian.


 

Table 31. Russian as language of instruction in VET schools, 2002. 

VET schools

Total number of students

Russian as language of instruction

Absolute no.

%

Total

46533

8084

17

Full time (day)

44771

7003

16

Part time (evening)

43

 

 

Part time (correspondence)

1719

1081

63

By ministry

 

 

 

Education and Science

25832

6658

26

Agriculture

13106

574

4

Culture

1907

12

0.6

Welfare

2352

 

 

Interior Affairs

284

 

 

Municipal VET schools

1468

 

 

Private

1584

840

53

Source: Ministry of Education and Science, data base.

 

Continuing Education and Training as a basis for inclusion

 

Retraining of unemployed lay the basis for inclusion. Due to the reduction of financing the number of unemployed who participated in CVT has reduced and only one third of those who wished participated in it.

Data from SES provide opportunity to give approximate rate of return to employment after the participation in training. In 2001 67.8% (2000 – 66.3%) of those who finished retraining courses for unemployed found job.

 

The role of CVT and adult education in this aspect of life-long learning has to be specified.

The recognition of skills and knowledge gained in non-formal adult education for formal education system is not solved in Latvia.

 

CVT and adult education programmes have to be more accessible for people on countryside. There are important financial limits, territorial differences and aspects connected with social exclusion. CVT programmes have to be more oriented to the development of entrepreneurial skills.


 

 

In spite of development of educational reforms, there are still problems in education which is an obstacle for successful integration of society.  The basic guidelines for education foresees the access to adequate education for all, the reality sometimes is different.  There is still children who drop out of education system, the state support for families with children is not sufficient.

The social exclusion is still problem in Latvia. The problem tackles more the population groups with a low income. The social exclusion on ethnic bases is not characteristic to Latvia’s society. But there seem to remain some problem.

There is no exact and clear concept as regards to CVT and adult education in Latvia.

There is a lack of life-long learning policy as well. The Concept of Education Development 2002-2005 is focused more on vocational aspect of life-long learning. At the same time vocational training (employability and adaptability) centred approach have to be balanced and includes also learning for active citizenship and self-fulfilment.

.

 

2.4. Contribution of education and training system to promoting entrepreneurship

2.4.1. Design of entrepreneurial skills

Subjects related to entrepreneurship have been taught in general education since 1998. In the 8th class the pupils have compulsory subject “Introduction to Economics” (1 hour per week), where they are introduced to the basics of entrepreneurship and practical application of this knowledge. Upon finishing the 9th class, pupils have to pass a state test in History and Social Sciences including questions on economics.  The curricula of the 10th – 12th classes include an integrated subject “Economic Basis of Business” (1 hour per week) putting an equal emphasis upon both economics and business and requiring to apply the acquired knowledge in analysing economic phenomena and finding practical solutions to various situations. This subject is defined as compulsory. Upon finishing the 12th class pupils may optionally take a state examination in the subject. The popularity of the subject is confirmed by the number of pupils who applied to taking this examination in academic year 2001/2002, namely, 11632 (70.4%) from 16525.[43]

 

The Business Education reform in Latvia has been initiated under a Latvian- Danish bilateral project. During the period from autumn 1994 till spring 1997 3-year business education curricula for 9th grade graduates and a 1-year curriculum for 12th grade graduates have been developed under this project. 15 schools are running these programmes. All of them have implemented and continue 3-year curriculum, 6 of them are running 1-year curriculum

Under PHARE programme "Business Education Reform Programme" during the period of 1996 till 1998 draft concept for professional business education have been developed, 2-year business curricula at college level and programmes for adult vocational education have been created, teachers and school managers have been trained, pilot schools was provided with the necessary technical equipment and teaching materials, the network of schools providing business education is expanded.

Under programme "Vocational Education and Training Reform" curricula for 10 profiles for secondary level vocational education and training and 5 general education subjects, including small business development, have been developed.

To ensure the agricultural sector of Latvia receives qualified specialists with up-to-date education in agricultural technologies and entrepreneurship and ability to manage agricultural enterprise independently Latvian German joint project "Entrepreneurship in agriculture" from 1994 till 1996 was carried out. [44]

 

In vocational education a course “Basic of Business” (140 hours) is part of curriculum and it included in the national standards for vocational education.

