Foreword

Developing and using people’s skills effectively is crucial for Lithuania’s economic prosperity, innovation and social cohesion.

Globalisation, digitalisation, demographic change and climate change are combining to increase and transform the skills needed to thrive in Lithuanian workplaces and society. People will need a stronger and more well-rounded set of skills, including cognitive, social and emotional, and job-specific skills, to flourish in life both in and outside of work. Lithuania will also need to make better use of people’s skills in the labour market and in individual workplaces to harness the potential of people’s skills. The COVID-19 crisis of 2020 has accelerated the digitalisation of learning and work, and made upskilling and reskilling even more critical for many adults.

Lithuania has achieved relatively strong skills performance in various areas. In terms of developing people’s skills, participation rates in upper secondary and tertiary education are higher in Lithuania than in almost all other OECD countries. In terms of using people’s skills, Lithuania does a good job overall of activating skills in the labour market, with men and women having relatively high and equal employment rates.

However, Lithuania faces several persistent skills challenges. Young people have comparatively low levels of cognitive and socio-emotional skills, and this has not improved over time. There remain large gaps in skill levels and educational attainment between youth from disadvantaged and advantaged backgrounds. Skills imbalances appear to be high, and many graduates are not well matched to their jobs. Many adults lack foundational skills such as literacy and numeracy, and relatively few adults participate in education and training. Employers are not using workers’ skills to their full potential to support productivity and innovation.

In recent years, Lithuania has introduced various strategies and reforms covering different levels of education and training, and different areas of labour market and innovation policy. These have helped improve school and university networks, vocational education, teachers’ education and conditions, among other things.

Today, Lithuania has a unique window of opportunity to build on these reforms to improve performance and equity across the skills system. Lithuania is in the process of developing several important medium- and long-term strategies that have a clear focus on skills. The OECD’s Skills Strategy project seeks to support Lithuania to seize this opportunity. It does this by providing detailed analysis and widespread engagement with stakeholders, leading to several tailored recommendations for Lithuania outlined in this report.

The OECD stands ready to support Lithuania as it seeks to put skills at the forefront of its agenda for a more productive, innovative, green and equitable economy and society.

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