Chapter 3. Strengthening co-operation between specific actors for adult learning

In addition to strengthening the overall conditions for co-operation in adult learning (Chapter 2), Slovenia has opportunities to strengthen co-operation between specific actors: between ministries, with and between local actors, and between government (including public providers) and stakeholders (adult learners, employers and others). This chapter presents each of these three areas for action with: 1) an overview of current arrangements; 2) a summary of current challenges and opportunities; 3) examples of good practice from Slovenia and abroad; and 4) recommended actions for strengthening co-operation in order to boost adults’ learning and skills.

    

Strengthen inter-ministerial co-ordination for adult learning

Effective co-ordination between Slovenia’s ministries will be essential for improving participation, outcomes and cost-effectiveness in adult learning. In Slovenia, nine ministries have legislated responsibilities in adult learning. Between them, these ministries fund 34 Adult Education Centres (Ljudske univerze) (LUs), 17 Guidance Centres for adults, 58 Employment Offices, 20 Inter-Company Training Centres (Medpodjetniški izobraževalni centri) (MICs), and 11 Competence Centres for Human Resources Development (Kompetenčni centri za razvoj kadrov) (KOCs), among other adult learning-related services. Against this backdrop, inter-ministerial co-ordination is crucial to minimise overlaps and gaps in services, share experience and sectoral expertise, identify opportunities for partnerships, design adult learning policy to positively interact with other related policies (such as labour, social and development policy), and develop better processes for engaging with municipalities and stakeholders (OECD, 2005[1]; OECD, 2003[2]).

Several factors can facilitate effective inter-ministerial co-ordination in adult learning, including clear and shared priorities, goals, targets and responsibilities (see Action 1); an inclusive, influential and accountable co-ordination body (see Action 2), and high-quality information to enrich decision making and co-ordination (see Action 3).

In addition, effective inter-ministerial co-ordination requires that civil servants are appropriately skilled, responsible and recognised for their efforts. It also requires sufficient resources – of people, time and funding. Getting these aspects right for inter-ministerial co-ordination can also help improve the public administration’s engagement with municipalities (Action 5) and stakeholders (Action 6) in adult learning.

Current arrangements for inter-ministerial co-ordination

Slovenia has several mechanisms to help prioritise, facilitate and support inter-ministerial co-ordination in adult learning.

As discussed in Chapter 2, the Adult Education Master Plan 2013-2020 (Resolucija o nacionalnem programu izobraževanja odraslih v Republiki Sloveniji za obdobje 2013-2020) (ReNPIO) and the Adult Education Co-ordination Body (Koordinacija izobraževanja odraslih) (AE Body) support inter-ministerial co-ordination in adult learning. Adult education is provided on the basis of the ReNPIO, which documents the national goals, priority areas and activities necessary for its realisation and public funding from the ministries involved in adult education. The AE Body includes nine ministries among its 24 members.

More broadly, various strategies, rules, ad hoc partnerships and human resource management practices in the public administration seek to facilitate effective inter-ministerial co-ordination.

The current development strategy, the Slovenian Development Strategy 2030 (Strategija razvoja Slovenije 2030) (SRS 2030), sets a goal for “effective governance and a high-quality public service” (Šooš et al., 2017[3]). It lists several measures to realise this goal, including creating a highly developed culture of co-operation; promoting the acquisition of new knowledge and skills through strategically thought-out human resources planning; and promoting innovative forms of management, leadership, policy design and innovation among employees. Furthermore, the Public Administration Development Strategy 2015-2020 (Strategija razvoja javne uprave 2015-2020) (SJU 2020) outlines the vision of an efficient and stable public administration, and includes objectives for improved inter-ministerial co-ordination, human resource management and skills development for civil servants (Box 3.1). Both the SRS 2030 and the SJU 2020 also include goals for more effective stakeholder engagement in the policy process, and a user-centred approach to public services (see Action 6).

Box 3.1. Current arrangements in Slovenia: Public Administration Development Strategy 2015-2020 (SJU 2020)

The SJU 2020 was adopted by the government in 2015, and aims to improve the quality and efficiency, transparency and responsibility of public administration. Among its strategic objectives, the SJU 2020 includes the responsive, effective and efficient operation of a user-oriented public administration; efficient human resource management and enhancing the competence of civil servants; and improving legislation and including key stakeholders.

Inter-ministerial co-operation

The SJU 2020 recognises that the sectoral organisation of the public administration is an obstacle to inter-ministerial co-operation, resulting in higher costs and lower service quality. The main measure it identifies to improve cross-sectoral co-operation is to connect and merge the functions of related bodies at the state and municipal level. The indicator it defines for the efficient organisation of the central public administration is an “increased number of successfully implemented inter-sectoral reform projects”. According to the progress report (Government of the Republic of Slovenia, 2018[4]), 10 inter-sectoral reform projects were successfully implemented from 2015 to 2017. The SJU 2020 also set targets for the implementation of joint public procurement, in order to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness of public procurement.

Developing skills in the public administration

The SJU 2020 recognises that training civil servants is essential for improving their motivation, skills and satisfaction, and for improving service quality and user satisfaction. The SJU 2020 suggested establishing a competency model (see Box 3.3) and modernised training including: 1) a methodology to determine training needs and prepare training plans based on the competence analysis of employees; 2) tailoring the training programmes to specific target group needs; and 3) enhancing opportunities and motivation for learning.

Performance management

One goal of the SJU 2020 was a closer connection between work performance, promotion and remuneration. It establishes the competency model as a measure to achieve this goal. The SJU 2020 defines two indicators for monitoring the connection between performance and remuneration: “increased share of employees whose salary increased due to above-average performance” and “increased average ratio between the variable and fixed components of public sector salaries”.

In order to achieve the objectives of the SJU 2020 a working group for monitoring and implementing the SJU 2020 was established in 2017, consisting of strategic and operative groups.

Sources: MJU (2015[5]), Public administration 2020. Public Administration Development Strategy 2015-2020, www.mju.gov.si/fileadmin/mju.gov.si/pageuploads/JAVNA_UPRAVA/Kakovost/Strategija_razvoja_JU_2015-2020/Strategija_razvoja_ANG_final_web.pdf; Government of the Republic of Slovenia (2017[6]), Decision on the appointment of the Working group for monitoring and evaluation of the SJU 2020, www.mju.gov.si/fileadmin/mju.gov.si/pageuploads/JAVNA_UPRAVA/Kakovost/Strategija_razvoja_JU_2015-2020/KAZISklepVlade_Pa.pdf.

The 2001 Rules of Procedure of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia (Poslovnik Vlade Republike Slovenije) (Rules of Procedure) require inter-ministerial consultation and the harmonisation of proposals to government. The Rules of Procedure stipulate that proposals made to government for debate and decision (“government material”) must be harmonised across the ministries and government services it concerns, except when this is not possible due to urgency or for other reasons. When submitting government material, ministries must confirm the extent of their inter-ministerial consultation. The Government Office for Legislation checks ministries’ compliance with these requirements before proposals go to cabinet (National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, 2014[7]).

The 2009 Public Sector Salary System Act (Zakon o sistemu plač v javnem sektorju) and subordinate decrees1 specify elements of inter-ministerial co-ordination that managers may use in performance appraisals and promotion decisions. The decrees stipulate that civil servants’ performance should be appraised and rated annually based on a wide range of criteria, one of which is the quality of co-operation and organisation of work, including mutual co-operation and teamwork, attitudes towards colleagues, knowledge transfer, and mentoring. The decrees also include criteria related to stakeholder engagement in policy making and attitudes towards service users (see Action 6).

Ministries can consult with each other informally and form ad hoc partnerships in adult learning. For example, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport (Ministrstvo za izobraževanje, znanost in šport) (MIZŠ) establishes working groups when developing legislation, including other ministries as well as stakeholders. In addition, the national project team for the OECD-led National Skills Strategy for Slovenia consists of representatives of nine ministries. This team oversaw the Diagnostic Phase (2016-17) and Action Phase on governance of adult learning (2018).

Some training programmes available to civil servants cover skills for co-operation and engagement, which can support inter-ministerial co-ordination. The Administration Academy (Upravna akademija) has legislated responsibility to provide training of relevance to all ministries. It currently offers various communication, teamwork and leadership training programmes, among others (Table 3.1). The human resources (HR) units within ministries may also arrange or provide their own training for staff (see Annex Table 3.A.1 for more details).

Table 3.1. Participation in co-operation-oriented training
Training provided by the Administration Academy

Programme name

Co-operation-related skills and competencies

Eligibility

Number of training sessions

Enrolment numbers

Financing

Management and communication – As a leader I am not alone

- Successful communication, motivation and management of conflicts in leadership

Managers

11

204

(since June 2017)

European Social Fund (ESF)

I am leading and changing – We are going in the right direction

- Introduction of changes at the level of the system and individuals

- Changing opposition to co-operation

Managers

9

166

(since June 2017)

ESF

Team work

- Development of interpersonal relations

- Development of teamwork skills

Managers

6

90

(since June 2017)

ESF

Good communication with colleagues and clients – seminar with a workshop

- Communication process and communication rules

- Styles and communication strategies

All staff

72

1379

(in the last 3 years)

Fee based

Team building and team work

- Training for team work

- Group developmental dynamics and group dynamics

All staff

10

292

(in the last 3 years)

Fee based

Moderating – What is it and how to successfully lead the group process of communication?

Skills for conducting group discussions using different methods, with the goal of creating consensus-based solutions

All staff

6

110

(since May 2018)

ESF

Design thinking

- Ways to use design thinking in problem solving

All staff

In preparation

In preparation

ESF

Note: The table excludes training for civil servants not delivered by the Administration Academy.

Source: Data provided by the Administration Academy, Ministry of Public Administration (22 June 2018).

The number and seniority of people, and the time and funding allocated to adult learning and inter-ministerial co-ordination differ by mechanism and ministry (see Annex Table 3.A.2 for details).

At the MIZŠ, adult education comes under the responsibility of Higher Vocational and Adult Education Division at the Secondary, Higher Vocational and Adult Education Directorate. The size of the division has gradually increased over the last 10 years due to the increased number of EU projects, and now typically employs 10-14 civil servants. The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities (Ministrstvo za delo, družino, socialne zadeve in enake možnosti) (MDDSZ) also has a Lifelong Learning Division at the Labour Market and Employment Directorate, although the division is smaller than at the MIZŠ. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food (Ministrstvo za kmetijstvo, gozdarstvo in prehrano) (MKGP) has appointed staff specifically to oversee the ministry’s adult learning activities, but this is uncommon among sectoral ministries.

The MIZŠ has a budget line to support the work of the Council of Experts of the Republic of Slovenia for Adult Education (Strokovni svet Republike Slovenije za izobraževanje odraslih) (SSIO) and its sub-committees. The MIZŠ pays attendance fees for non-government representatives and remunerates the president of the SSIO. In 2017, the SSIO met four times, and its Commission for Strategic Issues met three times. The AE Body, on the other hand, has no budget line. The decision-making authority of its 9 ministerial representatives is diverse, ranging from mid-management to state secretaries. It currently meets twice per year, despite an initial plan to meet monthly.

Opportunities to strengthen inter-ministerial co-ordination

Representatives of the ministries participating in the National Skills Strategy Action Phase highlighted the potential to strengthen inter-ministerial co-ordination for adult learning. This opportunity has also been highlighted in previous studies (Ivancic and Radovan, 2013[8]; Jelenc, 2007[9]; Krek and Metljak, 2011[10]). Ministry representatives cited the need to develop a culture of co-operation in Slovenia’s public administration, particularly for improved adult learning policy. They argued that awareness, learning and development, and recognition for co-operation are needed, not more rules. Ministry representatives also raised concerns about the levels and variability of resources allocated to inter-ministerial co-ordination.