 

On the level of vocational secondary education it is possible to acquire skills in entrepreneurship resulting in the following qualifications: commercial employee, bookkeeper/accountant, expert in financial crediting, accountant in a small enterprise etc. 1865 graduates of vocational schools completed business programmes and 2042 started these programmes at the beginning of school year 2001/2002. Total number of trainees enrolled in business programs amount 6400 in the beginning of school year 2001/2002.

 

Number of students in higher education institutions and colleges involved in business studies was 29 582 at the beginning of school year 2001/2002 (4194 of them studied in-groups financed by state budget, but 25 391 in groups for a fee).

 

There are developed specific business related modules at the University of Latvia (LU). LU offers undergraduate programs in business administration and economics. Postgraduate programs are developed in business administration, economics, Europe studies, international economical relations, manager of commercial department. There are sixteen courses and modules in different programs of LU dealing directly to entrepreneurship (for example, business in the EU, entrepreneurship economics, organization, finance, basics of business, problems in entrepreneurship, business law etc.).

 

According to study rules in the LU everybody is obligated to obtain skills in the branch of science different from his/her basic choice. It means, that everybody could get the courses relating to entrepreneurship offered in various faculties of LU.

The Riga Technical University (RTU) Distance Learning Centre has developed a number of e-study courses for supporting small enterprises: business planning for free market; computer for beginners; computer for users; computer network for everybody; professional communication; English for adults.

 

The Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Training Centre with its seven regional branches is certified training institution where entrepreneurs can improve their knowledge and skills. Short-term seminars and training on actual and required themes take place there – financial management, marketing, quality management, business correspondence, Commercial Law etc. There were 1555 participants in year 2001 and 965 in the first half o year 2002 at LCCI seminars and training courses.[45]

 

115 adult education institutions provided 1067 programmes on economic education in the year 2001/2002.  34 438 trainees were engaged in this training.

 

There is enough integration of business and entrepreneurship in VET and HE programmes, but it needs to be developed in CVT.  Business education should be oriented not only on preparation of employees, but mainly on promotion of entrepreneurship.

2.5. Contribution of the education and training system to promoting equal opportunities between men and women

2.5.1. Combating gender stereotypes and inequalities

 

Latvia has ratified four UN conventions against gender discrimination.

According to Latvian legislation men and women have equal rights in education and labour market and gender discrimination is against the law. In 1999 the Concept of Gender Equality was elaborated and adopted by the CoM. According to this concept each ministry has to follow the gender equality issues, including the educational branch. At present there are no specific rules in this respect, no particular measures to combat gender stereotyping in course choices and there are no measures to counter-act gender or vocational stereotyping. There is no law on gender equality, and there is still discussion whether Latvia needs such a law. So far, there is no gender equality bureau.

There is no counselling and guidance in promoting equality of opportunity. The only guidance is unofficial promoting positive discrimination in the field of education.

 

Traditionally education is a female dominated field both from the teacher’s side and from pupil’s/student’s perspective in Latvia.

On average there are about 51% female and 49% male in education. On the level of comprehensive educational level, there is no gender bias which means that girls and boys have equal access to education. PISA study Latvian results show that on average girls demonstrate much higher achievements than boys in reading and sciences. In comparison with other participant countries girls demonstrate better reading skills than boys, and the difference between boys’ and girls’ results is the highest in Latvia (53 relative points in comparison with EU average 35). Gender differences in natural sciences favouring girls’ achievements also show the highest difference among all participating countries (23 points). Boys demonstrate better results in maths. However, the differences are not significant statistically.

 

On the compulsory education level, boys’ drop- out rate, school leaving rate and repeating a school year is higher than that of girls. For example, in 2002, boys constitute 60.2% from the total number of drop-outs within VET system. Boys are outnumbering girls also in social and pedagogical correction programs.

 

On the upper general secondary educational level girls outnumber boys and constitute up to 70% from the total number of students. Vocational education and training is more attractive for boys: they constitute 56.5 % of VET students on average. Gender division is quite stereotypical in different educational programs: women are more represented in typical female service programs, catering, accounting, management, medical care, humanities and art, social sciences, textile industry, etc. In these programs around 60-100% are female. There are several male dominated VET programs: construction (97% male) carpentry (100%), police work VET programs (87%), railway services (87%), computer operators and technicians (85.8%), engineering and technologies in general (81.8%)*. Agriculture is “gender friendly” – about 51.3% male and 48.7% female students.

