copy the linklink copied!1. Key insights and recommendations

This chapter summarises the context, key insights and policy recommendations of the OECD Skills Strategy Poland. It applies the OECD Skills Strategy Framework to assess the performance of the Polish skills system. This assessment was discussed with Poland’s National Project Team to select the four priority areas of focus in this report. The chapter provides an overview of the policy context of the Polish skills system, and summarises the key findings and recommendations in each of the four priority areas. Subsequent chapters provide more details on the opportunities for improvement, good practices and policy recommendations for Poland in each priority area.

    

copy the linklink copied!Skills matter for Poland

Skills are vital for enabling individuals and countries to thrive in an increasingly complex, interconnected and rapidly changing world. Countries in which people develop strong skills, learn throughout their lives, and use their skills fully and effectively at work and in society are more productive and innovative, and enjoy higher levels of trust, better health outcomes and a higher quality of life.

As our societies and economies are increasingly shaped by new technologies and trends, getting skills policies right becomes even more critical for ensuring well-being and promoting growth that is inclusive and sustainable. It is crucial that Poland designs, develops and delivers skills policies to raise its capacity to thrive in an interconnected and rapidly changing world.

Skills are essential for responding to global megatrends

Megatrends such as globalisation, digitalisation and demographic change transform jobs and the way societies function and people interact. To thrive in the world of tomorrow, people will need a stronger and more well-rounded set of skills1, including foundational; cognitive and meta-cognitive; social and emotional; and professional, technical and specialised knowledge and skills. Poland will also need to make better use of people’s skills in the labour market and in individual workplaces.

In Poland, as in many OECD countries, the shrinking share of working-age population (OECD, 2018[1]) is reducing the contribution of labour utilisation to economic growth. As a result, productivity growth will be an even more important driver of economic growth in the future, putting more pressure on the need to raise workers’ output.

Digital innovations such as machine learning, big data and artificial intelligence (AI) will change the nature of many jobs and reshape how certain tasks are performed. OECD work building on the Survey of Adult Skills, a product of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), suggests that about 31% of workers in Poland face a high risk of seeing their jobs automated, and another 20% face significant changes in their job tasks due to automation, a share higher than the OECD average (Nedelkoska and Quintini, 2018[2]).

Contributing further to the uncertainties associated with technological change is the continuing expansion of international trade and global value chains. New technologies and trade liberalisation have led to a more globalised world that is characterised by the expansion of supply chains and the outsourcing of certain forms of work. For Poland, as in all OECD countries, this has strongly affected the competitiveness and success of different economic sectors, as well as the supply of jobs and demand for skills in the labour market (OECD, 2017[3]; OECD, 2017[4]).

People will increasingly need to upgrade their skills to perform new tasks in their existing jobs or acquire new skills for new jobs. Strong foundational skills will make people more resilient to the changing skills demand. Digital skills and other types of skills – including critical thinking, communication skills, adaptability and accountability – will become essential for adults to succeed in both work and life.

As stressed by the first principle of the European Union’s (EU) European Pillar of Social Rights, high-quality and inclusive education, training and lifelong learning should be accessible for everyone to enable full participation in society and to successfully manage transitions in the labour market.

Skills can help drive the next phase of Poland’s development

Poland is experiencing robust economic growth (5.1% over 2018), compared with 2.3% in the OECD on average. Labour market performance has improved considerably in recent years, with unemployment rates at record low levels, wages on the rise, and, contrary to many other OECD countries, decreasing wealth and income inequality (OECD, 2017[5]). Overall, well-being has improved considerably in recent decades. In 2017, Poland scored at or above the OECD average on work-life balance, personal safety and the overall performance of the education system.

However, Poland’s economic growth and income convergence has largely been the result of more efficient resource allocation, and new sources of growth are needed (World Bank Group, 2017[6]). Poland is still lagging behind in almost all measures of innovation. To ensure continued convergence to higher living standards and to raise productivity, it should expand its capacity to innovate (OECD, 2018[7]).

Poland’s strong economic situation today gives the country a unique opportunity to strengthen its skills system – how skills are developed and used, and how skills policies are governed. By doing so, Poland can set the foundation for economic prosperity and social cohesion in the long term.

copy the linklink copied!The OECD Skills Strategy project in Poland

OECD Skills Strategy projects provide a strategic and comprehensive approach to assess countries’ skills challenges and opportunities, and build more effective skills systems. The OECD works collaboratively with countries to develop policy responses tailored to each country’s specific skills challenges and needs. The foundation of this approach is the OECD Skills Strategy Framework (Figure 1.1), the components of which are:

  • Developing relevant skills over the life course. To ensure that countries are able to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world, all people need access to opportunities to develop and maintain strong proficiency in a broad set of skills. This process is lifelong, starting in childhood and youth and continuing throughout adulthood. It is also “life-wide”, occurring both formally in schools and higher education, and non-formally and informally in the home, community and workplaces.

  • Using skills effectively in work and society. Developing a strong and broad set of skills is just the first step. To ensure that countries and people gain the full economic and social value from investments in developing skills, people also need opportunities, encouragement and incentives to use their skills fully and effectively at work and in society.

  • Strengthening the governance of skills systems. Success in developing and using relevant skills requires strong governance arrangements to promote co-ordination, co-operation and collaboration across the whole-of-government; engage stakeholders throughout the policy cycle; build integrated information systems; and align and co-ordinate financing arrangements. The OECD Skills Strategy project for Poland supports this by forming an inter-ministerial National Project Team to support the whole-of-government approach to skills policies, and by engaging a large number of stakeholders in two workshops (the assessment and recommendations workshops), as well as in focus group meetings.

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Figure 1.1. The OECD Skills Strategy Framework
Figure 1.1. The OECD Skills Strategy Framework

Source: OECD (2019[8]), OECD Skills Strategy 2019: Skills to Shape a Better Future, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264313835-en.

copy the linklink copied!Three important themes emerged over the course of the project

Three important themes for Poland emerged from the widespread engagement and analysis undertaken in relation to the three components of the OECD Skills Strategy mentioned above:

  • Equipping students with skills for the future: Technology, globalisation and demographic change will transform the skills required in Poland's labour market. Poland's graduates will need a strong mix of foundational, transversal, social and emotional and professional skills to succeed in the future world of work. Currently, Poland's youth perform relatively well in the school years, and many complete tertiary education. Yet skills imbalances in the labour market remain high. One reason for this is that Poland's education system is not responsive enough to labour market needs. Too many Polish graduates lack highly sought after professional skills, as well as strong foundation and transversal skills to support their employability today and in the future. Students and institutions need greater incentives and support to respond to labour market needs (Chapter 2). The adult learning system must do a better job at allowing past graduates to upskill and reskill during adulthood (Chapter 3). Workers' skills must be put to better use to mitigate skills imbalances (Chapter 4). Finally, information on skills needs should be strengthened, more integrated and better disseminated to ensure skills development meets current and anticipated labour market needs (Chapter 5).

  • Developing a culture of lifelong learning in Poland: A relatively large share of adults in Poland have low levels of foundational skills in literacy, numeracy and/or digital literacy. These adults face higher risks of unemployment, inactivity and social exclusion, while their employers face productivity constraints. Even higher skilled adults face challenges from Poland’s changing labour market. Poland’s adults and the enterprises that employ them thus require a mindset of lifelong learning. However, the majority of adults in Poland report that they do not want to participate in education and training, stating that they do not need to, and most enterprises do not train their staff. Poland’s formal education system can help instil a mindset of lifelong learning (Chapter 2), and the adult learning system can improve awareness, flexibility and funding to boost participation (Chapter 3). Polish employers can help maintain and augment adults’ skills by utilising them more fully on the job (Chapter 4). Improved co-ordination between government, social partners and enterprises will be essential for implementing lifelong learning in Poland (Chapter 5).