Rules are not enough

Ministry representatives agreed that there is scope to do more to achieve the intent of the Rules of Procedure in adult learning policy making. There are examples of effective inter-ministerial co-ordination of adult learning policies via existing co-ordination mechanisms. Yet the ministry representatives agreed that the process for inter-ministerial reviews of proposals does not consistently result in substantive input into the content of adult learning policy proposals. Civil servants often feel they are too busy to fully engage in these processes. When they do, it is often out of goodwill, as there are no major consequences for engaging only partially with the proposals of other ministries. A previous OECD review found that inter-ministerial consultation in general occurs too late for meaningful input from various ministries (OECD, 2012[11]). Ministries may also invoke the urgency clause to exempt their own proposals from the requirement for inter-ministerial consultation.

However, the ministry representatives agreed that rules are not the core issue – neither the current set of rules nor improvements to them will be sufficient to drive inter-ministerial co-ordination. While rules and individual goodwill are necessary, they cannot generate the culture, depth and consistency of co-ordination between the ministries involved in adult learning envisioned by the SRS 2030 and SJU 2020. More importantly, the public administration needs to develop a culture of co-operation. This requires, among other things, civil servants being convinced of the value of co-operation and having sufficient skills and recognition to work effectively with others.

Learning and development

Ministry representatives stated that many civil servants may lack the skills and experience required for effective inter-ministerial co-ordination for adult learning, a point also made in a previous Slovenian study (Drofenik, 2013[12]). The OECD has identified four areas of skills required for modern civil services, each of which includes elements of co-operation (Figure 3.1). Effective inter-ministerial co-ordination requires civil servants to have skills to convene, collaborate and develop shared understanding through communication, trust and mutual commitment. Targeted training, inter-ministerial and cross-sectoral mobility assignments (exchanges), mentoring, coaching, networking, and peer learning can all help develop these skills (OECD, 2017[13]). In addition, these skills and forms of learning are also required for effective co-operation with municipalities (see Action 5) and stakeholders (see Action 6). If civil servants’ skills for co-operation are not developed, the impact of other actions to strengthen co-operation in adult learning will be diminished.

Figure 3.1. Civil service skills for public value: A framework
picture

Source: OECD (2017[14]), Skills for a High Performing Civil Service – HIGHLIGHTS, OECD Public Governance Reviews, www.oecd.org/gov/pem/Skills-Highlights.pdf.

The public administration in Slovenia does not have a process for systematically assessing and responding to skills gaps among civil servants. Although the SJU 2020 envisions such a process, training needs are currently identified on an individual basis, typically during annual performance reviews. This information does not feed into the training delivery or procurement planning of the Administration Academy.

The supply and uptake of co-operation-oriented training programmes is limited in the public administration. Table 3.1 shows the seven programmes the Administration Academy offers that it identified as covering co-operation skills. Enrolment in these programmes ranges from 90 to 460 participants per year and some of the programmes are only available to managers. And, while the Administration Academy uses a range of channels to promote its training, none of the ministerial staff consulted during the project were aware these programmes existed. Furthermore, the amount of training offered by individual ministries differs considerably (see Annex Table 3.A.1), and may be insufficient to boost the skills needed to support a culture of co-operation.

Existing learning opportunities for civil servants have only recently started to move away from traditional teaching modes like lectures. More use could be made of experiential learning, mobility assignments, mentoring, coaching, networking and peer learning. In particular, participants noted that inter-ministerial staff mobility is rare in the central public administration. There is a programme for staff exchanges between the public and private sector (Partnerstvo za spremembe), but these are typically short (e.g. 1-2 weeks) and placements may not necessarily align with the individual’s policy area (e.g. adult learning). This is a missed opportunity for staff to develop a cross-sectoral view of complex issues like adult learning policy.

Responsibility and recognition

Individual performance plans are not systematically used in Slovenia’s central public administration to encourage inter-ministerial co-operation, including for adult learning policy. While the current decrees on promotions include criteria that could be used to recognise co-operation, inter-ministerial co-ordination is not explicitly mentioned. Ministry representatives reported that they are expected to engage in inter-ministerial co-ordination (and stakeholder engagement) as part of their work. However, the degree to which this is explicit, formalised and recognised varies across teams and ministries. Linking promotion criteria to co-ordination and co-operation efforts in adult learning would help legitimise them as a priority. As other reviews have highlighted, managers may need to be more convinced of the value of the annual performance process and given better training and guidance to use it to its full potential (MJU, 2015[5]; OECD, 2012[11]).

Resourcing for co-operation

In some cases, the resources allocated to inter-ministerial co-ordination in adult learning policy may be insufficient to support effective co-operation. Some ministerial participants stated that they lack the time required to properly invest in co-ordination and engagement activities for adult learning policy. Staff responsibilities for adult learning within individual ministries may be unclear or insufficient, and too few staff may be dedicated to co-ordination and engagement. One previous review concluded that the adult education unit in the MIZŠ would need to be strengthened and expanded to successfully implement the national master plan for adult education (Jelenc, 2007[9]). The Adult Education Association (2012[15]) argued that the MIZŠ’ current adult education unit is overburdened by administrative tasks and lacks time for policy development. It called for the creation of a stand-alone directorate for adult education. Some participants cited hiring freezes and restrictions on part-time or short-term positions as contributing to “a lack of time” for co-ordination. Representatives delegated to the AE Body or ad hoc bodies by their ministries typically lack the decision-making capacity required to enter into inter-ministerial partnerships or other forms of co-operation.

While not focused on adult learning policy, the OECD review Slovenia: Towards a Strategic and Efficient State (2012[11]) made several recommendations for improving inter-ministerial co-ordination in Slovenia (Box 3.2).

Box 3.2. Previous recommendations: Improving inter-ministerial co-ordination in Slovenia

Slovenia: Towards a Strategic and Efficient State (OECD 2012)

Commissioned by the Ministry of Public Administration (Ministrstvo za javno upravo) (MJU) and the Government Office for Development and European Affairs (Služba Vlade Republike Slovenije za razvoj in evropskes zadeve) (SVREZ), this review identified the main issues to be addressed for the development of a stronger and more effective central public administration in Slovenia. It recommended, among other things:

  • Promoting collaboration in the culture of the central public administration, by:

    • developing incentive structures, for example by including collaboration as one of the competence criteria for individual performance assessments

    • encouraging the development of networks to facilitate trust and relationship building, and opportunities for more integrated and organic consultation and collaboration between organisations within the central public administration

    • ensuring that consultation between entities in the central public administration starts at the beginning of the policy- and rule-making process

    • fostering positive relationships between the centre and line ministries, through arm’s-length steering rather than heavy-handed rules and procedures

    • where roadblocks appear, obtaining “buy-in” at the political level and encourage a discussion in the relevant cabinet committee.

  • Addressing disconnects at the political and administrative interface.

  • Establishing a more coherent centre of government.

  • Building capacity for strategy implementation.

  • Strengthening capacities for the prioritisation, monitoring and evaluation of policies.

  • Strengthening the individual staff performance management system.

Source: OECD (2012[11]), Slovenia: Towards a Strategic and Efficient State, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264173262-en.

Examples of good practice for inter-ministerial co-ordination

Slovenia’s Management by Objectives and Competency Model projects being piloted in the MJU will provide an opportunity for the ministries involved in adult learning to strengthen responsibilities, recognition and training for inter-ministerial co-ordination in adult learning (Box 3.3).

Box 3.3. Good practices in Slovenia: Management by Objectives and Competency Model pilots

Management by Objectives (Ciljno vodenje) pilot in the MJU

In pursuit of the SJU 2020 goal for an improved and standardised performance management system, the MJU is piloting the Management by Objectives project. The overall aim is to define concrete performance objectives for individual staff that link to the strategic objectives of the ministry as a whole. The pilot is being implemented in four development phases:

  • Phase 1: System and content-based setting of objectives and the design of the management by objectives methodology.

  • Phase 2: Testing the suitability of the management by objectives system in public administration (providing feedback, evaluating and preparing recommendations for improvements).

  • Phase 3: Information support for management by objectives.

  • Phase 4: Communication, knowledge transfer, promotion and support in using management by objectives across the whole public administration.

Phase 1 of the pilot is complete, and has defined goals for the MJU at the ministry, directorate, unit and individual level. The findings of the pilot project will guide the introduction of management by objectives to other ministries and state administration bodies.

Competency Model (Kompetenčnega modela) pilot in the MJU

In pursuit of the SJU 2020 goal for more efficient human resource management, the MJU is piloting the Competency Model project to define, assess and develop the competencies required in the public administration now and in the future. The model seeks to facilitate the optimal use of human resources by establishing a connection between annual interviews, performance assessment, the training system, remuneration and promotion for civil servants.

The project has already defined the competencies of commitment to professionalism, strengthening co-operation, proactive work and a user-centred approach. The co-operation competency includes behaviour like “successfully co-operates with individuals who come outside of his / her working group”. These competencies will be further elaborated in the next steps of the project. The model will form the basis for analysing competency gaps in the civil service and organising training and career orientation services.

Sources: MJU (2017[16]) Management by Objectives, www.mju.gov.si/si/delovna_podrocja/kakovost_v_javni_upravi/ciljno_vodenje/; information provided by the MJU (10 August 2018); MJU (2018[17]), Establishing Competency Model, www.mju.gov.si/si/delovna_podrocja/zaposleni_v_drzavni_upravi/projekt_vzpostavitev_kompetencnega_modela/; data provided by the MJU (10 August 2018).

In Ireland, the government’s Civil Service Renewal Plan aimed to create a more unified and responsive civil service, including strengthening skills for policy making (Box 3.4).

Box 3.4. International good practice: Ireland’s Civil Service Renewal Plan

Ireland launched a three-year action plan in 2014 that aimed to create a more unified and responsive civil service with the capacity to address the changes resulting from the economic recovery. This Civil Service Renewal Plan included actions to equip civil servants with the skills they need in a changing environment and to strengthen and expand their capacity for co-ordination with stakeholders. The plan was developed by an independent panel and a taskforce of civil servants from across all departments.

A key action was the development of a new shared model for delivering learning and development within the civil service.

This model called for a unified Learning and Development Strategy to be drawn up based on assessments of future skill requirements within the service. From this, common learning and development programmes were to be established and shared between departments. As of 2017, this curriculum had been agreed upon and adopted, and the contracts awarded to training providers. This was co-ordinated by the One Learning Centre, established to centrally operate and maintain the new model of delivery and suite of programmes. These programmes were designed to introduce new skills and behaviour and are to be reinforced by evaluations intended to ensure consistency in outcomes across departments.

The action also undertook to review the Civil Service Competency Framework on the basis of regular skills audits and to develop a technology solution to the co-ordination of skills across the Civil Service. The One Learning Centre designed a civil service-wide skills register that will form part of the technology solution and the path to a learning management system.

Sources: Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (2014[18]), The Civil Service Renewal Plan, www.per.gov.ie/civil-service-renewal; OECD (2017[13]), Skills for a High Performing Civil Service, OECD Public Governance Reviews, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264280724-en.

Recommended Action 4: Strengthening inter-ministerial co-ordination

In light of these current arrangements, challenges and good practices, Slovenia can strengthen the culture of inter-ministerial co-ordination (and engagement more generally) in adult learning policy making, by taking the following actions.