There are more women receiving higher education – about 63% of women and 37% of men are in higher education.

 

 Table 32: The share of women in HE in 2001

Field of study

Percentage from total

Teachers education and education sciences

82

Human sciences and art

80

Social sciences, entrepreneurship, law

64

Natural sciences and math

38

Engineering sciences and technologies

35

Agriculture

44

Health and social care

86

Services

51

Total

61

Source: Education Institutions in Latvia at the beginning of the school year 2001/2002-Riga, CBS, 2002.

 

Men and women have equal access to be registered as unemployed and to participate on unemployed retraining. More than half of total registered unemployed is women. Surveys show that women in job findings more actively use the SES. The figures on women – registered unemployed percentage from total registered unemployed confirm it (57% in 2001).

The greater interest on continuing adult education programmes is among women. In 1997 66% of participants of continuing training courses are women. (data from CSB).

 

In teaching profession female teachers constitute about 87%, and there is no big difference within comprehensive educational levels. In vocational education and training there are more female teachers and pedagogues than male teachers: 68% from the total number of pedagogical staff.

Proportion of female teachers decrease within the tertiary level of education, particularly on the higher career levels. 

 

Picture 9

The academic career: relative distribution based on gender

Source: LR Ministry of Science and Education data for the 1999/2000 academic year.

 

Graph shows that higher education careers is an example that shows changing gender proportions and the decreasing number of female participation on the higher career levels in higher education and research.

 

When analysing the economic activity rate of men and women by level of education, one sees that male’ economic activity rate is higher than female economic activity rate in all educational groups (see Table 9 in annex).

 

Finding out whether there are specific groups in which men or women are economically more active, we analyse economic activity rate by gender and age groups. Data show that male economic activity maximum are in age groups 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, when the activity rate is very high – up to 90%. Female activity rate does not reach more than 86% in age group 35-44. Quite high economical activity is also in age group 45-54 (83%) and age group 25-34 (78%) (see Table).


 

Table 33: Economic activity rate by gender and age groups (as % of the given group in total), November, 2000, 2001.

Age groups

Total in country

Males

Females

2000

2001*

2000

2001*

2000

2001*

15-24

36.6

36.3

42.2

40.0

30.8

32.4

25-34

85.2

85.2

90.8

92.4

79.4

78.0

35-44

88.1

89.0

88.9

92.1

87.3

86.1

45-54

83.6

84.0

81.9

85.1

85.1

83.0

55-64

40.7

41.9

54.2

53.2

30.7

33.5

65 +

7.4

6.9

10.9

11.1

5.8

4.9

Total

56.8

56.5

64.7

64.8

50.3

49.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In urban areas

58.6

57.0

66.5

65.1

52.0

50.6

In rural areas

52.9

55.4

60.6

64.2

46.1

47.5

Source: Labour force in Latvia. Labour force survey data, November 2000. A statistical bulletin. Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia. Riga, March 2001.

Labour Force Surveys: Main Indicators (November 2001) - Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia. Riga, March 2002.

* - data not comparable with the previous years

 

So far, there are pro-active measures to promote equal opportunities in employment.

All the statistics has the gender breakdown and gives opportunity to follow the tendencies of gender breakdown in education and employment.

Government does not have specific targets for reducing the gender gap representing men/women in sectors where they are underrepresented.

 

In reality, gender issue is not an everyday issue in practice. There is still a strong public opinion concerning male and female occupations, career path which is more oriented towards male career support, male dominance in politics, etc.

 

Gender inequality in education and labour market has not been addressed sufficiently in practice and on policy level. More attention should be addressed to male successful participation in education, teaching professions. Serious attention needs to be paid to decrease disadvantages of female in the labour market. The legislation is in place and does not allow discrimination, nevertheless there are many stereotypes in practice.

 

 


 



[1] Law on Higher Education Institutionsadopted on November 2, 1995, amended on December 27, 1996; December 28, 1999; November 23, 2000.

[2] Education Lawadopted by the Saeima on October 29, 1998 with amending laws of August 5, 1999; November 11, 1999; May 11, 2000; May 10, 2001; July 5, 2001; September 20, 2001.

[3] Law on Vocational Educationadopted on June 10, 1999, amended on July 5, 2001.