  • Strengthening co-ordination between governments and stakeholders: Poland’s arrangements for developing and using people’s skills are highly dispersed among different ministries, subnational governments and stakeholders. None of these actors alone can ensure people’s skills are developed and used to their potential. Employers will have a critical role to play in improving Poland’s skills performance by co-operating with education institutions (Chapter 2), supporting worker training (Chapter 3), and implementing high-performance work practices (Chapter 4). Social partners will play an important role in raising awareness of skills, supporting employers and employees, and contributing to skills governance (Chapter 5). Finally, central and subnational governments must build trust and partnerships with each other and with stakeholders, as well as improve skills information and funding, to build capacity and performance in Poland’s skills system.

copy the linklink copied!Performance of the Polish skills system

The OECD Skills Strategy Dashboard provides an overview of the relative performance of countries across the dimensions of the OECD Skills Strategy (as presented in Figure 1.2). For each dimension of the strategy there are a number of indicators, which are sometimes composite indicators made up of a number of other indicators. They provide a snapshot of each country’s performance (see Annex 1.A for indicators).

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Figure 1.2. Skills Strategy Dashboard, Poland and selected European countries
Figure 1.2. Skills Strategy Dashboard, Poland and selected European countries

Note: These summary indicators are calculated as a simple average of a range of underlying indicators (see Annex 1.A for indicators). All underlying indicators have been normalised in a way that implies that a higher value and being among the “top 20%” reflects better performance. The "x" indicates insufficient or no available data, and dotted circles indicate missing data for at least one underlying indicator.

Developing relevant skills

Following significant improvements, the skills of youth now exceed OECD averages

Reforms in Poland have led to great improvements in educational performance. According to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), student performance improved in recent years, and in 2015, Poland scored above average in mathematics, reading and sciences (Figure 1.3). Poland also has one of the highest shares of attainment in at least upper secondary education among 25-34 year-olds.

Tertiary education has expanded rapidly, but challenges remain

Both the spending on, and enrolment in, tertiary education, have increased rapidly: the percentage of 25-34 year-olds attaining tertiary education jumped from 25% in 2005 to 44% in 2018. However, the rapid expansion of tertiary education may have compromised education quality in some areas and resulted in the skills of tertiary graduates being below or at the level of the OECD average. Only a small share of the publications from universities is among the most cited scientific publications internationally.

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Figure 1.3. Key indicators for developing relevant skills
Relative position in country ranking (based on normalised scores), where higher value reflects better performance
Figure 1.3. Key indicators for developing relevant skills

How to read this chart: The normalised scores indicate the relative performance across OECD countries: the further away from the core of the chart, the better the performance. For example, indicator “Willing to participate in adult education” has a low score compared to the average, indicating a share of employees willing to participate near the bottom of the ranking.

Note: The OECD average (when using PIAAC data) is based on the sample of OECD countries/regions assessed in the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). See Annex 1.A. for explanation of sources and methodology.

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888934036177

Many adults do not have the skills to succeed in a digitalised and rapidly changing world

The average skills of Polish adults are below typical OECD levels, with particularly low levels of problem-solving skills. More than one in four adults is an overall low performer (OECD, 2016[9]). Proficiency across multiple skills domains is important for performance in the labour market. In Poland, approximately one in five adults has strong proficiency across a broad range of skills (individuals scoring at least level three in literacy and numeracy and at least level two in problem solving), which is lower than the average of one in four adults across the OECD (PIAAC) countries (OECD, 2019[10]). Poland also lags behind in digital skills – approximately one in two adults has no or only limited experience with computers or lacks confidence in their ability to use computers, compared with one in four on average across the OECD (OECD, 2016[9]).

Participation in adult education and training could be improved

A culture of lifelong learning is important for ensuring that adults keep their skills up-to-date and can adjust to changing skills needs, as well as to reduce inequities in skills performance. However, despite high attainment rates in education, participation in adult education is low. In 2016, one in four adults had participated in formal and non-formal adult education and training in the last 12 months, compared with almost one in two adults across the EU. Participation in informal learning is half the EU average (31% vs. 61%) (Eurostat, 2018[11]). In addition, in 2018 only 5.5% of Polish adults had participated in education and training in the last four weeks (Eurostat, 2018[12]) compared with 11.1% across the EU.

Many adults are not motivated to learn, or face barriers to participation

In general across OECD countries, most adults are not willing to participate in education and training, but in Poland this share is especially high – approximately six out of ten adults are not participating and do not want to participate in education and training (OECD, 2017[13]; Eurostat, 2018[11]). Even when Polish adults are willing to participate, they may face several obstacles. At least one-third of adults willing to learn report time-related obstacles to their participation.

Using skills effectively

The activation of skills in the labour market could be enhanced, despite good progress

Labour market performance has improved considerably in recent years (Figure 1.4), with unemployment rates at record low levels and wages on the rise. Despite these developments, the employment rate of 67% in 2018 is still slightly below the OECD average (68%), and while unemployment has been falling fast as a result of this rise in employment, it is also the result of a shrinking labour force. In the context of an ageing population, it is crucial that employment and participation continue to increase.

The inclusiveness of the labour market in Poland is a concern

In recent years, the employment rates of workers over 55 years-old have risen quickly, accounting for half the increase in the total employment rate since 2006. However, in 2018, the employment rate of 49% for workers aged 55-64 is still low compared to the OECD average of 61%. Younger generations are not benefitting from the booming labour market, with youth unemployment above the OECD average, and a comparatively large share of youth are not in employment, education or training. Moreover, the participation of women could be enhanced – in 2018, the employment rate for women was 13 percentage points below that of men, and for low educated women the participation rate is declining.

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Figure 1.4. Key indicators for using skills effectively
Relative position in country ranking (based on normalised scores), where higher value reflects better performance
Figure 1.4. Key indicators for using skills effectively

How to read this chart: The normalised scores indicate the relative performance across OECD countries: the further away from the core of the chart, the better the performance. For example, indicator ‘Reading skills use difference young-prime age’ indicates performance above OECD average, i.e. a comparatively large difference in the use of reading skills between younger and older generations indicates relatively strong improvements in the use of these skills.

Note: The OECD average (when using PIAAC data) is based on the sample of OECD countries/regions assessed in the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). See Annex 1.A. for explanation of sources and methodology.

1. Youth not in employment, education or training (NEET).

2. High-performance workplace practices (HPWP).

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888934036196

Skills shortages in various sectors hamper growth

Employer surveys point to the presence of significant shortages in the Polish labour market. In 2018, half of Polish employers reported difficulties filling jobs (Manpower Group, 2018[14]), and in 2017, 63% of employers in Poland reported that trouble finding staff with the right skills was a major obstacle to long-term investment decisions (EIB, 2017[15]). The OECD Skills for Jobs Database shows that Poland is experiencing a range of skills shortages and surpluses, and that mismatches in the labour market are prevalent. In 2016, over 9% of workers in Poland were over-qualified (i.e. they had higher qualifications than those required to get their job) and almost 14% were under-qualified (i.e. their qualifications were lower than those required to get their job).