Action 4

The government should improve awareness, skills, recognition and resourcing for co-operation in the public administration, to strengthen co-operation within, between and by ministries.

The government should survey the individuals working on adult learning within ministries, agencies and existing cross-sectoral bodies, in order to assess and address gaps in skills, recognition and resourcing for co-operation. In light of the survey results, the government should: raise awareness about the importance of co-operation in adult learning, improve opportunities for developing skills for co-operation in the public administration, strengthen requirements for and recognition of effective co-operation, and resource co-operation efforts effectively. While focused on adult learning, this action should contribute to the achievement of the SRS 2030 goals for “effective governance and high-quality public service”.

This action should build civil servants’ capacity for: strategic governance (Actions 1 and 2), integrating diverse information into decision making (Action 3) and adopting a user-centred approach in adult learning (Action 6). The government should also consider extending learning opportunities to municipalities and public providers to support their role in adult learning (Action 5).

Specifically, the government should:

  1. 1. Undertake a survey of individuals in ministries, agencies, co-ordination bodies and expert councils involved in adult learning to establish a baseline estimate of: the current resources (people, time and funding) devoted to inter-ministerial co-ordination, stakeholder engagement and expert advice for adult learning policy; and whether the skills and training of staff involved in these co-operation efforts are sufficient.

    1. a. In light of the results of this baseline survey, the relevant ministries, agencies, bodies and councils should document good practice for resourcing inter-ministerial co-ordination, stakeholder engagement and expert advice in adult learning, and advise the government on current resource gaps/constraints and how they might be filled. A whole-of-government, cross-sectoral body for adult learning could be responsible for preparing this advice (Action 2).

  2. 2. Raise awareness and promote understanding of:

    1. a. The benefits of co-ordination and engagement for adult learning policy – such as minimising overlaps and gaps in adult learning services, increasing the likelihood of successful implementation, better meeting the needs of individual adults, capitalising on the distinct strengths of each sector, facilitating cross-sectoral learning, generating complementarities between related policies – and how these can improve adult learning participation, outcomes and/or cost-effectiveness.

    2. b. Good practice examples of co-operation from Slovenia and abroad. For example, from the field of adult learning, cross-sectoral initiatives that include an element of adult skills and learning (e.g. the S4) or related policy fields (such as labour, social or economic policy).

  3. 3. Promote and expand learning and development opportunities for the civil servants involved in adult learning policy, incorporating:

    1. a. An initial “learning needs” assessment: this should involve a survey of staff perceptions about whether they have the time, skills, and learning and development opportunities required to effectively engage in inter-ministerial co-ordination and stakeholder engagement in policy making.

    2. b. A broad range of skills, such as policy analysis and advice (including user-centred design), managing networks (including skills for inter-ministerial co-ordination, negotiation and conflict resolution), citizen engagement and service delivery (such as co-creation), and commissioning and contracting services (e.g. through public tenders).

    3. c. A broad range of methods, such as practice-based, on-the-job and online training; mentoring and coaching; networking; and peer learning and mobility assignments.

    4. d. Municipalities: the central government, in consultation with municipalities, should extend this awareness and learning initiative to municipal staff involved in adult learning.

    5. e. Existing national and EU funding sources: for example, any available funds for technical assistance and capacity building.

  4. 4. Strengthen individual and team responsibility and recognition for co-operation, by:

    1. a. Requiring individuals and teams to co-operate. After evaluating and refining the current Management by Objectives pilot in the MJU, the government should apply this system to the teams and/or individual staff in the central public administration involved in adult learning policy. This system should include specific performance objectives for inter-ministerial co-ordination and stakeholder engagement.

    2. b. Recognising individuals and teams for effective co-operation. Effective inter-ministerial co-ordination and stakeholder engagement should be systematically recognised in performance appraisals and become one criterion for promotions. This could remain informal, or formalised in the Decree on Promoting Officials to Titles or the Rules on the Promotion of Public Employees into Salary Grades.

Strengthen co-operation with municipalities and between local actors

Effective co-operation with and between actors at the local and regional level is also important for improving participation, outcomes and cost-effectiveness in adult learning (OECD, 2003, p. 221[2]). Effective co-operation between ministries and Slovenia’s 212 municipalities can help the ministries to better tailor policies to local/regional needs, and the municipalities to contribute more effectively to realising national goals for adult learning. Effective co-operation between local and regional actors themselves (municipalities, providers, employers, social partners and others) can help minimise geographical overlaps or gaps in services, facilitate knowledge exchange, reveal opportunities for partnerships that increase quality and/or cost-effectiveness, co-ordinate engagement with central government, and support policy coherence within regions and across sectors (development, social policy, etc.).

Several factors can support effective co-operation with and between actors at the local and regional level. These include clear and shared priorities, goals, targets and responsibilities for adult learning (Action 1); an influential and accountable co-ordination body that includes local/regional representatives (Action 2); and high-quality information to enrich decision-making and co-ordination (Action 3) all covered in Chapter 2. Having the right skills, accountability, recognition and resources for co-operation in the central government (Action 4) can also support ministries’ co-operation with municipalities.

In addition, regional bodies can provide a forum for local and regional actors to identify and pursue opportunities for co-operation. Meanwhile, central government ministries and agencies can support the contributions of local and regional actors to achieving national goals for adult learning through funding design and the recognition and dissemination of good practices.

Current arrangements for co-operation with local actors

Slovenia’s 212 municipalities have an important and growing role in adult learning. The 2007 Local Self-Government Act (Zakon o lokalni samoupravi) stipulates that municipalities should create the conditions to enable adult education to contribute to the development of the municipality and its inhabitants’ quality of life. The new Adult Education Act (Zakon o izobraževanju odraslih [ZIO-1 Act], 2018)) requires municipalities to develop annual plans for adult education (Letni programi izobraževanja odraslih) (Box 3.5).

The municipalities own the premises of Slovenia’s 34 LUs. In 2017, 75 of the 212 municipalities reported spending on adult education to the Ministry of Finance. According to a sample of municipalities’ 2018 budgets, operational expenditure on adult education ranges from EUR 0 in some municipalities to EUR 14 per capita in Črnomelj (Table 4.4 in Chapter 4).

Box 3.5. Municipal Annual Plans for Adult Learning (Letni program izobraževanja odraslih)

The new ZIO-1 Act (2018) stipulates that municipalities must adopt an Annual Plan for Adult Education (AL Plan). The plans must include:

  • annual targets and indicators

  • priority areas and associated actions

  • the amount of funding from the national/municipal budget to implement the annual programme

  • the actors responsible for implementing the plan

  • information on how the plan’s implementation will be monitored.

The act also allows municipalities to adopt joint AL Plans with other municipalities.

Among the AL Plans that municipalities had created and publicly released by mid-2018, the contents are quite variable. For example:

  • The Municipality of Jesenice’s AL Plan (2018) is one page long and lists three projects (Multigenerational Centre, University of Elders and the Cultural Heritage Project) and municipal financing of EUR 135 100.

  • The Municipality of Ajdovščina’s AL Plan (2017) provides key information about the local LU and description of its six programmes (career counselling and workshops for youth, computer literacy programmes for the elderly and the unemployed, programmes for raising the basic competencies of the population, the centre for intergenerational learning, and training programmes at the Learning Centre in Brje, Urban Garden Learning). The municipality provides co-financing of EUR 35 000.

  • The Municipality of Ljubljana’s AL Plan references EU strategies and the ReNPIO, as well as the Strategy for the Development of Education in the Municipality of Ljubljana (2009-19). The AL Plan describes six programmes, and details their target groups, content, methods of implementation and evaluation, events, timelines, and financing. Two providers – the Cene Štupar LU and the University of the Third Age – are responsible for realising the programme. The municipality provides financing of EUR 85 000 for the plan.

Sources: National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia (2018[19]), Adult Education Act, http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO7641; Annual plan from Jesenice Municipality provided by LU Jesenice (10 May 2018); Municipality of Ajdovščina (2017[20]), Annual Plan for Adult Education in the Municipality of Ajdovščina 2018, www.ajdovscina.si/mma/Letni%20program%20izobrazevanja%20odraslih%20v%20obcini%20Ajdovscina%202018.pdf/2017121511300549/?m=1513333803; Annual plan from Ljubljana Municipality provided by LU Cene Štupar (5 October 2018).

Co-operation between ministries and municipalities

The ministries involved in adult learning and Slovenia’s 212 municipalities interact through various, mainly indirect, mechanisms. These include:

  • The e-Democracy online portal: the portal gives all sectors, including municipalities, 30 days to comment on all legislative proposals.

  • Municipal associations: the Local Self-Government Act established associations to represent municipalities’ interests in national policy development, and requires the government to consult these associations on policies of relevance to municipalities. There are currently three associations in Slovenia: the Association of Municipalities and Towns of Slovenia (Skupnost občin) (SOS), the Association of Municipalities of Slovenia (Združenje občin Slovenije) (ZOS) and the Association of City Municipalities of Slovenia (Združenje mestnih občin Slovenije) (ZMOS).

  • The AE Body: one municipal association, the SOS, is currently a member (municipalities are not represented in the SSIO).

  • The National Council: Slovenia’s upper parliamentary chamber (the National Council) includes 22 representatives of local interests.

  • The Local Self-Government Service at the MJU: the MJU’s responsibilities include the system of local self-government in Slovenia. It co-operates with the municipal associations, and provides professional assistance to municipalities to help them comply with and implement regulations.

  • Regional development agencies (Regionalne razvojne agencije) (RRAs)): although Slovenia does not have a regional level of government, it does have 12 RRAs that seek balanced development across regions (OECD, 2016[21]). Each RRA has established a Committee for Human Resources. Each RRA prepares a Regional Development Plan (Regionalni razvojni program) (RRP), and 11 out of the 12 RRPs include goals/targets for adult learning (see Box 3.7 for one example). RRAs are required to submit their RRPs to the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology (Ministrstvo za gospodarski razvoj in tehnologijo) (MGRT), and both are required to ensure alignment of the RRPs with the SRS 2030 and other national policies.

  • Regional adult learning service providers: the ministries involved in adult learning also engage with local actors indirectly via their own agencies. Providers of adult learning services such as LUs (MIZŠ), MICs (MIZŠ), KOCs (MDDSZ) and Employment Service Offices “represent” and implement the central government’s priorities and policies at the local/regional level. They also “represent” and convey local/regional level needs in national forums such as working groups for legislative development, and the AE Body.

The development of the new ZIO-1 Act provides a recent example of how some of these mechanisms are utilised in adult learning policy making (Box 3.6).

Box 3.6. Case study: Engagement with municipalities for the ZIO-1 Act (2018)

In 2016, the Minister of Education, Science and Sports formed a working group to prepare a new ZIO Act. The working group operated from December 2016 to May 2017 and held six co-ordination meetings, presented the draft act in various forums and published the act on the e-Democracy portal for public comment.

The MIZŠ and municipalities engaged in various ways during this process, including:

  • the MIZŠ held co-ordination meetings for the preparation of the new law with municipal representatives from the Dolenjska region (individual municipalities), the SOS, ZOS and head of the Local Self-Government Service at the MJU

  • the AE Body, which includes SOS, discussed the proposal

  • all three municipal associations provided comments on the act on the e-Democracy online portal

  • in December 2017, the National Council (which includes 22 municipal representatives) assented to the act, and stated that adult education requires an integrated approach from all ministries.

Source: MIZŠ (2017[22]), Proposal of the Adult Education Act, http://vrs-3.vlada.si/MANDAT14/VLADNAGRADIVA.NSF/18a6b9887c33a0bdc12570e50034eb54/7844fac71ebd3f17c12581c500210d44/$FILE/ZIO_vlgr_25_10_17.pdf.