[4] General Education Lawadopted on June 10, 1999, amended on August 5 and September 23, 1999; June 20, 2000; September 14, 2000; October 31, 2002.

[5] Law On Assistance to Unemployed persons and Job-seekersadopted on May 9, 2002.

[6] Ministry of Welfare was reorganized in the begining of 2003 in two ministriesMinistry of Welfare and Ministry of Health. Ministry of Health is now taking the resopsibility for the secondary medical school.

[7] Draft of VET system development programme (2003 – 2005) – MoES, February, 2003.

[8] Concept on Education Development 2002-2005 – approved by Parliament on October 17,2002.

[9] Summary of the directions and the corresponding goals is given in Table 25 in Annex.

[10] Report of the Consultation Process on Memorandum on LLL in LatviaJune, 2001.

[11] Long Term Economic Strategy of Latvia - adopted by CoM on July 17, 2001.

[12] National Development Planapproved by CoM on December 11, 2001.

[13] 2002 Regular Report on Latvia’s Progress towards Accession – EC, 2002.

[14] The annual average exchange rate of LVL per EURO is 1999 = 0.625; 2000 = 0.560; 2001 = 0.563; 2002 = 0.583 (data of CSB)

[15] Key Data on Education in Europe, 2002 Eurydice, 2002.

[16] Key Data on Education in Europe, 2002 Eurydice, 2002.

[17] Concept on Education Development 2002-2005 – approved by Parliament on October 17,2002.

[18] Statistical Yearbook of Latvia 2002 – Riga: CSB, 2002.

[19] The annual average exchange rate of LVL per EURO is 1999 = 0.625; 2000 = 0.560; 2001 = 0.563; 2002 = 0.583 (data of CSB)

 

[20] The annual average exchange rate of LVL per EURO is 1999 = 0.625; 2000 = 0.560; 2001 = 0.563; 2002 = 0.583 (data of CSB)

[21] Draft of VET system development programme (2003 – 2005) – MoES, February, 2003.

[22] The annual average exchange rate of LVL per EURO is 1999 = 0.625; 2000 = 0.560; 2001 = 0.563; 2002 = 0.583 (data of CSB)

[23] The annual average exchange rate of LVL per EURO is 1999 = 0.625; 2000 = 0.560; 2001 = 0.563; 2002 = 0.583 (data of CSB)

[24] Continuing vocational training in Latvia 1999 – Riga, CSB, 2002.

[25] Continuing vocational training in Latvia 1999 – Riga: CSB, 2002, p.18,19.

[26] Key Data on Education in Europe 2002 – Eurydice, 2002.

[27] Results of the 2000 Population and Housing Census in LatviaRiga: CSB, 2002, p.183.

[28] Social Trends in Latvia 2003 – Riga: CSB, 2003, p.33.

[29] Key Data on Education in Europe 2002 – Eyridice, 2002.

[30] Melnis A. Higher Education of Latvia 2003 – Riga: MoES, 2003. p.37.

[31] http://www.liis.lv

[32] National Development Planapproved by CoM on December 11, 2001.

[33] Long Term Economic Strategy of Latvia - adopted by CoM on July 17, 2001.

[34], Draft of Single Programming Document - The MoF, March,2003

[35] Source: SES data, Statistical Yearbook of Latvia, 2002. - CSB. Riga, 2002.

[36] Vocational Education and Training and the Labour Market in LatviaRiga, Latvian National Observatory, 2001

[37] Vocational Education and Training and the Labour Market in LatviaRiga, Latvian National Observatory, 2001

 

[38] Draft of VET system development programme (2003 – 2005) – MoES, February, 2003.

[39] A survey of the information technology, telecommunications and electronics sector in Latvia, Riga 2000

[40] Report on the Development of Economic of Latvia, the MoE, December ,2000

[41] Vocational Education and Training and the Labour Market in LatviaRiga, Latvian National Observatory, 2001

[42] Pabriks A. Occupational representation and ethnic discrimination in Latvia, SorosFoundationLatvia, 2002.

[43] Report on the European Charter for Small Enterprises, the Ministry of Economy, 2002

[44] Vocational Education and Training in Latvia - a national report to the European Training Foundation, Latvian National Observatory 1999

 

[45] Report on the European Charter for Small Enterprises, the MoE, 2002