The skills of adults are not used to their full potential in workplaces

The skills proficiency of the working population is around or slightly below the OECD average (OECD, 2016[9]). However, these skills are not optimally used in the workplace, which indicates a waste of initial investment in skills. For instance, while average literacy scores of adults in Poland are comparable with the OECD average, the use of reading skills is far below the OECD average (OECD, 2016[9]). However, comparatively large differences in the use of skills between younger and older generations indicate improvements in skills use. The Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) provides evidence on the strong correlation of skills use with wages and productivity in OECD countries. In Poland, productivity in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per hour worked is still 40% below the OECD average, indicating that there is a lot of room for improvement regarding the efficient use of adult skills in their jobs in Poland.

Innovations in workplaces and the broader economy can support effective skills use

There is a strong link between the intensive use of skills and the adoption of high-performance workplace practices (HPWP), including 1) flexibility and autonomy in the workplace; 2) teamwork and information sharing; 3) training and development; and 4) benefits, career progression and performance management (OECD, 2016[16]). However, Polish firms are adopting these HPWP at a lower rate than their counterparts in most other countries: about 23% of jobs adopted these practices, compared with 26% on average across the OECD. Rising business investment in a range of intangible assets – such as organisational capital, computerised information, design, and research and development (R&D) – is positively associated with productivity and competitiveness. Poland has one of the lowest expenditure rates on R&D in the OECD, at only 1% of GDP in 2017 (OECD, 2018[1]), and the share of researchers in the workforce is comparatively low. Overall, innovation activity is also weak, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and research activity has little international focus, with weak performance in international co-authorship of research publications – as a measure of international collaboration in science – and a small share of patents developed with foreign co-inventors (OECD, 2017[17]).

copy the linklink copied!Policy context in Poland

In recent years, Poland has taken concrete steps to improve its skills performance and has enacted a range of strategies to guide the development of skills and related policies (see full overview in Annex 1.B.). The 2013 policy report, Lifelong Learning Perspective (LLP) (Government of the Republic of Poland, 2013[18]), provides policy guidance for learning in various contexts (formal, non-formal and informal) and all stages of life, as well as providing guidance on identifying, assessing and validating learning outcomes. The objective of the LLP is to ensure that “all learners [have the] possibility of improving their competencies and obtaining and validating their qualifications in line with the needs and requirements of labour market and civil society, to facilitate movement of persons between sectors and EU states and to contribute to the promotion of civil and social activity.” The LLP recognises that given the wide range of actors with an influence and interest in lifelong learning there is a need for ongoing collaboration across ministries and levels of government, as well as with employers, employees and civil society.

Improving the development and use of human and social capital have been recognised as areas of major importance for the achievement of the objectives of the Strategy for Responsible Development (Strategia na rzecz Odpowiedzialnego Rozwoju, SOR), which is the main strategic document of the Polish government. The SOR emphasises the importance of improving skills and competencies throughout the life course and raising awareness of the benefits of lifelong learning. It also provides for the introduction of changes in the education system, in particular vocational education and training (VET) and higher education (HE), in order to improve their responsiveness to the needs of the modern economy.

Poland is currently in the process of developing an Integrated Skills Strategy (Zintegrowana Strategia Umiejętności, ZSU) that will integrate and expand the LLP and the skills-related content of the SOR, as well as other strategies at the subnational level. The overall goal of the ZSU is to “contribute to the development of skills relevant to the needs of learners, society and the economy, and to better co-ordination of the actors involved in skills formation”. It seeks to facilitate the achievement of the SOR objective to “maintain and use the country’s human capital to increase employment, income growth and economic prosperity, while simultaneously strengthening social, economic and territorial cohesion, and ensuring high quality of life”. The ZSU has involved extensive consultation with several ministries and stakeholder groups in Poland.

Poland has also implemented a range of skills and education reforms (see full overview in Annex 1.B.). In formal education, major elements of the reforms include changes in the school structure (raising the school entry age from six to seven, shortening compulsory general education, lowering the age of tracking to general or vocational secondary school, increasing permeability across tracks); new core curricula for primary and secondary schools; the transformation of vocational schools into VET sectoral schools and the promotion of dual vocational training; new measures for financing school education and for teacher remuneration and progression; and changes in the governance and funding of higher education institutions. Furthermore, the Integrated Qualifications System aims to ensure the quality of the qualifications awarded and the recognition of learning outcomes achieved in non-formal and informal education. It also enables the accumulation and recognition of achievements, provides information on available qualifications, and enables comparisons of Polish qualifications with other EU countries.

Against this backdrop, the OECD supported Poland with a collaborative and tailored OECD Skills Strategy project in 2018-2019. The Ministry of National Education has engaged the OECD to deepen the analysis of the ZSU in specific areas, extend the analysis into other specific areas, and provide policy recommendations for Poland.

copy the linklink copied!Priority areas and recommendations

Based on the assessment of the performance of Poland’s skills system and feedback from the Polish government, four priority areas have been identified for the Skills Strategy project:

  1. 1. Making the education system more responsive to labour market needs (Chapter 2).

  2. 2. Fostering greater participation in adult learning of all forms (Chapter 3).

  3. 3. Strengthening the use of skills in Polish workplaces (Chapter 4).

  4. 4. Strengthening the governance of the skills system in Poland (Chapter 5).

Based on in-depth desktop analysis, two stakeholder workshops, nine discussion groups and several bilateral meetings in Warsaw and Krakow, the OECD has selected opportunities and developed recommendations for Poland in each of the priority areas. The summaries below highlight the key findings and recommendations for each priority area, and the specific chapters that follow present the complete findings and describe the recommendations in more detail.

Making the education system more responsive to labour market needs

A responsive education system allows graduates to develop a set of skills aligned with labour market needs in the short and long term. This can be beneficial for individuals and the economy as a whole in three ways. First, if the education system is responsive to short-term labour market needs, recent graduates face stronger employability prospects (OECD, 2015[19]). Second, in ensuring that the skills of graduates are consistent with labour market demand, a responsive education system can reduce skills imbalances, i.e. skills shortages and mismatches. Third, the education system can better prepare graduates for megatrends by equipping them with strong foundational skills so that they can upskill and reskill throughout their lives (OECD, 2019[8]).

VET schools and higher education institutions (HEIs) have an important role to play in a responsive education system. The evidence gathered suggests that graduates of the vocational education system (VET) in Poland have struggled to find employment, despite significant shortages among occupations that require VET graduates. Graduates of the HE system in Poland have been more successful, but they are frequently working in occupations that do not require a tertiary degree, and they do not always possess job-relevant skills. VET schools and HEIs have been only partially successful at equipping graduates with strong foundational skills. Recent reforms aim to improve the responsiveness of the VET and HE systems, and should be closely monitored.

Opportunity 1: Expanding career counselling services in education institutions

Effective career counselling is a crucial element of a responsive education system as it helps students to make study and employment choices aligned with labour market needs (OECD, 2015[19]). To improve the responsiveness of VET and HE systems in Poland, it is crucial to provide effective counselling across all schools and HEIs. Establishing career counselling services in education institutions has remained a challenge in Poland across all levels of education. A new regulation in 2018 introduced improvements in primary and secondary schools, but it will need to be complemented and supported by additional measures. HEIs are autonomous in conducting career guidance services, but the government can influence provision through funding and regulatory requirements.

Opportunity 2: Strengthening incentives for education institutions to align their offer with labour market needs

As well as students being able to make informed study and employment choices, education institutions also need to supply programmes that align with labour market needs, both in terms of mix (the number of places offered) and quality (the content of offerings). This often depends on incentives offered by the central government, for example funding arrangements and regulation (OECD, 2017[20]). Poland has recently introduced reforms to improve incentives for VET schools and HEIs to align their education offer to labour market needs. These reforms will need to be carefully monitored and supported. Going forward, requiring VET schools to participate in a comprehensive graduate tracking exercise could further help ensure alignment between the educational offering and labour market demand.

