People’s skills are at the heart of Latvia’s vision for the future.

As megatrends such as globalisation, technological progress, and demographic changes, as well as most recently COVID-19, transform jobs, how societies function and how people interact, the impetus for getting skills right is growing. People will need higher levels of skills and a well-rounded set of skills, including cognitive, social and emotional, and job-specific skills, for success in work and life. At the country level, skills are an important instrument for strengthening competitiveness, boosting productivity and fostering innovation. However, skills matter not only as an economic investment, but are also essential for the health, well-being and social cohesion of a population.

To pave a path to future success, Latvia has developed the Education Development Guidelines 2021-2027 (referred to in this report as the “EDG”), which puts education and skills policies at the forefront of the political agenda. The EDG sets the scene of how Latvia seeks to equip its citizens with the skills to flourish in work and society.

During this OECD Skills Strategy Implementation Guidance phase, Latvia has laid a strong foundation for the implementation of the EDG. Evidence on the strengths and weaknesses of Latvia’s education and skills systems has informed the prioritisation of relevant policies in the guidelines. A wide range of Latvian actors across ministries, levels of government, education and training providers, employers, trade unions, the non-profit sector, and learners have been engaged to develop the EDG, demonstrating their commitment to work together. Furthermore, substantial resources have been earmarked to finance the policies presented in the guidelines.

Looking to the future, more can be done to position Latvia to successfully implement the EDG and prepare for the guidelines that will take its place. As the COVID-19 crisis has made clear, the future is uncertain, and all plans must be designed to be responsive and adaptable to overcome future challenges and seize future opportunities. With this in mind, Latvia could take further steps to strengthen its strategic planning.

The policies outlined in the EDG, when implemented with the support of all relevant actors, should allow Latvia to bridge the skills gaps and equip citizens of all ages with the skills they need to make the most of future opportunities.

Based on an analysis of Latvia’s current situation, as well as the findings from widespread engagement with relevant actors in Latvia, the OECD has developed a number of concrete recommendations to help Latvia develop and implement the EDG.

The OECD stands ready to further support Latvia as it seeks to implement better skills policies for better lives.

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