According to Economy Ministry’s medium-term and long-term outlook for the labour market, the situation will continue to improve. This process is expected to continue until 2022, when the number of employed people is expected to grow by approximately 50,000 and the unemployment level will decline to 6%.
The national economy will be affected by the imbalance between demand and supply of labour force – a surplus of specialists in humanitarian and social sciences is currently building up in Latvia. At the same time, there is a serious lack of specialists in natural sciences, ICT and engineer sciences, as well as labourers with professional education. A large portion of youngsters end up on the labour market without any professional skills. As a result – there is now a large proportion of low-qualified workers on the market – as reported by Economy Ministry.
Arvils Aseradens emphasizes: «To contribute to a more rapid economic growth, Latvia needs workers with excellent education. Youngsters should consider their education options responsibly – carefully predict whether or not they will be able to find work in Latvia. Specialists with education in natural sciences, engineering sciences have an easier time finding a well-paid job».
It is expected that the surplus of specialists in humanitarian and social sciences will increase even more in the coming years (surplus expected to be approximately 10,000 in 2022). At the same time, there will be a deficit for specialists in natural sciences, ICT and engineering sciences (deficit of approximately 16,000 in 2022), warns the ministry.
The number of residents with secondary vocational education has declined by one-fifth in the past ten years. The ministry expects the decline of available labour force will continue at this rate in the future. As a result, there could be a serious deficit of labourers with secondary vocational education could form in the near future – about 30,000.
Approximately 30% of secondary education graduates do not continue education in higher education institutions. Demand for such labourers currently declines. If this proportion does not change, 25,000 youngsters will experience difficulties with finding a job in 2022, warns the ministry.
Currently more than 90,000 or 9% of economically active residents have either primary education or unfinished secondary education. It is not expected that this proportion could change in the future.
According to demographic outlooks, Latvia’s population could decline by more than 60,000 by 2022. In addition, the number of residents of working age will decline more rapidly than the total population. Demographic trends could become a serious obstacle for economic growth in the future.
To reduce imbalance of the labour market, it is necessary to realize serious reforms in education to help resolve the aspects of quality of the current education offers and provide the necessary range of influence on the labour market. Considering that, the ministry believes it is necessary for the education offer to accomplish multiple goals by 2020. It is necessary to increase the number of middle school students that will be able to settle mathematics exam from 36% to 55%, natural sciences exam from 18% to 40% and foreign language exams from 28% to 65% to enrol on programmes of higher education institutions. It is necessary to ensure that the proportion of graduates in exact and engineering science programmes is 20% or 30% of the total number of graduates.