Opportunity 3: Improving incentives and support for effective teaching

Education institutions need to deliver effective teaching so that students can acquire a mix of technical and transversal skills that allow them to succeed in the short and long term (OECD, 2015[19]). This is especially important in the Polish context, given that both VET and tertiary educated graduates do not always show strong foundational skills. Poland has struggled to offer strong incentives and support for effective teaching, both in VET and tertiary education. A new core curriculum for VET has been launched and will need to be carefully supported and evaluated. In tertiary education, it is uncertain whether the recent reforms in funding will increase incentives for effective teaching. The reforms will need to be monitored and accompanied by more systematic efforts for the professional development of lecturers.

Opportunity 4: Strengthening collaboration between education institutions and employers

Improving the labour market relevance of education requires effective interaction between the education system and employers (OECD, 2015[19]). In VET, employers frequently co-operate both at the national level and the subnational level to suggest adjustments to the curriculum and to feed in other relevant information (OECD, 2019[8]). In HE, employers should collaborate with universities to ensure that the content of curricula is labour market relevant (OECD, 2017[20]). Employers should also collaborate with education institutions to provide work-based learning (WBL) (OECD, 2019[8]). In Poland, collaboration between education institutions and employers has not been widespread. Recent reforms to strengthen co-operation on the curriculum in VET and to involve employers more actively in decision making in public HEIs will need to be adequately supported. Involving SMEs in training and expanding the recently introduced dual studies in HEIs will be important to strengthen WBL.

Overview of recommendations

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Opportunity 1: Expanding career counselling services in education institutions

Complementing career counselling reforms in schools

  • Ensure that counsellors have sufficient time and motivation to deliver a wide range of services.

  • Ensure that the lifelong guidance system fulfils the needs of school counsellors in terms of access to training, information, and co-operation mechanisms (Chapter 5).

Strengthening career counselling in tertiary education

  • Provide targeted funding and introduce clear standards for the provision of career guidance services in universities.

  • Ensure that the lifelong guidance system fulfils the needs of counsellors in HEIs in terms of access to training, information, and co-operation mechanisms (Chapter 5).

Opportunity 2: Strengthening incentives for education institutions to align their offer with labour market needs

Supporting and monitoring recent reforms in initial VET funding

  • Strengthen the involvement of local stakeholders in providing useful information for the development of the initial VET funding formula.

  • Develop a graduate tracking system for VET schools through a linked administrative dataset and/or a national graduate survey.

Monitoring the impact of recent HE funding reforms on employability

  • Develop a set of indicators to monitor whether the current changes in the HE funding formula provide sufficient incentives to improve employability.

Opportunity 3: Improving incentives and support for effective teaching

Improving incentives and support for VET teachers

  • Develop a recruitment and retention strategy that builds on a broad mix of qualitative and quantitative evidence and extensive consultations with stakeholders.

Supporting the implementation of the new curriculum in initial VET

  • Implement a structured programme of teacher training on the new curriculum.

Strengthening support and incentives for effective teaching in HEIs

  • Establish a forum responsible for providing guidance and disseminating best practices about the professional development of academic teachers.

Opportunity 4: Strengthening collaboration between education institutions and employers

Improving subnational co-operation between VET schools and employers

  • Strengthen the involvement of local stakeholders in developing the VET offering by expanding existing or establishing new subnational councils.

Supporting and monitoring governance reforms in academic HEIs

  • Develop and adopt a clear set of guidelines for the functioning of university councils in public academic HEIs.

Strengthening work-based learning in initial VET

  • Provide financial support and technical assistance to SMEs in order to increase work-based learning opportunities.

Expanding dual studies in HEIs

  • Provide support for far-reaching co-operation between public professional HEIs and employers.

Fostering greater participation in adult learning of all forms

Adults’ ongoing, life-wide learning in workplaces, educational institutions, communities and homes is becoming increasingly important for Poland’s development. The megatrends of automation, digitalisation and integration into global value chains are transforming and increasing the skills that individuals need to effectively participate in work and society. While Poland has successfully raised adult levels of formal educational attainment, still many adults have low levels of skills.

Despite the growing importance for Poland of developing adults’ skills, participation in adult learning of all forms is relatively low. Adults with low educational attainment, those in rural areas and those working in micro- and small-sized enterprises are particularly disengaged from learning. The majority of adults in Poland report that they do not want to participate (more) in formal and/or non-formal adult education or training. Although the benefits of adult learning in Poland are relatively high, most adults report having no need for further learning.

Opportunity 1: Raising awareness of adult learning benefits and opportunities

The motivation of adults and employers to engage in learning is strongly linked to the benefits they perceive. Adults can have both intrinsic motives to engage in learning (e.g. learning for its own sake or socialising) and extrinsic motives (e.g. economic benefits, obliged by law or employer, professional, personal). Employers may be motivated by the need to address skills shortages, retain talent, improve productivity and profitability, or meet legislative requirements. Adult learning has relatively large, measurable benefits for Polish individuals and enterprises. However, a large number of adults and employers in Poland are not convinced that they should engage in adult learning, and similarly, many Polish enterprises see no need to offer training. Various policies can be effective in raising the motivation of adults and enterprises to engage in learning, including strategies, campaigns and online portals, as well as targeted guidance and outreach activities.

Opportunity 2: Making learning more flexible and accessible for adults

In Poland, as in other OECD countries, many individuals and employers with the motivation to engage in adult learning face time-related barriers. For individuals, responsibilities for children and/or elderly family members on top of their working schedules may leave them with little time for education and training. For enterprises, staff workloads and the time needed to co-ordinate education and training may leave little time for participation. Poland can reduce time-related barriers to adult education and training in various ways. For individuals, embedding learning into workplaces and making programmes more flexible in terms of delivery (part-time, online) and design (modular, credit-based courses) can reduce time-related barriers. Recognising adults’ prior learning can shorten the duration of learning programmes for adults who already possess relevant skills, thereby reducing the time it takes to attain a qualification.

Opportunity 3: Better sharing and targeting financing to increase participation in adult learning

Individuals and employers face various incentives to invest in adult education and training, but market failures and equity concerns also imply an important role for government financing. Targeted public funding is likely to be necessary for disadvantaged groups (such as adults with low incomes), certain types of businesses (such as smaller enterprises) and certain types of training (such as for general skills). Government, employer and individual expenditure on adult learning is relatively low in Poland and could be better co-ordinated and shared. Data on adult learning expenditure by different sectors is limited and spending appears to be fragmented. Public funding of adult learning in Poland is not tied to the performance or outcomes of providers or programmes, and is largely directed to institutions, rather than to individuals or enterprises. Both the accessibility and impact of public funds could be improved.

Overview of recommendations

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Opportunity 1: Raising awareness of adult learning benefits and opportunities

Raising general awareness of adult learning

  • Raise general awareness of adult learning benefits and opportunities through improved promotion of the Integrated Skills Strategy (ZSU), campaigns and online portals.

Raising awareness through targeted measures

  • Raise awareness through improved targeted guidance and outreach services.

Opportunity 2: Making learning more flexible and accessible for adults

Expanding adult learning in Polish workplaces

  • Collaborate with social partners to expand adult learning, including basic skills programmes, in Polish workplaces.

Increasing the flexibility of adult education and training

  • Monitor and support the supply of flexible education programmes for adults.

Improving recognition of prior learning for adults

  • Simplify, harmonise and expand recognition of prior learning practices across the education and training system.

Opportunity 3: Better sharing and targeting financing to increase participation in adult learning

Better sharing the costs of adult learning

  • Improve data on individual, enterprise and government expenditure on adult learning.