Co-operation between local actors

Municipalities and the other local and regional actors involved in adult learning (providers, social partners and others) can potentially co-operate with each other through the mechanisms described above. These include:

  • Regional adult learning service providers: providers of adult learning services – LUs, MICs, KOCs, etc. – also serve as co-ordination points for local and regional adult learning activities. Lifelong learning centres (Centri vseživljenjskega učenja) previously played this role in the period 2008 to 2013.

  • RRAs: the Committees for Human Resources comprise regional representatives of LUs, secondary schools, business chambers, NGOs, and the Employment Service of Slovenia (Zavod Republike Slovenije za zaposlovanje) (ZRSZ), all of whom are stakeholders in adult learning.

  • Regional networks: Slovenia’s 12 Councils of Regions (Svet regij), each of which comprises mayors from within the region, allow mayors to share information and identify opportunities for co-operation, including in adult learning.

  • Municipal associations: Slovenia’s municipal associations implement joint development projects, and organise seminars, workshops, conferences and working meetings on priority issues facing municipalities, which could include inter-municipal co-ordination in adult learning.

  • Professional associations: Slovenia’s five professional associations of adult education providers could potentially facilitate partnerships, consortiums and other forms of co-operation between providers.

Box 3.7. Current arrangements in Slovenia: Adult learning in the Regional Development Plans (RRPs)

The Promotion of Balanced Regional Development Act (2011) established RRPs to guide regional development. RRAs design the RRPs, and the MGRT is responsible for ensuring that the regional plans are coherent with the national development strategy and other national strategies. Eleven of Slovenia’s 12 RRPs include adult learning-related priorities and targets.

As an example, the RRP of the Primorsko-notranjska region describes objectives, indicators, activities and projects for adult learning.

The RRP’s analysis of human resource development identifies:

  • Strengths: the growing participation of adults in lifelong learning, and support services for counselling, entrepreneurship development, education and training.

  • Weaknesses: the decreasing number of lifelong learning programmes, and misalignment with employers’ needs.

  • Opportunities: identifying labour market needs, adapting education programmes to the needs of the regional economy, strengthening co-operation between employers and others, and integrating the concept of sustainable development into education programmes.

  • Threats: late adaptation of education and training programmes to the needs of the economy, and limited interest in technical or other professions needed by economy.

The RRP has an objective to promote participation in learning and the labour market, and sets numerical targets for adult learning participation, the number of providers and the number of programmes in the region. To realise these targets, the RRP plans numerous activities, such as creating dialogue between regional stakeholders in adult learning, including stakeholders when anticipating skills needs, updating curricula and practical training, and promoting flexible learning pathways. The RRP allocated EUR 4 million to implement these activities, some of which went to the Postojna MIC and the Career Centre at the Ilirska Bistrica Centre for Social Work.

The Committee for Human Resources and Social Development overseeing these aspects of the RRA included nine representatives in total, from the municipality, the ZRSZ, the Centre for Social Work, a regional network of NGOs, the region’s LU, the region’s School Centre, the Pensioners’ Association and a company.

The Regional Council of Mayors monitors the achievement of the RRP, adopting the annual and final report on implementation.

Sources: RRA Notranjsko-kraške regije (2015[23]), Regional Development Programme of Primorsko-notranjska region, www.rra-zk.si/materiali/priloge/slo/rrp-nkr-2014-2020-s-popravki_april-2015.pdf; National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia (2011[24]), Promotion of Balanced Regional Development Act, www.pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO5801; National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia (2012[25]), Decree on Regional Development Programmes, http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=URED6106.

Opportunities to improve co-operation with local actors

There are opportunities to improve co-ordination and co-operation both between central government and municipalities, and within and between actors at the regional and local level.

Co-operation between ministries and municipalities

Despite the important and growing role of municipalities in adult learning, there is limited co-ordination and co-operation between ministries and municipalities for developing and implementing adult learning policy.

Ministries could engage more effectively with municipalities during the design and drafting of adult learning-related legislation and policy. Representatives of the ministries participating in the National Skills Strategy Action Phase cited no direct lines of communication with municipalities. The SOS is the only municipal association involved in any of the national cross-sectoral bodies for adult learning (the AE Body, SSIO and SSPSI; see Chapter 2). Neither municipalities nor their associations were involved in the development of the ReNPIO (see Chapter 2). Ministries and municipalities did interact in various ways during the development of the 2018 ZIO-1 Act (Box 3.6). However, some municipal representatives, such as the ZMOS, were not included in the MIZŠ’ direct engagement, and have been critical of the process.

The central government is not making full use of municipalities’ insights about local/regional needs, and the challenges and opportunities municipalities face in implementing national adult learning laws/policies locally.

The ReNPIO and the municipal AL Plans could be more closely connected. The ReNPIO does not articulate the role of municipalities in contributing to the achievement of its goals and targets. By mid-2018, many municipalities still did not have an AL Plan. The existing AL Plans are highly variable in their level of detail and their coherence with the ReNPIO. Most of the AL Plans that are publicly available describe their local LU and co-financed projects. With a few exceptions (e.g. the Municipality of Ljubljana) they do not include the other elements required in the ZIO-1 Act: annual targets and indicators, priority areas and associated actions, specifying the actors responsible for implementation, and how implementation will be monitored. The MIZŠ needs an effective process to monitor and enforce the implementation of the AL Plans.

Co-operation between ministries and municipalities is challenging because of the large number of municipalities and their limited engagement capacity. Slovenia has 10.3 municipalities per 100 000 inhabitants, which is higher than in most unitary countries including Latvia (6.1), Estonia (6.0) and Ireland (0.7) (OECD, 2018[26]). Municipalities, especially smaller ones, may simply lack the human resources required to directly engage with ministries. Some municipalities have a social policy officer in charge of educational and social programmes and expenditure. However, some representatives of municipalities involved in this project stated that, because these roles are quite broad, these officers have limited capacity to engage with specific national policies. Some social policy officers consulted during this project were not aware of the ZIO-1 Act until after its enactment.

Despite these challenges, effective co-operation between ministries and representatives of municipalities will be essential if Slovenia is to effectively tailor its national policies to local/regional needs, and if municipalities are to help realise national goals for adult learning.

Co-operation between local actors

Several stakeholders participating in the National Skills Strategy Action Phase stated that co-operation between actors at the local level is a strong point of Slovenia’s adult learning system. Regional adult learning-related centres (LUs, MICs, KOCs, etc.) do act as hubs for co-operation between providers, municipalities, local employers, social partners and others. MICs, for example, connect learners of different ages and education levels, researchers, mentors, local companies, chambers and their local communities (for an example, see Box 3.11). However, participating stakeholders considered that local and regional co-operation in adult learning could be made more systematic, in order to harness the resources, knowledge and capacity of multiple municipalities and stakeholders.

No municipalities have availed themselves of the option to develop joint AL Plans with other municipalities under the 2018 ZIO-1 Act. Slovenia’s Education White Paper (Krek and Metljak, 2011[10]) specifically identified the need for regional strategies and annual plans for adult learning.

Municipalities lack a culture of co-operation and of joint service provision, and there are few examples of municipalities entering into partnerships with each other for adult learning. Indeed, some representatives of municipalities participating in this project stated that municipalities typically consider that the costs and complexity of inter-municipal partnerships outweigh the benefits. The perceived and objective reasons for this need to be better understood and overcome if partnerships are to become more systematic.

Municipalities and local stakeholders are often unaware of the potential for, or successful examples of local and regional partnerships in adult learning. While the Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (Andragoški center Republike Slovenije) (ACS) has an established awards programme for success stories and good practice in adult learning, this does not currently focus on local and regional partnerships. There is a need for greater recognition of successful local and regional partnerships in adult learning (as in Jesenice, Box 3.10) and dissemination of these examples to inspire local and regional co-operation.

The RRAs and Regional Councils of Mayors do not appear to be facilitating regional partnerships for adult learning. This partly reflects the fact that their remits are much wider than adult learning. Adult learning does not appear to be high on the agenda of the Regional Councils of Mayors. Slovenia’s LLL Strategy cited the need for regional authorities to co-fund LLL services (Jelenc, 2007[9]), while Slovenia’s Education White Paper (Krek and Metljak, 2011[10]) identified the need for municipal and/or inter-municipal management structures for adult learning.

Although public funding for adult learning in Slovenia is almost entirely tender-based, ministries are not using tenders to spur local or regional co-operation. Currently, national tenders do not include a standard clause to prioritise or otherwise reward partnerships between providers, municipalities, employers or social partners at the local or regional levels.

Previous strategies and studies have made recommendations to improve co-operation between the central and municipal governments, and between local actors for adult learning (Box 3.8).

Box 3.8. Previous recommendations: Co-operation with and between local actors

White Paper on Education in the Republic of Slovenia (2011)

The white paper recommended:

  • Adult education should be defined as the original obligation of the regions. It is also necessary to define regional management structures that will develop and monitor the field of adult education.

  • Municipal and inter-municipal management structures should be responsible for providing access to general non-formal education, implementing national adult education policy, meeting the learning needs of local adults. They should create strategies for developing adult education, and annual adult education plans.

Access of Adults to Formal and Non‐Formal Education – Policies and Priorities (2010)

This study focused on the contribution of Slovenia’s education system to the process of making lifelong learning a reality, and its role as a potential agency of social integration. It recommended that, because of its close links with the community, adult education and learning should be linked more strongly to the regional and municipal level, accompanied by adequate funds to enable the realisation of development plans.

Lifelong Learning Strategy of Slovenia (2007)

The LLL Strategy set 14 objectives, one of which was to “facilitate implementation and use of knowledge, skills and learning as the fundamental source and driving force for the development of local and regional areas as well as development of social networks within them”. To achieve this objective, the strategy recommended that:

  • LLL must become an integral part of local and regional policies and programmes, and local and regional authorities must co-fund LLL services.

  • Local communities must provide infrastructure to make LLL accessible (e.g. day-care services and suitable transport).

  • Different partners should help implement LLL at the local levels (e.g. enterprises, chambers, employment service, non-governmental, development, educational and other organisations).

  • Public, private, volunteer and other organisations involved in LLL should plan partnerships in local communities in pursuit of efficiency gains. To this end, Centres for Lifelong Learning could be established in legislation and act as umbrella networks, attracting all key regional partners into their management.

Sources: Krek and Metljak (2011[10]), Education White Paper of the Republic of Slovenia, http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/1195/; Ivančič, Špolar and Radovan (2010[27]), Access of Adults to Formal and Non-Formal Education – Policies and Priorities: The Case of Slovenia, http://www.dcu.ie/sites/default/files/edc/pdf/sloveniasp5.pdf; Jelenc (2007[9]), Lifelong Learning Strategy in Slovenia, http://www.mss.gov.si/fileadmin/mss.gov.si/pageuploads/podrocje/razvoj_solstva/IU2010/Strategija_VZU.pdf.

Examples of good practice co-operation with local actors

There are good practice examples in OECD countries and in Slovenia of processes to facilitate co-operation for adult learning between the central and subnational level of government, and between local actors.

Co-operation between ministries and municipalities

In the Netherlands, adult learning is co-ordinated through Regional Education Centres. The centres aim to increase overall access to adult learning opportunities, and achieve the central government’s goal of increasing the educational attainment of minority and underprivileged groups. Through these centres, municipalities are responsible for providing education which will meet the demands of their communities, including vulnerable groups. State funding is allotted to municipalities on the basis of the number of adults, including vulnerable adults in the municipality. The municipalities then have the autonomy to sign contracts on the basis of need with local providers for adult education through the Regional Education Centres (Desjardins, 2017[28]).

