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Tuesday 25.09.2018 | Name days: Rauls, Rodrigo
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Businesswoman: employers’ involvement in study process helps reduce unemployment

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUEmployment problems and lack of properly educated labour force is not so much Latvia’s problem as it is a problem for European Union and other regions of the world. No matter how actively universities prepare people for the labour market, employers will still experience deficit of labour force, because most graduates leave the country to work abroad, says dean of Turība University’s business management faculty and board member of Sky Port Zane Driņķe.

The dean adds: «To find a solution for this problem, it is important to keep in mind its scale and remember that this is not the only problem in Latvia».

Cooperation of universities and businessmen plays a decisive role

The latest unemployment indexes in the EU show that Latvia’s unemployment level is 8.1%, putting the country on eighth place. Greece is first with unemployment of 20.7%, followed by Spain (16.4%) and Cyprus (11.3%). The businesswoman notes that the situation is slightly better in neighbouring countries – 7.1% in Lithuania and 5.4% in Estonia. As for youth unemployment, Greece is in the lead there as well – with 43.7%. Latvia is on ninth place with unemployment rate of 17.9%.

Unemployment indexes are but some of the sides of the situation. For example, the survey on youth unemployment in Europe demonstrated that 27% of employers choose to leave vacancies open because they are unable to find employees with appropriate skills. One-third of employers in the EU mention problems created by the deficit of needed skills in the labour force environment – larger costs, quality reduction, increased time consumption, etc., said Driņķe.

She mentions that 37% of employers in France say they have communicated with education institutions (youth unemployment in this country reaches 25%). In Germany, where 74% of employers closely communicate with universities, youth unemployment is 8%. Results in cases when communication is maintained between employers and universities are obvious. ‘Unfortunately, there are also negative results, if players do not mutually communicate and do not understand each other’s needs. And if employers decided to leave vacancies open, it leaves only a couple of alternatives – start a business or travel abroad,’ says Driņķe.

Labour market-oriented education

«Education focused on the labour market includes many elements – involvement of industry representatives in the study process, training of needed skills and search of appropriate jobs. Work experience plays a major role in the last aspect – helping youngsters try out their chosen profession and start making contacts with future employers. Studies show that work experience during studies increases youngsters’ ability to find jobs within half a year after graduating. In reality, future employers should be allowed to participate in the education process from elementary school onward, because studies show that European youngsters start thinking about their future around the age of 15,» said the businesswoman.

She says that no single university can realize major changes in regards to reduction of unemployment. Changes on a national level require involvement from policy-makers, the government, industry associations, NGOs and individual businesses. There are many different tools to help involve employers in the study process – inviting industry representatives as guest lecturers, offering students work experience opportunities in different companies, etc.

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