  • Better co-ordinate adult learning expenditure, for example through a skills funding pact between governments, employers and individuals.

  • Increase take up of the National Training Fund (KFS) by raising awareness, simplifying procedures and increasing the total budget of the KFS using public funds.

Better targeting public adult learning expenditure

  • Increase the impact of public supply-side funding by partially linking it to the performance of programmes and providers.

  • Increase demand for adult learning by targeting a higher share of public funding directly to disengaged individuals and enterprises.

Strengthening the use of skills in Polish workplaces

Recently there has been a growing awareness that how well employers use skills in the workplace may be just as important as the skills their workers possess. To make the most of the initial investment in skills development, and to limit the depreciation and obsolescence of unused skills, countries should strive to use the skills of their population as intensively as possible in the economy, workplaces and society (Guest, 2006[21]). Putting skills to better use in the workplace is important for workers, employers and the broader economy, with benefits for both the economy and society (OECD, 2016[9]). Moreover, analysis of the use of skills in workplaces helps to better understand which skills need to be developed, thereby providing relevant input for training and education providers. In the context of megatrends, there is an even stronger need to improve the effective use of skills in the workplaces to ensure the long-term sustainability of Poland’s economy.

The skills of the working population are not optimally used in workplaces, which indicates a waste of initial investment in skills. For instance, while average literacy scores in Poland are comparable with the OECD average, the use of reading skills is far below the OECD average (OECD, 2016[9]). Comparable results can be found for the use of ICT, writing, and problem-solving skills; for the use of numeracy skills the performance is slightly better. Furthermore, Polish firms are adopting HPWP at a lower rate than their counterparts in most other countries: about 23% of jobs adopted these practices, compared with 26% on average across the OECD.

Opportunity 1: Raising awareness of the relevance of effective skills use and related HPWP

Poland could raise awareness of the relevance of effective skills use in workplaces and HPWP. Despite a number of programmes and strategies that promote practices related to skills use, there is still significant room to expand these activities and active support measures for enterprises. Poland could better utilise national, regional and sectoral strategies to raise awareness of skills use and HPWP, for example by establishing priorities for using people’s skills effectively in workplaces. Poland also could do more to raise awareness by disseminating good practices of HPWP, for example through targeted campaigns or centralised online information.

Opportunity 2: Supporting enterprises and organisations to adopt HPWP

To improve skills use in workplaces the government should actively support firms, especially SMEs, to adopt HPWP. Evidence suggests that approaches leveraging employer networks and sectoral collaboration are cost-efficient and potentially more effective at catalysing HPWP than centralised approaches. The Polish agencies and organisations involved in enterprise support currently do not always have sufficient capacity to support or promote such a decentralised approach. There are several barriers to the use of these support measures. Existing support measures for HPWP are sometimes administratively complex to access, coordination between various support measures could be improved, and support for firms could be more tailored to their specific needs. By becoming a leader in skills use and HPWP, the public sector could also help promote the adoption of HPWP in other Polish workplaces.

Opportunity 3: Equipping management staff with the right skills to implement HPWP

For the successful adoption of HPWP in organisations, it is crucial to have management “on board” and equipped with the right skills. The stakeholders engaged in this Skills Strategy project frequently identified the limited capacity and knowledge of managers as a barrier to the implementation of HPWP in Poland. The awareness of various management training programmes could be strengthened and there is potential to make training opportunities better targeted and more personalised to improve their quality, relevance and accessibility. Poland’s initial and continuing education systems could be more effective at developing students’ managerial and entrepreneurial skills, to underpin skills use and HPWP in the Polish workplaces of the future.

Opportunity 4: Engaging employees effectively to implement HPWP

Various studies show that employee engagement is one of the main contributors to skill use and productivity. Strengthening worker participation in firm decisions on the modernisation of work organisation and management practices could increase skills use in workplaces (OECD/ILO, 2017[22]). Currently in Poland, employees are often not highly engaged in decision making in their workplaces, and enterprises may not view workers’ skills an integral part of a business’s competitive advantage. Employee representative structures, such as works councils in state-owned (Rady pracownicza) and private enterprises (Rada pracowników) could play a greater role in strengthening employee representation and supporting the expansion of HPWP.

Overview of recommendations

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Opportunity 1: Raising awareness of the relevance of effective skills use and related HPWP

Including the topic of skills use in workplaces and the adoption of HPWP in national, regional and sectoral strategies

  • Put skills use and HPWP on the policy agenda by including them more explicitly and more prominently in strategies with targeted, measurable actions.

Disseminating knowledge and good practices related to HPWP through targeted campaigns and centralised online information

  • Use targeted online campaigns on skills use and workplace practices and publicly recognise successful enterprises and organisations.

  • Introduce a centralised portal or website on innovative workplace practices that raise skills use.

Opportunity 2: Supporting enterprises and organisations to adopt HPWP

Supporting firms, especially SMEs, in the adoption of HPWP

  • Enhance and expand support measures for firms by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP), sectoral skills councils and other organisations through the funding of organisational innovation and access to expert consultation and coaching.

  • Ensure accessibility of support measures by reducing administrative complexity and through the creation of a centralised portal.

Leveraging employer networks and supporting collaboration at the sector level to promote the adoption of HPWP

  • Raise the involvement of employers from micro-enterprises and SMEs in collaborative initiatives at the national, local and sectoral level to catalyse change in workplaces.

  • Improve the effectiveness and increase the impact of existing networks and collaborative initiatives.

Ensuring a leading role for the public sector in the effective use of skills and the adoption of HPWP

  • Raise the use of skills and the adoption of HPWP in the public sector by promoting a culture of innovation and knowledge.

Opportunity 3: Equipping management staff with the right skills to implement HPWP

Supporting the development of managerial skills by strengthening learning opportunities

  • Improve managerial skills by raising awareness of their relevance and by expanding existing management training programmes.

  • Improve the quality, relevance and accessibility of training through targeted and personalised training for management staff at all levels.

Building a strong foundation for managerial and entrepreneurial skills by teaching them in initial education

  • Expand and strengthen current programmes that aim to develop managerial and entrepreneurial skills in the education system.

Opportunity 4: Engaging employees effectively to implement HPWP

Enhancing employee engagement in Polish firms by involving them in company decision making and improving overall job quality

  • Promote employers investing in their employees for the long term by moving towards “high road strategies” where employee skills are considered an integral part of a business’s competitive advantage.

Strengthening employee representative structures in Polish firms

  • Expand and strengthen role of current employee representative structures, most notably the works councils in both state-owned (Rady pracownicza) and private enterprises (Rada pracowników).

Strengthening the governance of the skills system in Poland

Effective governance arrangements are essential to support Poland’s performance in developing and using people’s skills, and for achieving the goals of the Integrated Skills Strategy (Zintegrowana Strategia Umiejętności, ZSU). The success of policies to develop and use people’s skills typically depends on the responses and actions of a wide range of actors, including government, learners, educators, workers, employers and trade unions. Promoting co-ordination, co-operation and collaboration across the whole of government can lead to more effective and efficient skills policies. Government engagement with stakeholders on skills policy is also important to help policy makers tap into on-the-ground expertise and foster support for policy reform and implementation. Building integrated information systems harnesses the potential of data and information to help policy makers design and implement better skills policies.