In Lithuania, municipalities have major responsibilities for implementing adult learning policy. They are accountable to central government and receive support from it (Box 3.9).

Box 3.9. International good practice: Co-ordinating national and local adult education policy in Lithuania

In Lithuania, both the central government and the 60 municipal governments participate in shaping and implementing adult education policy. Two types of municipal institutions are involved in implementing national policy for adult learning at the local level:

  • Municipal councils comprise elected officials, including the local mayor. With respect to adult learning, councils set out long-term objectives and measures, confirm municipal action plans, appoint a co-ordinator to implement the action plans, and develop a network of providers catering to local needs.

  • Administrative municipal institutions analyse the state of adult education, ensure that national policy is implemented, co-ordinate action plans for adult learning, organise learning and guidance services, and provide information to the Ministry of Education and Science and the public about the state of adult education in the municipality.

Research in Lithuania found that implementation of adult education policy was weakest at the municipal level of government. It also found that local leaders sometimes lacked general knowledge on adult education, as well as skills for strategic education planning, research and inter-institutional communication. In response, the new Law on Non-formal Adult Education and Continuous Learning established co-ordinators of non-formal adult education and continuous learning, and the central government implemented a range of projects to build awareness of and capacity for adult learning policy at the local level. These projects included:

  1. 1. a cycle of seminars for representatives of regional and local authorities and social partners on strategic planning of adult education and inter-institutional co-operation

  2. 2. a cycle of practical training carried out for municipality adult education co-ordinators

  3. 3. non-formal adult education support provided for adult education co-ordinators at municipalities

  4. 4. a conference held to assess progress in adult education policy and regional results, and to discuss activities to be continued

  5. 5. participation in international events relating to the implementation of the European agenda for adult learning.

Sources: Eurydice (2018[29]), Lithuania: Organisation and Governance, https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/content/organisation-and-governance-44_en; Republic of Lithuania (2011[30]), Law Amending the Law on Education, https://e-seimas.lrs.lt/portal/legalAct/lt/TAD/TAIS.407836; European Commission (2015[31]), National Co-ordinators for the Implementation of the European Agenda for Adult Learning, https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/sites/eacea-site/files/call_11_2015_compendium_al_agenda.pdf.

Co-operation between local actors

In the municipality of Jesenice in north-west Slovenia, the LU, municipal government, local employers and the local small-business chamber co-operate to design, deliver and finance adult learning services tailored to local needs (Box 3.10).

Box 3.10. Good practice in Slovenia: Adult learning partnerships in Jesenice

The LU of Jesenice has established several partnerships with stakeholders and municipalities (Jesenice, Kranjska Gora, Žirovnica and Bohinj) within its region. This has involved co-designing programmes with local employers and associations, co-funding several programmes with the local municipality, and tendering for ESF funding as a consortium or in partnership.

From 2016 to 2018, the LU has co-designed (and delivered) tailored ICT, language and communication training with 17 local employers, in a number of sectors:

  • the health sector: including with the Regional Hospital Jesenice, Health Centre Jesenice, Retirement Home Franceta Berglja Jesenice, Retirement Home Viharnik Kranjska Gora

  • the tourism sector: including with HIT Alpinea Kranjska Gora, Vogel Ski Centre Bohinj

  • the public sector: including with the Municipality of Jesenice.

The centre has successfully applied for several EU and national tenders in partnership with other adult education providers, municipalities, retirement homes, pensioners’ associations and youth organisation in Gorenjska region. The successful projects include counselling and assessing knowledge of employees (Svetovanje in vrednotenje znanja zaposlenih), acquisition of basic and professional competencies of employees (Pridobivanje temeljnih in poklicnih kompetenc zaposlenih), Multigenerational Centre of Gorenjska (Večgeneracijski center Gorenjske), Norway Financial Mechanism Programme “Fit and healthy towards old age!” (Čili in zdravi starosti naproti!), and Erasmus+ “Chain Experiment” (Verižni eksperiment).

The municipal government of Jesenice and the LU co-finance several programmes. The municipality budgeted EUR 135 100 for adult education expenditure for 2018 (Table 4.4 in Chapter 4). It co-finances several of the centre’s projects that address local learning needs, such as an Albanian-speaking guidance counsellor to support access to language education and other forms of training for members of this community.

Local actors report that effective adult learning partnerships in the Jesenice municipality have yielded several benefits in the local area, contributing to:

  • Improved quality of adult learning services, ensuring they are tailored to the needs of local employers, workers and other adults. For example, three language courses (Italian, German and Slovene) adapted to the needs of tourism workers in Kranjska Gora, communication courses adapted to the needs of technical staff in the local hospital, and Slovene language courses for Albanian women.

  • Greater success in accessing EU tenders (e.g. counselling and assessing knowledge of employees).

  • Increased supply of free adult learning services for adults (e.g. Multigenerational Centre in 2017), increasing participation.

Sources: MIZŠ (2013[32]), Jesenice LU, http://lu-jesenice.net/; OECD visit to Ljudska univerza Jesenice (15 May 2018); information provided by the Director of Ljudska univerza Jesenice (8 August 2018).

The MIC in Velenje serves as a hub for adults and businesses from the local and neighbouring municipalities to undertake technology-oriented training and projects (Box 3.11).

Box 3.11. Good practice in Slovenia: Inter-Company Training Centre (MIC) Velenje

The MIC in Velenje is a centre of excellence in modern technologies that combines general, professional and practical knowledge in various forms of education. It has 43 specialised classrooms equipped with technical laboratories for electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, mechatronics and robotics. At the MIC students, adults and researchers work with 55 trained mentors to undertake practical training and projects, and develop prototypes. The MIC is a unit of the Velenje School Centre (ŠC Velenje), which consists of 5 secondary schools and the higher vocational school. During the 2017/18 school year, the entire ŠC Velenje offered 25 secondary and 6 post-secondary professional programmes for 2 517 students, including 500 adults.

The MIC places special emphasis on partnering with local businesses of all sizes (such as Gorenje and Premogovnik Velenje), business chambers and the local community. It serves the local and neighbouring municipalities and regions, such as Savinjska and Koroška. The MIC’s vision includes being:

  • a regional centre for lifelong learning offering functional training in computer science and modern ICT; validation of non-formal and informal learning; courses and seminars in automation, hydraulics, computer numerical control technology, mechatronics and explosion protection; master craftsman exams; and foreign language courses

  • a partner in a regional entrepreneurial incubator: MIC participates in the transfer of educational and research activities into entrepreneurial practices, and actively connects with businesses in the transfer of knowledge and technologies.

Source: Velenje School Centre (2017[33]), Inter-Company Training Centre Velenje, http://mic.scv.si/.

Denmark and Germany have taken a systematic approach to facilitating regional partnerships in adult learning (Box 3.12).

Box 3.12. International good practice: Spurring regional partnerships in adult learning

Germany’s Learning Regions – Promotion of Networks programme

This German national policy was in place between 2001 and 2008, and funded the creation of regional networks designed to build linkages between employers, formal and non-formal education, and training providers. These regions were to implement the national policy priorities for lifelong learning from the bottom up. The programme aimed to create Learning Regions that would in time become self-sustaining without government funding, which was gradually phased out to encourage the sourcing of alternate funding. From 2009, the programme was succeeded by the Learning in Place programme, which focused more heavily on public-private partnerships for funding.

Evaluations of the regional networks showed that they were most successful when they connected and were coherent with other policies, such as reducing unemployment, as this gave them increased relevance and access to resources. Evaluation showed these networks to be effective in improving regional education markets by increasing transparency and therefore allowing supply and demand to be closer to market needs.

The Bad Tolz region is an example of a successful network that continued after national funding stopped. It continued to function in two areas, co-ordinating for-profit events that generate revenue, and providing services and information to the community, such as the Learning Festival and the Family Compass family support initiative. The network is governed by a board that successfully co-ordinated private partnerships to fund these community services.

Denmark’s VEU (Voksen- og EfterUddannelse) Centres

VEU Centres are regional networks of adult education and training institutions, providing a hub for both education and training, and guidance to employers and individuals. Denmark’s 13 VEU Centres are largely self-governing but renegotiate their budget with government yearly through local authorities. They do so by entering a development contract with the Ministry of Education that specifies their shared goals and the targets they will achieve in exchange for government funding. This encourages co-operation between the centres and providers to meet common targets in order to ensure and increase the state funding.

A tripartite agreement on lifelong learning between the government and social partners in 2017 emphasised their role as a “one-stop shop” for accessing education and training. Simplified learning pathways make them the single point of entry for vocational education and training (VET), a user-centred approach that aims to simplify access to learning for individuals. The VEU Centres are believed to have contributed to more effective and efficient delivery of adult learning in Denmark, having helped to reduce gaps in participation across the country’s different regions.

Sources: European Commission (2015[34]), An In-Depth Analysis of Adult Learning Policies and their Effectiveness in Europe, http://dx.doi.org/10.2767/076649; Desjardins (2017[28]), Political Economy of Adult Learning Systems: Comparative Study of Strategies, Policies and Constraints; European Commission (2017[35]), Education and Training Monitor 2017: Denmark, http://dx.doi.org/10.2766/16554; Reghenzani-Kearns and Kearns (2012[36]), “Lifelong learning in German learning cities/regions”, https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1000173.pdf; Thinesse-Demel (2009[37]), “Background report: Germany (regional report)”, www.learning-regions.net/images/stories/rokbox/background_report_germany_regional.pdf.

Recommended Action 5: Strengthening co-ordination with local actors

In light of these current arrangements, challenges and good practices, Slovenia should strengthen co-operation between ministries and municipalities, and between local and regional actors themselves, by taking the following actions.

Action 5

The central government and municipalities should co-ordinate more effectively to ensure coherence between national and local adult learning policies and programmes. Municipalities and other local actors should strengthen their co-operation to improve the relevance, impact and cost-effectiveness of adult learning services.

Municipalities and regional development agencies should actively contribute to Actions 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8, and ensure that their plans and activities are aligned with the national master plan (Action 1). Furthermore, municipalities, regional development agencies and service providers should use regional processes (such as Regional Councils of Mayors and RRAs) to identify and realise opportunities for partnerships in adult learning.

In addition to including local and regional stakeholders in Actions 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8, ministries should use public tenders to reward local and regional partnerships, and the ACS should recognise and widely publicise successful examples of such partnerships.

More specifically:

  1. 1. To improve co-operation between ministries and municipalities:

    1. a. Ministries of the central government should:

      1. i. include representatives of municipalities and regions in Actions 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8, and consider extending co-operation-oriented training opportunities to municipal staff responsible for adult learning (see Action 4)

      2. ii. invite representatives of Slovenia’s Municipal Associations, Regional Councils of Mayors and/or RRAs to join the expanded AE Body (Action 2)

      3. iii. develop ways to more proactively and directly reach out to municipalities to keep them well informed about developments in national adult learning policy, including proposals to amend or enact legislation

      4. iv. monitor the implementation and impacts of new provisions for municipalities in the ZIO-1 Act (2018), including for municipal annual plans for adult education.

    2. b. Municipalities and regional development agencies should:

      1. i. actively contribute to Actions 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8

      2. ii. ensure that their plans and activities are aligned with the national master plan (Action 1). Specifically, municipalities and RRAs should review, discuss and update their Annual Plans for Adult Learning and RRPs respectively, to ensure they contribute to achieving the goals of the next adult learning master plan (Action 1).

