1Western Balkans Regional Competitiveness Initiative (RCI) Regional Conference – New Skills for New Jobs in the Western BalkansSarajevo, 12 July 2012
2Regional Competitiveness Initiative – an overview Objectives:Support medium and long-term competitivenessProvide capacity building through pilot projectsTransfer of lessons learned through regional working groupsFocus Areas:Human capital development – address major skills gapsInnovation – strengthen innovative capacities of the private sectorDuration:Beneficiaries: Seven Western Balkan economies
3Focus Area: Human Capital Development How is Human Capital being addressed in the RCI?1. RCI Working Group on Human Capital Development2. Pilot projects in WB economies
4RCI Working Group on Human Capital Development Overall objective: address skills gaps in the beneficiaries by:Providing effective analytical and policy management tools;Identifying medium and long-term policy options; andStimulating social dialogue between academia, government structures and industry.
51st Working Group on Human Capital Development “Supporting Skills For Innovation in the Western Balkans”held on 8 June in Split.Outcome: Identification of lessons learned from various donor projects to sustain and mainstream actions minimizing skills gaps, such as:1) Intergovernmental co-ordination between ministries is a must if projects are to be mainstreamed;2) Regional approaches are needed for measuring skills needs and developing responses;3) Increase involvement of private sector and entrepreneurs in the development of policy responses;4) Alignment of the National qualification frameworks with European qualification frameworks;5) Entrepreneurial training needs to be based on the practical experience of those teaching entrepreneurship;6) Better co-ordination between international donors is needed;7) Innovation has to happen in enterprises (not just universities) and result in value creation;8) Innovation means a readiness for change and this is a significant obstacle for many firms in the region.
62nd Working Group on Human Capital Development “Skills gaps analysis in the Western Balkans: design, implementation and policy responses”held on March 2012 in Paris.Interactive capacity buildingWorkshopSessions:1. Designing a skills gap analysis2. New approaches to skills gap measurement3. Future skills planning4. Policy responses to skills gaps
7Session 1: Designing a skills gap analysis Before designing policy responses to skills gaps an economy must understand the strengths and weaknesses of its human resources. Once these strengths and weaknesses are known one can begin to orient policy to bridge skills gaps.Typical cases of skills gaps:inadequate number of workers with adequate skills;adequate number of persons with “wrong” skills;spatial distribution of skills does not meet the needs of the labour market.
8Session 2: New approaches to skills gap measurement The Working Group examined a new methodology to measure skills gaps based on an analysis of the demand and supply of skills in a defined skill sector. A skill sector is a group of homogenous occupations and related skills: the simplest and most complex are captured in this concept.If we understand the demand for skill sector skills we will understand the total demand for skills within an area in the whole economy.
9Session 3: Future Skills Planning The Working Group also reviewed different types of skills planning techniques, such as forecasting and foresight, and discussed their benefits and limitations of each: Forecasting can provide some insight in terms of short-term needs, however, it is an unreliable tool for long-term planning. Skills foresight is an exercise in visualising future scenarios and then prepare adequate policy responses. Foresight requires a blend of qualitative, quantitative, and sector research; and relevant expert knowledge in order to understand the interconnectedness of several areas, such as the labour market, the education system, and regional developments.
10Session 4: Policy responses to skills gaps Necessity of bottom-up planning approach (from local level to supra-national level);Due to the complexity of skills issues, it is important to integrate multiple policy responses (e.g. regional policies, education policies and employment policy). Integrated policy development should be included in all steps of the policy development cycle;Key planning instruments are labour market information systems, quantitative and qualitative research on future labour demand, monitoring and identification of changes in skills needs.
11Skills gap analysis on a regional level? During the Working Group meeting on HCD in March 2012 the participants discussed the possibility to conduct a skills gap analysis on a regional level in a sector that is of interest for all economies. Such a skills gap analysis could be performed in the follow-up to the RCI project planned to begin in 2013.
12Focus Area: Human Capital Development How is Human Capital being addressed in the RCI?1. RCI Working Group on Human Capital Development2. Pilot projects in WB economies
13Pilot projects in the WB economies 2011 Bosnia and Herzegovina: “Triple Helix Partnerships between academia, business and government”; FYR Macedonia: “Development of an Innovation Strategy”; Montenegro: ”Voucher scheme for SMEs”; Serbia: “Development of a Competence Research Centre”.2012Albania:“Business Plan Competition”;Croatia:“Development of an Innovation Strategy”;Kosovo*:“Development of an Innovation Strategy”.* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence
14Pilot projects: Beneficiaries identified one project for implementation Innovation projectsHuman Capital projectsServices for supporting technological innovation – manufacturing extension servicesServices for supporting non-technological innovationSupport establishment of inter-firm networks in specific sectorsDevelop programmes to spread technology-specific informationInnovation competitionMechanisms to finance business services in support of innovation (e.g. voucher schemes)Establishment of an Innovation FundIncrease investment readinessMapping of existing venture capital schemesExplore development of business angel networksBusiness plan competitionThe establishment of a Competence Research Centre (CRC)Assist governments in reviewing the overall policy framework for innovationPractices and techniques for monitoring innovationIdentifying domestic projects for joint venturesImproving the “triple helix” relationship.Assist governments with systematised usage of skills gap analysis for policy makingReview strategies for work-related trainingReview best practices in internship programmesReview best practices in VET and apprenticeship schemes.Assessment of the effectiveness and design of policies to encourage reverse migrationImproving social networks within the region and the diaspora of highly-skilled individualsReview the impact of the tax system, labour market restrictions and parental support on female employment in the Western BalkansOne-stop-shop for self-employed to start-up their own businessesSupport the drafting of a labour market information strategyMap career guidance programmes in the Western BalkansC. Reviewing system of continued education training
15Human Capital Component in pilot projects Horizontal actions across all pilot projects:Best practice transfer from OECD countriesSupport government officials in understanding pros/cons of policy instrumentsAssist government officials in application of policy instrumentsAlbania(Business plan competition)Transfer of investment readiness skills to young entrepreneursBosnia and Herzegovina(Triple Helix)Study tripTrainingClose co-operation among universities → transfer of know-howCroatia /FYR Macedonia /Kosovo*(Innovation strategies)Assessments include reviewing the contribution of the education system to national innovation systemsMontenegro (SME Voucher)Voucher aims to improve non-technological innovationFocus on raising organisational management and marketing capabilities of SMEsSerbia (Competence Technology Centre)Transfer of know-how from researchers to industryCTC management need skills to broker relationships between academia and businesses
16Next steps3rd RCI Working Group meeting on Human Capital Development will be organised in autumn 2012.In the meantime, the participants are asked to assess what capacities exist in the region to perform a regional skills gap analysis (based on the methodology discussed in March 2012)
17Thank you for your attention! Almedina MusicPolicy Analyst - Regional Competitiveness Initiative Private Sector Development Division Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)