EDUCATIONAL AND OCCUPATIONAL POTENTIAL OF UKRAINE: MAIN CHALLENGES AND WAYS OF IMPROVEMENT UNDER CURRENT CONDITIONS
Keywords:education, occupation, structural changes, work-based learning, challenges, influence of war
Problems of the skills development and the quality of human capital became the priorities of the current socio-economic development. That’s why the relevance of the investigation of the main trends in the formation and development of the human potential of country (especially, educational and qualification component) significantly increased. However, the possibilities for the stable and effective development of the labour market and vocational education system in Ukraine are limited because of the influence of war. Therefore, it is extremely important to study the specific features of the development of educational and occupational potential of country under the influence of war, to define the main challenges of its development connected with constrains and limitations of effective realization during this period of time.
The aim of the paper is to identify the challenges and threats to the realization of the educational and occupational potential of Ukraine under current conditions, to determine the ways of the development of employees’ individual skills and competencies needed under conditions of post-war recovery period. In order to achieve the defined aim, the authors have used data of sociological surveys, as well as all available sources of information (especially, data of State Employment Service, opendata). During research process, such research methods as analysis and synthesis, system analysis, scientific abstraction, comparison, generalization, logical approach were used. The results of the study made it possible to define that the quality of educational and occupational potential depends not only on the demographic basis of labour force reproduction, but also on the readiness of the employees to acquire new skills, to upgrade qualifications. It was also defined that the negative trends in the development of the vocational education and training (VET) system significantly increased under conditions of war due to: the damage to the network of vocational education schools in the regions affected by hostilities; the significant scale of external and internal migration; the disruption of established coordination relations between enterprises and vocational education schools; the aggravation of the problems of VET schools financing.
Calculations of the structural changes intensity coefficients (by 25 most popular occupations) indicates a higher probability of balancing the list of occupations for which vocational education schools provide training with the dynamics of changes and the occupational structure of vacancies (taking into account the degree of load on the part of unemployed). Results of calculations can be taken into account when determining the number of students and the structure of training organized by vocational education schools and employment centres.
During the investigation process, it was proved that the factors related to the employees’ incentive for training, retraining, acquiring skills and competencies necessary for increasing competitiveness in the labour market, realizing their educational and occupational potential are also important. The aggravation of the problems of realization and development of the educational and occupational potential of internally displaced persons was defined as a serious challenge. Based on the results of surveys, it was outlined that internally displaced persons are interested in receiving professional assistance for career development and employment, but not able to formulate specific requests regarding areas of study and assistance.
In the paper the necessity of the widening of the ‘work-based learning’ practice (training organized at the workplace), which will contribute to the integration of training at the work -place and formal (academic) training for the acquisition of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills, is suggested and proved. The main ways of the minimization of the risks and threats of ensuring the professional development of the labour force, the development of the educational and occupational potential of the labour force were proposed in paper. The conclusions of this article can be useful for elaboration of the measures of educational and employment policies aimed at the improvement of the quality of educational and occupational potential of the labour force in Ukraine during war and post-war recovery period.
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