Flexicurity 2nd generation - dynamics

In a dynamic labour market, both employed and unemployed are encouraged to continuous further education and training to match the competencies that companies demand.

This will ensure a sufficient number of competent and adaptable employees, matching the technological and knowledgebased developments in an ever evolving world.

And it will allow career advancement for the individual employee.

Continuous education and training

In Denmark, we have over time tried to underpin a dynamic labour market – as a shared responsibility of the individual, the employers and the public authorities.

If we look at the data:

Danish companies use a relatively high amount of the labour costs on continued vocational education and training (CVET). The latest figures from 2005 show that Danish companies used 2.7% of the total labour costs on CVET. It is the highest amount in EU where the average is 1.6%. (Source: Eurostat, CVTS3)

And even in a mobile labour market as the Danish, companies don’t hold back with CVET for their employees. Seniority among CVET student show that most CVET fall early in the employment period (within 0-2 years) for both unskilled, skilled and highly skilled (Statistics Denmark, 2007).

And CVET continues to increase unabated despite the crisis. The annual number of participants has steadily increased from 593,000 in 2004 to 755,000 in 2008 and again to 1,042,000 in 2010 (Data Bank: Danish Ministry of Education). The increases are within all sectors.

Pathways to a dynamic labour market

When employees can move freely to companies where their skills and qualifications are most in demand and therefore rewarded, both companies and citizens will seek a constant improvement of the level of skills and competences.

Companies will have an interest in advancing further education and training because otherwise they will face more difficulty recruiting. The labour force will have an interest in constant skills improvement because companies will reward up-to-date skills.

The precondition for this is the establishment of possibilities for the employee of continuous further education and training as part of life-long learning programmes with a focus on improving the employability of the labour force. A particular focus to equip the lower-skilled employees and the unemployed with dynamic competences that business needs is imperative.

This will ensure that all people stand much stronger in the search for jobs as their employability and manouvrability are strengthened.

A more dynamic labour market will also make it easier for companies to attract the highly skilled foreign workers that they need – and thereby add on the necessary renewal and raise of the general skills base of the European labour force.

In Denmark, we have over time tried to establish a dynamic labour market. And we are continuously working to further this.

Christina Sode Haslund
22. december 2011
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