02 SES 17 B, Skill Formation
The main goal of this symposium is to present the initial findings of the research executed by the group of researchers mainly from the post-socialist countries of the Central and Eastern Europe, which will provide the basis for a new book on the institutional development of skill formation and deployment systems in these countries foreseen to publish with Peter Lang in 2022. The research presented in this book seeks to explore and compare development of skill formation systems of the post-commmunist European countries.
This symposium is focused on the discussion of the institutional development of skill formation and deployment systems, policies and processes in the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and Ukraine. The research is focused on the following questions: 1) What are the key characteristics of the development of political-economic models of skill formation in the Baltic countries and Ukraine and how do these models have been shaped? 2) What are the key iterations in the institutional development of skill formation and deployment in the Baltic countries and Ukraine and what is the impact of these iterations for the institutional development pathways? 3) What valuable policy learning information can be obtained from the analysis of the differences of institutional development of skills formation between the Baltic countries and Ukraine?
We are taking an historical institutional perspective exploring the emergence, development and adaptation of skill formation institutions (Thelen, 2004). This perspective takes into consideration the institutional change of skill formation and deployment influenced by the key critical junctures, such as collapse of the former socialist systems of skill formation and their subsequent reforms, access to the EU in 2004 and later years as well as global economic crisis of 2008-2009 and its aftermath.
In the literature skill formation systems and institutional settings of the Baltic countries are defined as neoliberal by ascribing to this instituitional model such features as strong market orientation of skill formation processes and institutions, important roles of employers and especially big businesses an state in the decision making over skills, lack of social dialogue and fragmented representation of the employees’ and learners interests in skill formation, radical implementation of the institutional reforms by following „catching-up“ approach, strong negative implications of the economic, social and educational reforms for the socio-demographic development of society (high rates of emmigration, demographic crisis, high income inequalities (Sommers, Woolfson, Juska, 2014; Robert, Saar, Kazjulja, 2019). Skill formation and deployment in the Ukraine is characterised by the stronger impact of the institutional legacy of the Soviet period what led to more protracted institutional reforms than in the Baltics combined with strongly state-led and bureaucratised changes and reforms in the VET system and higher education, as well as growing influence of economic stakeholders in the skill formation policies in the last decades. However, in the recent decade there can be noticed more similarities between the pathways of skills formation in Ukraine and Baltic countries with the systemic implementation of the national system of qualifications and development of social dialogue in skill formation at the sectoral and national levels.
There are presented 3 conference papers covering the analysis of the skill formation processes and reforms from the perspective of social ecology, in-depth analysis of the skill formation and VET reforms and the comparison of the different pathways of the post-communist transformations of skill formation and deployment.
Applied research methods include comparative policy analysis, critical contents analysis of the policy documents, analysis statistical data and meta-analysis of the available research data.
Norkus. Z. (2008). Kokia demokratija, koks kapitalizmas?. Pokomunistinė transformacija Lietuvoje lyginamosios istorinės sociologijos požiūriu. Vilnius: Vilniaus Universiteto leidykla. Robert, P., Saar, E., Kazjulja, M.(2019). ‘Individual and institutional influences on EU labour market returns to education: a comparison of the effect of the 2008 economic crisis on eight EU countries’, European Societies, 1-31. Sommers, J., Woolfson, C., Juska, A. (2014). ‘Austerity as a global prescription and lessons from the neoliberal Baltic experiment’, The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 25(3), 397–416. Thelen, K. (2004). How institutions evolve: the political economy of skills in Germany, Britain, the United States, and Japan. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
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