  2. 2. To improve co-operation in adult learning at the subnational level, between local and regional actors:

    1. a. Local and regional actors (municipalities, providers, employers, social partners, non-government organisations and others) should raise the profile of adult learning in existing regional bodies such as Regional Councils of Mayors and/or RRAs, or develop a new regional body for adult learning. The selected body should identify and realise opportunities for partnerships (co-design, co-funding and/or co-delivery) to improve participation, outcomes and/or cost-effectiveness in adult learning.

    2. b. Municipalities should pilot joint municipal annual plans for adult education, underpinned by joint funding, to harness the resources, expertise and networks of multiple municipalities, and facilitate inter-municipal capacity building.

    3. c. The central government should use public tenders to reward and encourage local and regional partnerships in the delivery of adult learning services, for example by making partnerships one criterion for selecting providers.

    4. d. The ACS, in consultation with the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training (Center Republike Slovenije za poklicno izobraževanje) (CPI) and other relevant bodies, should identify, publicly recognise and disseminate examples of successful local and regional partnerships in delivering adult learning.

Strengthen government engagement with stakeholders for adult learning

Effective co-operation between government (ministries and agencies) and publicly funded providers on the one hand, and stakeholders on the other, is essential for improving participation, outcomes and cost-effectiveness in adult learning. This involves effective government engagement with stakeholders in the adult learning policy-making process. It also involves providers engaging with stakeholders to co-design, co-deliver and/or co-fund adult learning services, and ensuring services are tailored to users’ needs.

Complex, multi-dimensional policy challenges like adult learning increasingly require civil servants to work directly with citizens and service users, leveraging the “wisdom of the crowd” to co-create better solutions that take into account service users’ needs and limitations (OECD, 2017[13]). Engaging end users in the design of adult learning services can help ensure services meet their needs.

Several factors can support effective co-operation between government actors and stakeholders. Some of these factors are the focus of Actions 1-3 (Chapter 2) including involving stakeholders in establishing a master plan for adult learning (Action 1), an improved co-ordination body (Action 2), and generating and using high-quality information on learning and skills needs (Action 3). Appropriate skills, accountability, recognition and resources for co-operation within central government can also support ministries’ co-operation with stakeholders (see Action 4). In addition, government actors must actively monitor the extent to which adult learning services meet the diverse needs of adults, and systematically employ a “user-centred” approach to designing adult learning policies and services.

Current arrangements for engaging stakeholders in adult learning

Many diverse government actors and stakeholders have a role in Slovenia’s adult learning system. At least 9 ministries fund adult learning services, while many public institutions deliver adult learning: 34 LUs, 28 public higher vocational colleges, 3 public universities and 1 public higher education institution. Private providers of adult learning include 20 private higher vocational colleges, 1 private university and 49 private higher education institutions, as well as 192 special adult education institutions, 32 parts of enterprises, 7 employer associations’ educational centres, and 201 NGOs. Other important stakeholders include individual adult learners, 5 professional associations of adult education providers, individual employers, 5 major inter-sectoral employer associations (and smaller associations), 49 trade unions, community organisations and researchers.

The SRS 2030 and SJU 2020 have set effective government engagement with stakeholders in policy and programme design as a strategic priority (Box 3.13).

Box 3.13. Current arrangements in Slovenia: Government engagement in the SRS 2030 and SJU 2020

Slovenia has made effective stakeholder engagement and a user-centred approach to designing and delivering public services a strategic priority in the SRS 2030 and SJU 2020.

The SRS 2030 pinpoints the working methods of the public sector as “the key to increasing trust among citizens”, and states that “public policy must foresee and respond effectively and above all more quickly to changes and challenges and thus provide high-quality services for citizens…” The SRS 2030 states that Slovenia will achieve its goal of “Effective governance and high-quality public service” by, among other things:

  • the consistent inclusion of stakeholders at all levels of developing and monitoring policy

  • strengthening co-operation and the assumption of responsibility among partners in the social dialogue

  • designing user-friendly, accessible, transparent and efficient public services in an inclusive manner with the relevant stakeholders.

The SJU 2020 envisions the decisions and activities of the public administration being based on the expected benefits to and needs of end users. It states that a fundamental change in thinking will be required, based on the awareness that the administration serves its users. The vision of the SJU 2020 is based on several principles and values, including “responsiveness and user-orientation”. In order to achieve the vision, the key strategic goals of SJU 2020 include “responsive, effective and efficient operation of user-oriented public administration” and “improving legislation, reducing legislative burdens, assessing impacts, and including key stakeholders”.

Sources: Šooš et al. (2017[3]), Slovenian Development Strategy 2030, www.vlada.si/fileadmin/dokumenti/si/projekti/2017/srs2030/en/Slovenia_2030.pdf; MJU (2015[5]), Public administration 2020. Public Administration Development Strategy 2015-2020, www.mju.gov.si/fileadmin/mju.gov.si/pageuploads/JAVNA_UPRAVA/Kakovost/Strategija_razvoja_JU_2015-2020/Strategija_razvoja_ANG_final_web.pdf.

Several mechanisms are in place to facilitate engagement and co-operation between government actors and stakeholders, increasingly with the goal of ensuring adult learning services meet the needs of end users. For policy making, these mechanisms include permanent formal bodies, temporary working groups, national conferences and online consultation portals. For programme design and delivery, these mechanisms include ad hoc co-operation and partnerships, and monitoring of the responsiveness of adult learning to users’ needs.

Engaging stakeholders in policy making

Representatives of trade unions and employer associations in the Economic and Social Council (Ekonomsko-socialni svet) (ESS) can review and make proposals for government policy, including adult learning-related policy (see Chapter 2). The ESS has 15 permanent members (5 each from employers, employees and government) and can invite other ministries and experts to discuss specific topics as needed. The ESS produces opinions, position papers, proposals and recommendations on the various policy issues, which it submits to the relevant ministry, the government, parliament and/or other institutions concerned. The ESS’ Expert Committee on the Organisation of the State and Public Affairs covers issues related to legal safety, education and training, and health. For example, it discussed creating a public network of adult education providers in 2015 and 2016. Although the decisions of the ESS are binding for its members, there are no legal sanctions for not following the opinion of the ESS.

Stakeholder representatives in the SSIO and the AE Body can discuss, share information on and provide advice to the MIZŠ on adult learning policy and programmes (see Chapter 2). The SSIO includes 14 members, 8 of whom are appointed by stakeholders (employer associations, trade unions, adult education NGOs and associations). The AE Body comprises 24 members, 15 of whom represent public institutes, expert councils, adult learning providers, business chambers and trade unions, and municipalities (one association).

The CPI co-operates with chambers, employers’ associations, professional associations, NGOs, trade unions and other ministries in developing the National Qualification Framework. These stakeholders can initiate new professional standards and catalogues, provide incentives to higher education institutions to offer professional qualifications, and propose members of sectoral committees for professional standards.

Slovenia’s annual National Conference on Adult Education (Letni posvet o izobraževanju odraslih) provides an opportunity for ministries, agencies and stakeholders to discuss current issues in the adult learning system. Attendees include participants from the nine ministries involved in the ReNPIO, researchers, the ACS, the CPI and adult education providers, among others. Plenary lectures, practical workshops and roundtables allow government, providers and stakeholders to reflect on the goals achieved in the past year, and discuss challenges and directions for the coming year. Since 2010, the conference has attracted between 170 and 300 participants each year.

As noted earlier, Slovenia’s e-Democracy online forum gives stakeholders 30-60 days to comment on proposed legislation. According to the government Rules of Procedure, ministries must justify in their submission to cabinet why they have not accepted stakeholders’ comments.

Ministries can establish cross-sectoral working groups for legislative change and policy development, which can further make use of the mechanisms described above. For example, in 2016 the Minister of Education, Science and Sports formed a working group to prepare the new ZIO-1 Act (Box 3.6). Various stakeholders had opportunities to provide feedback on the draft act in the working group’s co-ordination meetings, the SSIO and the AE Body, the National Conference on Adult Education and the annual meeting of headmasters of secondary schools. In addition, 30 individuals and institutions provided comments on the proposed act through the e-Democracy online portal.

Engaging stakeholders in programme design and delivery

Some mechanisms exist to ensure formal education and training programmes are tailored to adults’ needs. The law requires various adjustments be made to formal education programmes for adults, and provides for validation of adults’ prior learning (Box 3.14).

Box 3.14. Current arrangements in Slovenia: Adjustments to formal education for adults

Basic school education

Second-chance basic schooling for adults is based on the regular basic school curriculum for children. However, it can be implemented in various forms, such as classic school lessons, guided self-education, course-based exam systems or project-based learning. It also enables participants to adapt the pace and intensity to their needs and abilities via an “individual learning programme”. For example, adults can complete two school years in one calendar year.

Upper secondary education

Adults may enrol in upper secondary education if they have successfully completed the prerequisite courses. An exception is made for 21-year-olds, who can sit the upper secondary matura exam without prerequisites. Second-chance upper secondary programmes are not specifically designed for adults. Over 50% of enrolments are in adult education units within regular secondary schools. However, providers must follow the regulations on adjusting part-time upper secondary vocational and technical education for adults. These define how providers should adjust the organisation of the delivery of education, the school year/week/day and teaching practices, and require providers to create an individual educational plan for adult learners. Providers may validate adults’ prior learning and exempt them from specific courses, parts of courses or modules.

Tertiary education

Adults can enrol in short-cycle (two-year) higher vocational programmes, with as much as 40% (800 hours) of the programme undertaken in the form of on-the-job training. Adults can also enrol in first cycle professional or academic programmes and second cycle or master’s programmes as fee-paying, part-time students, provided they fulfil the general enrolment requirements of individual educational institutions.

Every higher education institution is required to validate non-formal and informal learning. Each institution has its own validation practices, and may exempt adult learners from specific courses, parts of courses or modules. Validation may be used to award adults an entire professional degree but not an academic degree.

Sources: Eurydice (2016[38]), Slovenia: Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level, https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/content/administration-and-governance-local-andor-institutional-level-77_en; Košmrlj (2016[39]), 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning. Country report Slovenia, https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_SI.pdf.

Slovenia’s National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) system allows adults to have their vocational skills validated with a NVQ certificate, without undertaking further education. The MDDSZ oversees the system and has established ten sectoral committees of experts to establish occupational standards, defining the content, knowledge, skills and competences for vocational qualifications. Sectoral committees also prepare NVQ catalogues, which define the process for validating adults’ prior learning against an occupational standard. This process allows adults to obtain an NVQ certificate, demonstrating a formal level of professional competence in an occupation (Košmrlj, 2016[39]; Drofenik, 2017[40]).

The ACS and individual providers design non-formal education and training specifically for adults, and as such make relatively more use of flexible delivery – distance learning, e-learning and blended learning, modular learning and credit-based qualifications – than in formal education.

Few mechanisms exist for public agencies and providers to engage stakeholders in programme design and delivery. Public agencies and providers typically engage with service users to design and/or deliver adult learning programmes via formal bodies like management boards, or on an ad hoc basis.

Providers of education and training can engage with stakeholders through their councils or management boards. The ZIO-1 Act (2018) stipulates that LU’s councils must include two employee representatives and one adult learner representative. Higher vocational colleges’ management bodies also include representatives of students and employers. The Higher Education Act 1993 stipulates that the students must make up one-fifth of the membership of the senates of universities, individual faculties and independent higher education institutions (Eurydice, 2018[41]).