Opportunity 1: Strengthening co-operation on skills policy at the national level

Several mechanisms are in place for inter-ministerial co-ordination and stakeholder engagement on skills policy at the national level. However, government and stakeholder representatives (participants) consulted during this project stated that Poland lacks a tradition of collaboration between ministries. As a result, civil servants working on skills policies often lack a clear picture of programmes and actions taken in other ministries, which threatens the coherence and efficiency of skills policy. The government’s performance in engaging stakeholders appears relatively low overall, and does not consistently motivate or facilitate stakeholder acceptance of policies. However, there are recent examples of wide-ranging stakeholder engagement on specific skills policies and reforms, such as the Integrated Qualification System Law. Making stakeholder engagement more systematic and impactful will help build trust in the skills system and underpin better skills policies.

Opportunity 2: Strengthening vertical and subnational co-operation on skills policy

Various mechanisms are in place for vertical co-ordination between ministries and subnational authorities, and for co-operation at the subnational level on skills policy. Vertical co-ordination between ministries and subnational authorities is limited, and the relationship between these authorities is sometimes strained. The competencies of centrally appointed and locally elected officials have been a growing point of contention. Furthermore, subnational governments regard the implementation of some central government policies, especially the introduction of the two-tier school system, as shifting unfunded/underfunded mandates to them. Consensus-oriented co-ordination mechanisms like territorial contracts are not utilised specifically for skills policies. Poland’s performance in co-operation at the subnational level is limited overall, but with some very promising examples in particular regions. County (powiat) representatives involved in this project contrasted improvements in policy co-ordination at the regional level to disjointed and incoherent policies and strategies at the municipal and county levels. For example, some neighbouring counties offer VET qualifications for the same occupations, even when one school could meet demand in both counties. However, some regions have highly developed co-operation mechanisms, such as the lifelong learning partnership in Krakow.

Opportunity 3: Integrating and using skills information effectively

Responsibilities for gathering, disseminating and using information on skills and learning in Poland are fragmented and sometimes undefined, with several ministries, agencies, institutions and social partners currently involved. Although Poland has several systems for collecting and disseminating skills and learning data, participants in this project stated that existing collections are not comprehensive, well-integrated, disseminated in a user-friendly way, or used effectively for evidence-based policy. There are no administrative data collections on non-formal adult education, and expenditure data for adult education are limited and fragmented. With the exception of the Polish Graduate Tracking System (Ogólnopolski system monitorowania Ekonomicznych Losów Absolwentów szkół wyższych, ELA), there is little information on the learning outcomes of education and training. The public agencies with responsibility for skills and learning information increasingly release it online, but this information is often not tailored to the needs of different user groups. Poland has high potential for evidence-based skills policy making, but needs to develop a culture of evaluation.

Overview of recommendations

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Opportunity 1: Strengthening co-operation on skills policy at the national level

Strengthening skills strategies and oversight of the skills system

  • Clearly define targets, responsibilities, resources and accountability for implementing the Integrated Skills Strategy (ZSU).

  • Make a whole-of-government and cross-sectoral body responsible for overseeing implementation of the Integrated Skills Strategy.

  • Review and monitor the effectiveness of existing oversight bodies for skills policy, and improve them over time.

Strengthening other mechanisms for co-ordination at the national level

  • Raise the profile of “skills” and Poland’s Integrated Skills Strategy in the centre of government.

  • Assess and build the capacity of ministries and stakeholders to co-ordinate and engage effectively on skills policies.

Opportunity 2: Strengthening vertical and subnational co-operation on skills policy

Strengthening mechanisms for vertical co-ordination

  • Monitor the coherence of subnational policies with the Integrated Skills Strategy to inform the government’s co-ordination and outreach efforts.

  • Raise awareness of skills, the Integrated Skills Strategy and the Integrated Qualification System (ZSK) at the subnational level.

  • Trial territorial contracts to improve vertical co-ordination and coherence between national and subnational skills policies.

Strengthening mechanisms for subnational co-operation

  • Identify and raise awareness of successful examples of subnational co-operation on skills policy.

  • Support increased use of territorial contracts, inter-municipal unions and agreements and shared service centres for skills policies.

  • Strengthen the role of subnational authorities and bodies in co-ordinating skills policy.

  • Add requirements and incentives for subnational co-operation to the central budget funding and European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) allocated to skills policy.

Ensuring subnational actors have the capacity for co-ordinated and effective skills policy

  • Assess and monitor the capacity of subnational authorities and stakeholders for co-ordinated and effective skills policy.

  • Build the capacity of staff within subnational authorities and stakeholder groups for co-ordinated and effective skills policy.

  • Ensure municipal (gmina), county (powiat) and regional (voivodeship or województwo) governments have sufficient financial resources for co-ordinated and effective skills policy.

Opportunity 3: Integrating and using skills information effectively

Improving and integrating skills information

  • Improve data on adult learning by expanding administrative collections, improving questionnaire design and linking datasets.

  • Develop a national skills assessment and anticipation (SAA) system that integrates and improves upon existing SAA exercises.

  • Improve the co-ordination and integration of information by appointing a national cross-sectoral committee to oversee skills and learning information.

Disseminating and using skills information effectively

  • Assess, monitor and tailor skills information to the needs of key user groups.

  • Implement a system of lifelong guidance in Poland to ensure that students and adults have access to high-quality career and learning advice.

  • Develop a common, robust framework for evaluating the outcomes of skills programmes.

  • Provide training and guidance to civil servants on policy evaluation to strengthen evidence-based skills policy making.

References

[15] EIB (2017), EIBIS 2016/2017. Surveying Corporate Investment Activities, Needs and Financing in the EU, European Investment Bank, http://www.eib.org/attachments/efs/eibis_2016_report_en.pdf.

[11] Eurostat (2018), Participation in education and training (last 12 months), Eurostat, Luxembourg, http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=trng_aes_100&lang=en (accessed on 14 October 2019).

[12] Eurostat (2018), Participation rate in education and training (last 4 weeks) by NUTS 2 regions, Eurostat, Luxembourg, http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=trng_lfse_04&lang=en.

[18] Government of the Republic of Poland (2013), Perspektywa uczenia się przez całe życie [Lifelong learning perspective], https://kwalifikacje.gov.pl/download/Uczenie_sie_przez_cale_zycie/Perspektywa_uczenia_sie_przez_cale_zycie.pdf.

[21] Guest, R. (2006), “Better Utilization of Skills Through Job Design”, Human Resource Management, Vol. 3/3, pp. 1-11.

[14] Manpower Group (2018), Solving the Talent Shortage: Build, Buy, Borrow and Bridge, https://go.manpowergroup.com/hubfs/TalentShortage%202018%20(Global)%20Assets/PDFs/MG_TalentShortage2018_lo%206_25_18_FINAL.pdf.

[2] Nedelkoska, L. and G. Quintini (2018), “Automation, skills use and training”, OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 202, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/2e2f4eea-en.

[10] OECD (2019), OECD Skills Outlook 2019 : Thriving in a Digital World, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/df80bc12-en.

[8] OECD (2019), OECD Skills Strategy 2019: Skills to Shape a Better Future, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264313835-en.

[7] OECD (2018), OECD Economic Surveys: Poland 2018, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eco_surveys-pol-2018-en.

[1] OECD (2018), OECD Regional Statistics, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/region-data-en.

[13] OECD (2017), Education at a Glance 2017: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-2017-en.

[5] OECD (2017), How’s Life? 2017: Measuring Well-being, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/how_life-2017-en.

[20] OECD (2017), In-Depth Analysis of the Labour Market Relevance and Outcomes of Highe Education Systems: Analytical Framework and Country Practices Report, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/education/skills-beyond-school/LMRO%20Report.pdf.

[4] OECD (2017), OECD Employment Outlook 2017, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/empl_outlook-2017-en.

[17] OECD (2017), OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2017: The digital transformation, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264268821-en.

