Skills anticipation methods and practices discussed at Cedefop policy learning forum

Cedefop’s policy learning forum on skills anticipation gathered over 60 national stakeholders from countries participating in the agency’s country support programme and other experts in Thessaloniki on 14 and 15 June.

The forum provided a platform for learning and discussing how to put appropriate skills anticipation methods into practice.

Since 2016, Cedefop has worked closely with national authorities and key national stakeholder networks of six European countries (Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Malta, Slovakia and Iceland) to review their governance of skills anticipation and matching systems.

It has provided support in setting up methodological instruments that collect labour market and skills intelligence, and in promoting effective dissemination and use of results in policy areas such as education and training, employment, active labour market policies. Presentations made by methodological experts and on good practices during the event can be found here. 

Participants were divided into groups to identify a country policy need and the skills anticipation method that would best address it, and were asked to come up with an implementation plan. The goals of this group exercise were:

  • Building participants’ capacity;
  • Foster experience-sharing of good practices and of possible risks;
  • Inspire country representatives of possible ways to go forward in terms of developing/improving own skills anticipation methods.
Experts helped shape ideas on customising the method to the country and how to best implement it in practice.

Paul Vroonhof, of Panteia, has moderated the session on Bulgaria during the meeting. The session was not meant to be a theoretical exercise. It considered actual needs of the Bulgarian skills governance system, specificities, and policy goals and knew an action orientation. During three sessions the group developed a plan to improve skills anticipation and matching, rather than focussing solely on occupational forecasting. The plan notably included making optimal use of already existing Bulgarian instruments, data and reference documents (required skills and competences for occupations).

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