Public agencies and providers co-operate with stakeholders on an ad hoc basis to design and deliver adult learning programmes. For example, the MDDSZ’s KOCs ran a programme of Lifelong Career Guidance for Companies and Employees. Companies first assessed their needs and the needs of workers before working with the KOC to identify or develop appropriately tailored training programmes (Box 3.18). Furthermore, the ZRSZ has partnered with employers to deliver 1-3 month “on-the-job” training for adults registered as unemployed for at least three months. The LU Slovenska Bistrica gathers information on the skills needs of local companies by holding employer forums twice a year, and tailoring programmes to meet these needs.

Opportunities to improve stakeholder engagement in adult learning

A range of mechanisms in Slovenia facilitate government engagement with stakeholders in national policy making for adult learning. These mechanisms work well overall, with some opportunities for improvement. On the other hand, the mechanisms for public agencies and providers to engage stakeholders in programme design and delivery are limited and largely ad hoc.

Several participants in this project asked “who is asking the adult learners what they want?” In line with the goals of SRS 2030 and SJU 2020, government actors must find ways to systematically put the end user – individual adult learners and/or the organisations that employ them – at the centre of adult learning policy making and programme design.

Engaging stakeholders in policy making

Slovenia has a range of formal processes to enable stakeholders to contribute to adult learning policy making. Stakeholder engagement occurs through the ESS, the SSIO, the AE Body, working groups for legislative proposals, and the e-Democracy online consultation portal. However, government engagement with stakeholders in policy making for adult learning could be deepened.

The ESS, Slovenia’s foremost tripartite body for policy dialogue, rarely discusses adult learning policy. The ESS has a strong focus on labour market and health policies, and frequently discusses issues related to wage setting, pensions, health and safety, and social insurance, but it has only discussed adult learning policy once in its last 65 meetings (ESS, 2018[42]). This is a missed opportunity for Slovenia’s most senior representatives of employers and employees to contribute to developing adult learning policy that meets the needs of workers, businesses and society.

The SSIO and the AE Body, Slovenia’s national cross-sectoral bodies for adult learning, do not include representatives of target groups of adult learners. There are a range of associations in Slovenia that could potentially represent adult learners who are unemployed, older, from specific cultural groups, disabled, etc. in policy discussions. However, these associations and the adults they represent are not members of these bodies.

Furthermore, the SSIO and AE Body give the stakeholders involved limited influence over adult learning policy making. The SSIO is currently limited to an advisory role to the MIZŠ. It does not advise the other ministries involved in adult learning, such as the MDDSZ. Nor does it include all ministries with legislated responsibility for adult learning. In addition, neither the SSIO nor the AE Body have any decision-making capacity in adult learning policy making. Any agreements reached between government representatives and stakeholders in these bodies are not binding for the members or the MIZŠ.

Some ministries are less likely than others to form cross-sectoral working groups when developing legislation or policy proposals, giving stakeholders less opportunity to contribute to their adult learning-related policies. For example, representatives of the MIZŠ involved in this project reported that their ministry establishes working groups for all legislative proposals, as it did for the development of the 2018 ZIO Act (Box 3.6). Representatives of the MDDSZ reported that their ministry occasionally forms such working groups. This may partly reflect variations in staff capacity to establish and co-ordinate such groups (Action 4).

While not focused on adult learning specifically, a previous OECD review made recommendations to improve government engagement with stakeholders in policy making in Slovenia (Box 3.15).

Box 3.15. Previous recommendations: Engaging stakeholders in policy making

Slovenia: Towards a Strategic and Efficient State (OECD 2012)

The review recommended:

  • Considering implementation when designing policy, by including end users and delivery actors early in the design process for input and feedback.

  • Strengthening consultation and communication, within and beyond the central public administration, by:

    • considering whether to undertake a consultation survey to obtain feedback from stakeholders, using the example of Estonia’s Survey of Engagement in Estonian Government Agencies for inspiration

    • communicating the importance and value of consultation to the senior leadership and the political level, but also throughout the lower levels of the central public administration

    • broadening the scope of consultation undertaken within and by the public administration, moving it beyond ministries to include agencies, inspectorates and administrative units as well as other service delivery bodies.

  • Considering how to renew and refresh the social dialogue.

Source: OECD (2012[11]), Slovenia: Towards a Strategic and Efficient State, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264173262-en.

Engaging stakeholders in programme design and delivery

There are some promising examples in Slovenia of public agencies and providers – the ZRSZ, MDDSZ and the LU Slovenska Bistrica (see Box 3.19) – involving end users in the design and delivery of adult learning services. However, the mechanisms and practices for doing so are limited and largely ad hoc. A 2010 study involving interviews with seven providers of adult education and training in Slovenia (four formal, two non-formal and one prison) revealed that none of them involved representatives of target groups in preparing education programmes and courses (Ivančič, Špolar and Radovan, 2010[27]). Public agencies and providers could engage end users more systematically in the design of adult learning services to ensure they better meet users’ needs, and help improve participation in adult learning.

Slovenia does not have an established model for involving target groups of adults in the design of adult learning services. The ACS develops methodologies, guidance and training on a range of issues, such as self-evaluation for providers. However, to date the ACS has not developed resources to support a user-centred approach to designing the curriculum, andragogy and assessment of adult education and training programmes. This is largely left up to the providers of non-formal programmes. Developing such a model and support services would appear to be within the ACS’ current expertise and remit.

The representatives of learners and employers included in educational institutions’ councils and boards do not appear to be involved in the details of programme design. These councils and boards typically focus on the strategic and administrative issues facing the institution. The learners and employers represented on these boards, however, may be well placed to help develop processes for including end users in programme design.

Neither the SSIO nor the AE Body have facilitated partnerships between public agencies/providers and stakeholders to design, deliver or fund adult learning services. A cross-sectoral oversight body with greater decision-making capacity and accountability (Action 2) could facilitate such partnerships more effectively.

Formal education and training programmes for adults are still just adapted versions of regular programmes for youth, and could be further tailored to the needs of adults. A study by Ivančič, Špolar and Radovan (2010[27]) noted that formal adult education for adults is carried out as irregular formal education, but found that private providers invest more in innovative delivery than public schools.

Slovenia has no single framework or institution for validating adults’ prior non-formal and informal learning. Validation is most developed under the NVQ system, and the process for validating vocational skills is relatively centralised at the national level. However, only 836 adults received a NVQ certificate in 2016, which was the lowest number since 2012. The validation system is completely decentralised in higher education, and performed individually in each school or department (Košmrlj, 2016[39]).

The ACS and ministries involved in adult learning only monitor the supply and uptake of flexible adult learning programmes to a limited extent. They collect limited data on adults’ uptake of flexible programmes such as distance learning, e-learning and blended learning, modular learning, and credit-based qualifications, in formal and non-formal education. With the exception of the NVQ system, no data are collected on the extent to which providers of formal education and training are validating adults’ prior learning and shortening the duration of programmes. Policy makers are therefore not sufficiently monitoring whether educational institutions are doing enough to adjust their programmes to meet the needs of adult learners. Slovenia also lacks reliable information about the outcomes (personal, employment and social) being achieved by adult learning programmes and providers and has little ability to monitor them. This limits the ability of programme designers to assess how well the needs of adult learners are being met, and improve their programmes in response (Action 3).

Several participants in this project saw the potential benefits of involving end users in the design of adult learning services. In the past, there have been differing opinions within the MIZŠ about this – some saying it is not feasible in formal education, and others saying it is already a reality for some providers (Ivančič, Špolar and Radovan, 2010[27]). Should a user-centred design approach be implemented more systematically in Slovenia, several participants stated that it would require new skills and training for staff of public agencies and providers (see Action 4). This could include, for example, training in ethnographic methods and action research approaches to work closely with service users, and gain a deep understanding of their needs (OECD, 2012[11]). The Administration Academy does not currently offer such training.

Previous strategies and studies have made recommendations to improve engagement with adult learning stakeholders in programme design and delivery in Slovenia (Box 3.16).

Box 3.16. Previous recommendations: Engaging stakeholders in programme design and delivery

White Paper on Education in the Republic of Slovenia (2011)

The white paper recommended:

  • Offering incentives for providers (co-financing, training) and for potential learners (computer education, access to the Internet) for the accelerated introduction of e-education and distance education, including in secondary education for adults.

  • Increased investment in developing innovative forms and approaches to learning, and learning environments that would enable the active participation of target groups in planning education (such as financial incentives, professional development of staff).

Access of Adults to Formal and Non‐Formal Education – Policies and Priorities (2010)

This study recommended a participatory approach to the development of training programmes and activities. This could start in non-formal adult education since programmes and activities are much less standardised and thus much more flexible and open to adjustment to fit the needs and interests of participants or target groups. Nevertheless, such participation should also be stimulated in formal education, within the requirement of adapting educational programmes to the needs of adult learners.

Lifelong Learning Strategy of Slovenia (2007)

The LLL Strategy recommended:

  • strengthening the role and responsibility of all social partners in implementing the strategy

  • strengthening the role of non-governmental sector (NGOs, civil society organisations), including via partnerships to deliver adult learning

  • creating a methodology for preparing original programmes that are tailor-made for adults and take into account their characteristics, needs and possibilities, rather than mechanically adapting existing programmes for children and youth

  • measures to reduce or eliminate obstacles that prevent or reduce adult participation in learning including institutional factors like inadequate provision, enrolment prerequisites or inflexible programme delivery

  • creating a plan for the design and continuous improvement of a quality and flexible supply of opportunities and circumstances for continuous learning.

Sources: Krek and Metljak (2011[10]), Education White Paper of the Republic of Slovenia, http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/1195/; Ivančič, Špolar and Radovan (2010[27]), Access of Adults to Formal and Non-Formal Education – Policies and Priorities: The Case of Slovenia, www.dcu.ie/sites/default/files/edc/pdf/sloveniasp5.pdf; Jelenc (2007[9]), Lifelong Learning Strategy in Slovenia, www.mss.gov.si/fileadmin/mss.gov.si/pageuploads/podrocje/razvoj_solstva/IU2010/Strategija_VZU.pdf.

Examples of good practice stakeholder engagement for adult learning

The SVRK’s Policy Jams offer a promising example of forums for effective government engagement with stakeholders to design services that meet users’ needs (Box 3.17).

Box 3.17. Good practice in Slovenia: Policy Jams

The Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy (Služba Vlade Republike Slovenije za razvoj in evropsko kohezijsko politiko) (SVRK) recently launched the Policy Jam pilot project. Policy Jams aim to test new and innovative working methods for involving different stakeholders in the process of policy development and programme design, for user-centred public services.

For example, a Policy Jam was recently held for long-term care. Representative of homes for the elderly, health care institutions, pensioners’ associations, home care centres, social work centres and others joined a two-day workshop to design proposals for long-term care policy and services.

In the workshop the participants identified challenges of co-ordination and communication, and with the help of an innovative method of service design, prepared the first prototype solutions. The prototypes were tested on users (caregivers, relatives, retired experts in the field of long-term care) and then refined.

Since lifelong learning (and within it adult learning) is recognised as a key factor in realising the SRS 2030, Policy Jams would appear to be highly applicable to adult learning policy.

Source: SVRK (2017[43]), “Policy jam”, https://slovenija2050.si/2017/11/08/policy-jam/.

Slovenia’s Lifelong Career Guidance for Companies and Employees project is an example of a public agency co-operating with employers to develop tailored training programmes (Box 3.18).

Box 3.18. Good practice in Slovenia: Designing the Lifelong Career Guidance for Companies and Employees project

Employers had an important role in developing training solutions tailored to their needs and the needs of workers, in JŠRIP’s Lifelong Career Guidance for Companies and Employees project.

