Economics Ministry warns of shortages of specialists with vocational education in the future

  • 2023-04-25
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - In the future, new jobs will be created in highly qualified professions, however, there will be shortages of specialists with vocational education, according to the Economics Ministry's medium and long-term labor market forecasts.

According to the ministry, in order to ensure Latvia's long-term growth and increase wellbeing of residents, it is necessary to transform the economy toward the creation of products with higher added value, increased export activity and more extensive use of digital solutions on the internal market.

Economic transformation will also require high-skilled labor as the number of low- and medium-skilled jobs will decrease. This transformation and higher productivity will largely be achieved by reorienting the national economy from low and medium low technology industries to medium and high technology industries. As a result, the share of highly qualified jobs will increase, while the share of medium and low-skilled jobs will decrease.

According to Economics Ministry's labor market forecasts, specialists with a degree in hard sciences will be in the highest demand. By 2030, Latvia may be short of 9,000 highly-qualified employees with education in natural sciences, information and communication technology (ICT) and engineering. On the other hand, the number of vacancies for specialists with vocational education can increase to almost 70,000, and specialists with vocational education in engineering and manufacturing will be in greatest demand.

According to the ministry, finding a job could be the hardest for residents with secondary education, primary education and a lower level of education, and the number of such unemployed may reach almost 96,000 by 2030. Highly qualified specialists with education in social sciences, commercial sciences and humanitarian could also have problems finding a job.

Accordingly, the most significant increase in new jobs until 2030 is expected in professional, scientific and technical services, ICT services and construction.

The Economics Ministry's medium and long-term labor market forecasts are based on the government's national economic growth scenario and current demographic forecasts, as well as current global economic developments, including changes in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of Russia's war in Ukraine.

Economics Minister Ilze Indriksone (National Alliance) explains that competitiveness is crucial for an economic breakthrough, however, changing Latvia's growth trajectory will not be possible to alter without structural changes and raising productivity.

Technological development, development of new products and services, as well as increasing use of digital solutions and improving production efficiency have a significant impact on growth of individual industries and the entire national economy. However, solving the problems of labor availability is an equally important factor in ensuring faster economic growth, said Indriksone.

"That is why it is important already today to adapt the population's education to the needs of the existing and future labor market, which will improve competitiveness of businesses and foster restructuring of the economy," emphasized Indriksone, adding that this would also ensure well-being of the population.