[3] OECD (2017), OECD Skills Outlook 2017: Skills and Global Value Chains, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264273351-en.

[16] OECD (2016), OECD Employment Outlook 2016, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/empl_outlook-2016-en.

[9] OECD (2016), Skills Matter: Further Results from the Survey of Adult Skills, OECD Skills Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264258051-en.

[19] OECD (2015), OECD Skills Outlook 2015: Youth, Skills and Employability, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264234178-en.

[22] OECD/ILO (2017), Better Use of Skills in the Workplace: Why It Matters for Productivity and Local Jobs, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264281394-en.

[6] World Bank Group (2017), Lessons from Poland, Insights for Poland: A Sustainable and Inclusive Transition to High Income Status, World Bank, Washington, DC, http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/poland/publication/lessons-from-poland-insights-for-poland.

copy the linklink copied!Annex 1.A. OECD Skills Strategy Dashboard, Poland

This annex addresses the OECD Skills Strategy Dashboard for Poland. The objective of this Dashboard is to present an overview of the performance of skills systems in OECD countries. It is the starting point for analysis in the diagnostic phase of national skills strategy projects and allows the OECD and the National Project Team to identify the priority skills policy themes to be covered in greater detail in the report. Presenting the relative position of countries on key skills outcomes, the Dashboard provides a general overview of the Polish skills system’s strengths and weaknesses. This annex describes the characteristics, presents the indicators and describes the underlying methods for calculating indicators.

copy the linklink copied!Characteristics

The Dashboard is the result of internal consultation and analysis of core indicators used in OECD Skills Strategy projects. It presents a simple, intuitive overview of the outcomes of skills systems that is easy to interpret, and gives a quick impression of a country’s skills performance across the dimensions of the OECD skills strategy (“developing relevant skills” and “putting skills to effective use”). The Dashboard applies a broad definition of skills by presenting foundational skills, problem-solving skills and broadness of skill sets, and considers both economic and social outcomes. A total of 38 key outcome indicators were selected and grouped into 18 aggregated indicators.

copy the linklink copied!Indicator selection

The selection of indicators followed a process whereby a longlist of the most commonly used indicators in OECD Skills Strategy reports was gradually reduced to a shortlist of core indicators. This process built on the principle that the indicators describe the core outcomes of the different dimensions of the skills system. In addition, these indicators express outcomes in terms of level, trend, distribution and equity. The indicators need to be comparatively easy to interpret and based on OECD sources, with data as recent as possible.

copy the linklink copied!Method for the calculation of aggregate indicators

To develop aggregate indicators that represent the relative position of countries on key outcomes of the skills system, a number of calculations were made on the collected data. To describe the relative position across countries, a score for each indicator was calculated ranging from 0 to 10, with 0 for the weakest performance and 10 for the strongest performance. This resulted in an indicator that allows comparisons between different types of indicators (e.g. averaging performance of literacy scores and educational attainment rates). The resulting scores were normalised in such a way that better performance results in a higher score. Subsequently, an unweighted average of the indicators was calculated for each of the aggregates, and these scores were then ranked. The final ranking was separated into five groups of equal size, ranging from top 20% performer to bottom 20% performer. Aggregate indicators are only presented in the Dashboard when more than half of the underlying indicators have data available.

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Annex Table 1.A.1. Dimensions, aggregates and underlying indicators

Dimension and aggregates

Indicator

Source

Developing relevant skills

How skilled are youth?

Reading (PISA1), mean score, 2015

OECD (2016), PISA 2015.

https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264266490-8-en

 

Mathematics (PISA1), mean score, 2015

OECD (2016), PISA 2015.

https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264266490-9-en

 

Science (PISA1), mean score, 2015

OECD (2016), PISA 2015.

https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264266490-6-en

Are skills of youth improving?

PISA1 average three year trend (reading, mathematics, science)2

OECD (2016), PISA 2015.

https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264266490-en.

Are skills of youth being developed inclusively?

PISA1 economic, social and cultural status (ESCS) parity index, science performance, 2015

OECD (2016), PISA 2015.

https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264266490-10-en.

How many young adults attain tertiary education?

Tertiary education attainment rate, 25-34 year-olds, 20173

OECD (2018), Population with tertiary education (indicator). https://doi.org/10.1787/0b8f90e9-en

How skilled are young tertiary educated adults?

Literacy (PIAAC4), mean score, tertiary educated 25-34 year-olds, 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

 

Numeracy (PIAAC4), mean score, tertiary educated 25-34 year-olds, 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

 

Problem solving (PIAAC4), % level 2/3, tertiary educated 25-34 year-olds, 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

How inclusive is tertiary education?

Share tertiary educated with both parents less than tertiary, 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

How strong are foundational skills of adults?

Literacy (PIAAC4), mean score, 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

 

Numeracy (PIAAC4), mean score, 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

 

Problem solving (PIAAC4), % level 2/3, 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

Do adults have a broad set of skills?

Percentage of adults with a broad set of skills (PIAAC4) (level 3-5 in literacy and numeracy and level two-third in problem solving), 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

Is there a strong culture of adult education?

Formal and/or non-formal adult education participation rate (PIAAC4), last 12 months, 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

 

Willing to participate in adult education (PIAAC4), percentage of population, 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

 

Low barriers to participation (PIAAC4), low % adults wanting to participate but who didn't, 2012/'15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

Are skills of adults being developed inclusively?

High-low educated parents, adjusted literacy difference (PIAAC4), 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

Putting skills to effective use

How well are skills activated in the labour market?

Employment rate, working age, 2018

OECD (2018), Employment rate (indicator).

https://doi.org/10.1787/1de68a9b-en

 

Labour force participation rate, 2018

OECD (2018), Labour force participation rate (indicator). https://doi.org/10.1787/8a801325-en

 

Low share of youth not in employment education or training (NEET), 15-29 year-olds, 2017

OECD (2018), Youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) (indicator) https://doi.org/10.1787/72d1033a-en

How inclusive is the labour market?

Gender (male-female), employment rate difference, 2018

OECD (2018), Employment rate (indicator).

https://doi.org/10.1787/1de68a9b-en

 

High-low educated, employment rate difference, 2017

OECD (2018), Employment by education level (indicator). https://doi.org/10.1787/26f676c7-en

How well aligned are skills with the labour market?

Labour market imbalances indicator3, 2015/2017 (Skills for Jobs)

OECD (2018), Skills for Jobs Database. https://www.oecdskillsforjobsdatabase.org/index.php#FR/_.

Do workplaces make intensive use of skills?

Reading at work (PIAAC4), score, 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

 

Numeracy at work (PIAAC4), score, 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

 

Information and communication technology (ICT) at work (PIAAC4), score, 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

Do people use their skills intensively in daily life?

Reading at home (PIAAC4), score, 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

 

Numeracy at home (PIAAC4), score, 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

 

ICT at home (PIAAC4), score, 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

Is the use of skills at work improving?

Reading skills use at work adjusted difference young (16-25) – prime age (26-54) (PIAAC4), 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

 

Numeracy skills use at work adjusted difference young (16-25) – prime age (26-54) (PIAAC4), 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

 

ICT skills use at work adjusted difference young (16-25) – prime age (26-54) (PIAAC4), 2012/15

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

Are firms designing workplaces to use skills effectively?

High-performance workplace practices, percentage of jobs, 2012/15 (PIAAC4)

OECD (2019), Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/.

Is skills use stimulated by innovation?

