Author: Kriechel, Ben; Mereuta, Cristina; Monteleone, Doriana

Client: European Training Foundation

Publisher: European Training Foundation

Year: 2016

Language: English

This analysis provides an overview of the current practices and mechanisms on skills needs identification and matching, in the six South Eastern European (SEE) countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Skills needs identification is understood as assessment and anticipation of skills needs. Assessment refers to a current or very short-term needs analysis, while anticipation points to the analysis and projection of longer-term skills needs. Skills anticipation has a wider scope than forecasting as it involves the relevant actors' awareness and a will to respond proactively. The term 'mismatch' denotes different types of skills gap and imbalance such as overeducation, undereducation, overqualification, underqualification, overskilling, skills shortages and surpluses, skills obsolescence, etc. Matching denotes actions to be taken here and now. The term covers all approaches and tools aimed at reducing skills gaps, increasing the employability of the workforce, and reducing skills shortages.

The main priority of recent reforms in the SEE countries has been to strengthen responsiveness to employment trends and the demands of the economy in a context of high unemployment rates, especially among young people. The analysis finds, however, that the countries' capacities at the national, regional and local levels must be improved if they are to deploy a systematic approach to skills anticipation and matching. An important next step could be to develop a structural, regular approach which builds on the currently existing initiatives and is then broadened in several dimensions.

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