Methods for early identification of demand for new types of skills

Karsten Frøhlich Hougaard

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Erhvervsuddannelse i Danmark

Methods for early identification of demand for new types of skills

New technology and globalisation are associated with the convergence of sectors and professions. As a result, demands for ever new types of competences in businesses are emerging and the demand for unskilled and low-skilled labour is falling.

At the same time, the Danish vocational education system is structured along the lines of sectors and existing professions. At the sector level, the social partners adjust the overall direction of education activities. Training of the unemployed is organised regionally, and the content of training offers is mainly based on demands from enterprises, the social partners and via reports to the Public Employment Service about impending demands for specific skills.

In this context, the objectives of the project were:

  • To generate new knowledge about existing barriers for the incorporation of demands for new types of competencies in the existing system for planning and implementation of vocational education and training, in the light of sector-convergence and the emergence of new sectors and business areas.
  • To develop methods and tools to facilitate that knowledge and experiences are collected systematically and that strategically oriented forward-looking analysis can be carried out with a view to developing a supply of vocational education and training cutting across existing definitions of professions and sectors.
  • To implement practical tests of these methods and tools with a view to demonstrating, on a pilot basis, the strategic set-up facilitating more forward-looking, future-oriented planning of the supply of vocational education and training.
  • To develop recommendations for strengthening the existing system for planning the supply of vocational education and training in light of the experiences gained.
  • To disseminate the project’s results and experiences concerning sector barriers and other forms of barriers for forward-looking planning of the supply of education as well the use of methods and tools for cross-cutting identification of demand for new types of skills.

The project was concluded with a catalogue that describes methods for identification of future skill requirements with a view to turning them into education targets. The methods are described with inspiration from foreign experiences. Only methods that are believed to be of interest in a Danish education and training context are included in the catalogue.