Researchers, per 1 000 employed, 2016/2017

OECD (2018), Researchers (indicator).

https://doi.org/10.1787/20ddfb0f-en

 

Triadic patent families, performance index (STI5 Outlook), 2016

OECD (2018), Triadic patent families (indicator).

https://doi.org/10.1787/6a8d10f4-en

 

International co-authorship, performance index (STI5 Outlook), 2016

OECD (2018), OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2018,

https://doi.org/10.1787/sti_in_outlook-2018-en.

 

International co-invention, performance index (STI5 Outlook), 2016

OECD (2018), OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2018,

https://doi.org/10.1787/sti_in_outlook-2018-en.

1. Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

2. The average trend is reported for the longest available period since PISA 2006 for science, PISA 2009 for reading, and PISA 2003 for mathematics.

3. Labour market imbalances, average standard deviation across occupations in wages, employment, hours worked, unemployment and under-qualifications, 2015/2017.

4. Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC).

5. Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).

Note: Indicators without a specific source between brackets are OECD indicators from OECD Data (https://data.oecd.org/home/).

copy the linklink copied!Annex 1.B. Strategies and recent and new reforms in Poland related to skills and education
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Annex Table 1.B.1. Strategies for skills and education

Strategy

Responsible body

Purpose

Skills content

Integrated Skills Strategy (2019)

Ministry of National Education

Developing skills relevant to needs of learners, society and economy, as well as better co-ordinating actors involved in skills formation.

Diagnose strengths and weaknesses in skills formation, and identify challenges and priorities of future interventions in the development, activation and use of skills.

Strategy for Responsible Development (2017)

Council of Ministers

Creating conditions for increasing the income of the Polish citizens, along with increasing cohesion in the social, economic, environmental and territorial dimension.

Development of human and social capital. Increase activation and currently unused potential of human resources.

Lifelong Learning Perspective (2013)

Inter-ministerial Team for Lifelong Learning, co-ordinated by the Ministry of National Education

Well-prepared lifelong learners, who develop and expand their skills accordingly to challenges they may face in professional, social and personal life.

Development of skills, Integrated Qualification System, adult learning (including in workplace and as part of structured social engagement).

Social Capital Development Strategy (2013)*

Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

Strengthening social capital in the socio-economic development of Poland.

Education and competence development. Using lifelong learning mechanisms in shaping civic attitudes and promoting pro-social activity (e.g. voluntary work).

The Strategy for Innovation and Efficiency of the Economy (2013)*

Ministry of Investment and Economic Development

Highly competitive (innovative and efficient) economy based on knowledge and co-operation.

Development of human capital in the economy through lifelong learning, with the emphasis on key competences (e.g. creativity, entrepreneurship, problem solving, ICT and language skills).

Human Capital Development Strategy (not yet adopted)*

Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy

Developing human capital and social cohesion in Poland by extracting people's potential so that they can participate fully in social, political and economic life over the life course.

Building human capital in various places and forms (in the educational system – from early childhood to adult learning and in natural conditions at all ages, as well as at work and through social involvement). Assessment and validation of outcomes of such learning in the National Qualification Framework (NQF). Improving quality and efficiency of formal, informal and non-formal education and training for people of different age groups.

Note: * means an extensive update of these strategies is pending as of mid-2019.

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Annex Table 1.B.2. Recent and new reforms related to skills and education

Name

Description

Higher education reform

(2018)

The comprehensive amendments to the Law on Higher Education and Science present systematic changes in the functioning of universities, their financing, and scientific careers. The new law, also referred to as the Constitution for Science, replaced the four existing laws: the Law on Higher Education, the Law on the Principles of Financing Science, the Law on Academic Degrees and Title, and the Law on Student Loans.

Vocational education and training reform

(2018)

The amendment to the Law on School Education Act aims to improve the prestige of initial vocational education in Poland, mostly through improving the quality and effectiveness of VET in schools and other institutions. Implementation of the changes began in the school year 2019/2020. Key elements include: 1) changes in the allocation of funds, including increased subventions based on labour market demand and training costs for specific occupations; 2) obligatory sectoral placements for vocational teachers; and 3) better co-operation between VET schools and employers.

Structural reform of school education

(2017)

Educational reform in Poland has been implemented since the beginning of 2017 and ends in the school year 2022/23. Its main goal is to offer students a solid background of general education required for further personal development and the needs of the contemporary labour market. The key elements of the reform are: 1) change in the school structure that involves the introduction of a long, eight year primary school, four year general and five year technical upper secondary school, and the replacement of basic vocational school by two-stage sectoral school; 2) change in school entry age from 6 to 7 years and an obligation for 6-year-olds to attend one year of pre-primary education; 3) provision of textbooks free of charge; 4) promotion of co-operation with the business sector.

National Educational Network (OSE)

(2017)

The Law on National Educational Network establishes the OSE – free, high-speed Internet access for schools and educational institutions. The aim is to provide fast and safe Internet to every school in Poland, which will guarantee equal access to knowledge, the development of new forms of learning and teaching, and the acquisition of digital competences by students and teachers.

Integrated Qualifications System (Zintegrowany System Kwalifikacji, ZSK)

(2015)

The Act on the Integrated Qualifications System came into force in 2016. The main instruments of the ZSK include: 1) the 8-level Polish Qualifications Framework that provides information on knowledge, skills and social competences; and 2) the Integrated Qualifications Register and procedures for including a qualification in the system, accrediting an awarding body, and providing external quality assurance. The ZSK aims to: 1) ensure quality of the qualifications awarded; 2) ensure recognition of learning outcomes achieved in non-formal and informal education; 3) enable the accumulation and recognition of achievements/credits; 4) provide information on qualifications available in Poland; and 5) enable the comparison of qualifications acquired in Poland and other EU countries.

Programming of the 2014 to 2020 financial perspective – Partnership Agreement

(2014)

The Partnership Agreement (PA) is a document that defines the strategy of interventions of European funds within the framework of three EU policies: the cohesion policy, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in Poland between 2014 and 2020. The Partnership Agreement indicates that increasing the level of skills and competences, enhancing access to different forms of lifelong learning, and increasing the labour market relevance of education and training systems remain the most important challenges for Poland. In the 2017 revision, it was agreed that a comprehensive skills strategy needed to be developed.

National Training Fund (KFS)

(2014)

The amendment to the Act on Employment Promotion and Labour Market Institutions established the National Training Fund (KFS). The KFS is a separate part of the Labour Fund that is financed by, among others, employer contributions. It is intended for co-financing the education and training of employees and employers that is undertaken on the initiative of, or with the consent of, the employer. The purpose of creating the KFS is to prevent loss of employment by people because of the lack of adequate competences required in a dynamically changing economy. Increasing investment in human resources should improve both the position of companies and employees themselves in a competitive labour market.

Amendment of Law on establishment of Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP)

(2017)

The amendment of the law on the establishment of PARP from 2017 introduced several articles that enabled the creation of two institutions: sectoral skills councils (SSCs) and the Program Board for Competences. According to the law, SSCs are established on the basis of PARP's tenders, and their members are appointed by a minister responsible for the economy (currently the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology). The Program Board is a body that consists of representatives of various groups of stakeholders (e.g. employer organisations, labour unions, universities and public administration), and is responsible for making various recommendations in the area of education and labour market. It is intended to co-ordinate the works of SSCs.

Note

← 1. The OECD Skills Strategy applies a broad definition of skills, including: 1) foundational skills, including literacy, numeracy and digital literacy; 2) transversal cognitive and meta-cognitive skills such as critical thinking, complex problem solving, creative thinking, learning to learn and self-regulation; 3) social and emotional skills such as conscientiousness, responsibility, empathy, self-efficacy and collaboration; and 4) professional, technical and specialised knowledge and skills needed to meet the demands of specific occupations.

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https://doi.org/10.1787/b377fbcc-en

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