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Developing and using people’s skills effectively is crucial for Slovakia’s ability to thrive in an increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world.

Slovakia is particularly exposed to the effects of globalisation, digitalisation and demographic change, and should build on its current strengths and use them as a foundation to introduce new policies that better equip society to respond to a constantly changing environment. All members of society will need a stronger and more well-rounded set of skills, including cognitive, social and emotional, and job-specific skills that are aligned with labour market needs and effectively used in individual workplaces.

Slovakia has already achieved relatively strong skills performance in various areas. In terms of developing people’s skills, the tertiary attainment rate has improved substantially and the foundational skills of adults are comparatively strong. With respect to using people’s skills, the unemployment rate in Slovakia is at record low levels and wages are on the rise.

However, Slovakia still faces a number of complex skills challenges. The skills of youth are lagging behind the OECD average in reading and science, and declining. Skills imbalances are high, with skills shortages particularly prevalent in knowledge and technology-intensive sectors. Adult learning culture is underdeveloped, participation in adult learning is low, and those most in need of continuous education participate the least. In the workplace, skills are not currently used to their full potential.

In recent years, Slovakia has enacted wide-ranging skills policy reforms spanning all levels of education and training, as well as many areas of labour market policy. In this respect, continued stakeholder engagement and impact monitoring will remain essential for implementing Slovakia’s skills reforms.

Slovakia has developed the National Programme for the Development of Education (NPRVaV 2018-2027) to set the country’s priorities for skills development and activation. To provide input on the implementation of this programme, and to further support Slovakia in its reform agenda, the OECD has conducted a collaborative and tailored National Skills Strategy project. This has involved detailed analysis and widespread engagement with stakeholders, leading to several tailored recommendations outlined in this report.

The OECD stands ready to support the Slovak Republic as it seeks to implement effective skills policies and continue its transition to a knowledge-based economy and society.

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