The project sought to provide comprehensive HR support to companies and provide accessible and quality career guidance to employees. The project provided comprehensive HR support, grants and expert workshops for 370 companies (21 micro, 132 small, 81 medium-sized and 36 large companies) and more than 25 000 employees between 2011 and 2015.

The project offered companies three pillars of activities: 1) setting up a comprehensive HR development process; 2) training of employers and the provision of services that directly relate to career orientation of employees; and 3) training and workshops for employees.

Companies first had to assess their needs, and the needs of workers through career plans. They then worked with JŠRIP (through various workshops and interactive events) to identify or develop appropriately tailored training programmes.

The positive effects of the project were evident in reduced absenteeism among employees and their greater sense of belonging to the company.

Source: JŠRIP ((n.d.)[44]), Lifelong Career Guidance, www.sklad-kadri.si/si/razvoj-kadrov/pretekli-projekti-2007-2013/vsezivljenjska-karierna-orientacija-vko/.

The LU Slovenska Bistrica seeks to involve potential adult learners and local companies in the design of its programmes, in order to meet local needs and boost participation in its programmes (Box 3.19).

Box 3.19. Good practice in Slovenia: Tailoring programmes to end users’ needs in Slovenska Bistrica

The LU Slovenska Bistrica serves a population of 24 462 with adult learning services such as formal education programmes, non-formal publicly recognised and non-recognised programmes, information and counselling activities, entrepreneurship education and events, and the promotion of lifelong learning. It has built engagement with end users into much of its service design, in order to identify their education and training needs. This helps the LU ensure sufficient participation in its national and EU-funded programmes, and that it meets learning needs not met by publicly co-financed programmes.

The LU Slovenska Bistrica seeks to understand the challenges and education and training needs of adults and companies. It does this through daily contact with potential learners and through individual meetings and forums with local companies and non-governmental associations approximately twice per year. It also aims to attract the widest possible local audience by organising various promotional events (interesting lectures, book presentations, etc.), where the LU can create the right environment to also discuss educational needs with the audience.

Within the constraints of national goals, legislative requirements and its own capacity, the LU Slovenska Bistrica ensures the content, organisation (schedule) and sometimes the cost of its non-formal and formal adult education programmes are tailored to end users’ needs. This practice of satisfying adult learning needs contributes to the successful implementation of the programmes and provides an important grass-roots source of information that can feed into national policy.

The director of the LU Slovenska Bistrica reports annually to the MIZŠ about these tailored programmes through its ReNPIO application. The director also reports informally to the associations of adult education providers, at the SSIO and at other occasional meetings with the MIZŠ, such as the Annual Conference on Adult Learning. The LU Slovenska Bistrica’s approach was self-initiated and depended on the proactivity, professional background and experiences of the LU management.

Sources: LU Slovenska Bistrica ((n.d.)[45]), http://lu-sb.si/predstavitev.html; information provided by the LU Slovenska Bistrica (23 August 2018).

Adult learning services can be tailored to users by considering the needs of learners, employers and social partners in the design of adult learning systems and programmes. In Denmark and Ontario, Canada, governments have prioritised a user-centred focus in reforming adult learning systems overall (Box 3.20).

Box 3.20. International good practice: User-centred design in adult learning in Denmark and Canada

In Denmark, the government and social partners signed a tripartite agreement in 2017 to improve basic skills provision and enhance motivation for learning. The agreement emphasises a user-centred approach to the system that makes it is responsive to learners’ needs. The measures taken include: better guidance, financial incentives for workers and businesses, support for a more flexible and digitalised education system, and further simplifying learner pathways by creating a single point of entry for VET. The agreement also focuses on responding to specific learners’ needs by highlighting the integration of migrants into the workforce. The agreement provides migrants with subsidies for up- or re-skilling, and promotes wider participation in basic skills training, particularly in ICT and English courses. A “reconversion fund” allows all users to undertake further learning pathways on their own initiative and according to their own pathway, and a more flexible range of courses will be provided to allow for tailoring to the specific needs of learners or employers.

The government in Ontario, Canada has also emphasised the importance of a user-centred approach in strengthening their adult education system. They identified priority areas in December 2017 to ensure the system for adult education is learner-centred, including mechanisms for the public consultation of learners, providers and other stakeholders in the process of improving the system. The information from these consultations is collected through “guiding questions” and feeds into the design of learner pathways and provision that is adaptable to individuals’ needs. This information from users highlights the importance of facilitating better co-ordination, communication and accountability at the provincial level; providing easy-to-navigate information and resources; recognising prior learning; and ensuring that programmes are culturally responsive and relevant. The next steps for the integration of these results will be issued at the end of 2018.

Sources: Jørgensen (2018[46]), “Denmark: Social partners welcome new tripartite agreement on adult and continuing education”, www.eurofound.europa.eu/publications/article/2018/denmark-social-partners-welcome-new-tripartite-agreement-on-adult-and-continuing-education; Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (2017[47]), Strengthening Ontario’s Adult Education System, https://files.ontario.ca/adult-education-system-dec2017-en.pdf.

Recommended Action 6: Strengthening stakeholder engagement

In light of these current arrangements, challenges and good practices, Slovenia should strengthen engagement with stakeholders in adult learning by taking the following actions.

Action 6

In policy making, the ministries, employers’ associations and trade unions represented on the ESS should more frequently discuss policies related to adult skills and lifelong learning, and provide opinions to the government.

In programme design, ministries, agencies, publicly funded providers, adult learners and employers should work together more effectively to design adult learning services that meet users’ needs. The government should collect better data on, monitor and ensure the sufficient supply of flexible education and training programmes and validation of prior learning for adults. In particular, these efforts should focus on the formal education system – schools, vocational colleges and higher education institutions. Ministries, agencies and publicly funded providers should more systematically implement a user-centred approach by involving target groups of adults and employers in the design of adult learning services.

The new outcomes evaluation model for adult learning (Action 3) should seek to measure users’ satisfaction with the design and flexibility of adult learning programmes. The government should offer civil servants and staff of public adult learning providers targeted training in user-centred design approaches (Action 4).

Specifically, in order to strengthen engagement with stakeholders in adult learning:

  1. 1. The ministries, employers’ associations and trade unions represented on the ESS should more frequently:

    1. a. discuss the adult learning policies of the MIZŠ (such as the ZIO-1 Act), the MDDSZ (such as ALMPs), and the other ministries involved in implementing the ReNPIO

    2. b. discuss the relevance of adult skills and learning to other issues on the ESS agenda, such as the Social Agreement, collective agreements, labour market policy, economic and social development

    3. c. provide opinions to the government on adult learning and related policies, and the potential role of social partners in implementing these policies.

  2. 2. The government should monitor the supply and uptake of flexible education and training programmes available to adults:

    1. a. including distance learning, online (e-learning) and blended learning, modular learning, credit-based qualifications and validation of non-formal and informal learning

    2. b. for both formal and non-formal programmes

    3. c. at all publicly funded providers, from upper secondary schools providing second-chance programmes, to short-cycle higher vocational colleges, higher education institutions and others.

  3. 3. Ministries, agencies and publicly funded education and training providers should systematically adopt a user-centred approach, directly involving the groups of adults and employers targeted by adult learning services in designing those services. To facilitate this:

    1. a. The ACS should develop guidelines for adult learning service providers on how to implement a user-centred design approach to developing adult learning programmes (curriculum, teaching methods etc.) and services. These guidelines should also collate good practice examples of user-centred design already implemented by the ACS, LUs and the ZRSZ.

    2. b. Providers of adult education and training should use the learner and employer representatives on their councils and boards to contribute to, and/or help establish effective processes for, involving target groups of adults in designing curricula, teaching methods and other features of their programmes.

    3. c. The new outcomes-focused model of evaluation for adult learning providers and programmes (Action 3) should measure, among other things, user satisfaction with the flexibility, curriculum, teaching methods and other features of adult learning programmes.

    4. d. The government, in consultation with the ACS, should introduce training opportunities for civil servants and staff of public providers involved in designing adult learning programmes to develop user-centred design skills (Action 4). This could include, for example, ethnographic methods and action research approaches for working closely with service users and gaining a deep understanding of their needs.

References

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[28] Desjardins, R. (2017), Political Economy of Adult Learning Systems: Comparative Study of Strategies, Policies and Constraints, Bloombsbury.

[40] Drofenik, K. (2017), National vocational qualifications system, Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training, Ljubljana, http://www.cpi.si/files/cpi/userfiles/Publikacije/NPK_sistemNPK_ENG.pdf.

[12] Drofenik, O. (2013), Izobraževanje odraslih kot področje medresorskega sodelovanja (Adult Education as the Inter-Ministerial Field), Slovenian Adult Education Association, Ljubljana, http://arhiv.acs.si/porocila/Izobrazevanje_odraslih_kot_podrocje_medresorskega_sodelovanja.pdf (accessed on 03 October 2018).

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[35] European Commission (2017), Education and Training Monitor 2017: Denmark, Publications Office of the European Commission, Luxembourg, http://dx.doi.org/10.2766/16554.

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[8] Ivancic, A. and M. Radovan (2013), “Implementation of lifelong learning in Slovenia: Institutional factors and equality of access of adults to formal and non-formal education”, in Saar, E., Ure, O. B. and Holford, J. (ed.), Lifelong Learning in Europe: National Patterns and Challenges, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham.

[27] Ivančič, A., V. Špolar and M. Radovan (2010), Access of Adults to Formal and Non-Formal Education – Policies and Priorities: The Case of Slovenia, Andragoški Center Slovenije, Ljubljana, https://www.dcu.ie/sites/default/files/edc/pdf/sloveniasp5.pdf (accessed on 21 February 2018).

[9] Jelenc, Z. (ed.) (2007), Strategija vseživljenjskosti učenja v Sloveniji (Lifelong Learning Strategy in Slovenia), Ministry of Education and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia in cooperation with the Public Institute Educational Research Institute of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, http://www.mss.gov.si/fileadmin/mss.gov.si/pageuploads/podrocje/razvoj_solstva/IU2010/Strategija_VZU.pdf.

[46] Jørgensen, C. (2018), “Denmark: Social partners welcome new tripartite agreement on adult and continuing education”, Eurofound, https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/publications/article/2018/denmark-social-partners-welcome-new-tripartite-agreement-on-adult-and-continuing-education.

[44] JŠRIP((n.d.)), Vseživljenjska karierna orientacija (VKO) (Lifelong Career Guidance), http://www.sklad-kadri.si/si/razvoj-kadrov/pretekli-projekti-2007-2013/vsezivljenjska-karierna-orientacija-vko/ (accessed on 16 October 2018).

[39] Košmrlj, K. (2016), 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning. Country report Slovenia, ICF International, https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_SI.pdf.

[10] Krek, J. and M. Metljak (2011), Bela knjiga o vzgoji in izobraževanju v Republiki Sloveniji 2011 (Education White Paper of the Republic of Slovenia), http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/1195/ (accessed on 26 August 2018).

[45] LU Slovenska Bistrica((n.d.)), Ljudska univerza Slovenska Bistrica (Adult Education Centre Slovenska Bistrica), http://lu-sb.si/predstavitev.html (accessed on 16 October 2018).

[47] Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (2017), Strengthening Ontario’s Adult Education System, Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, https://files.ontario.ca/adult-education-system-dec2017-en.pdf.

[22] MIZS (2017), Predlog zakona o izobraževanju odraslih [Proposal of the Adult Education Act], http://vrs-3.vlada.si/MANDAT14/VLADNAGRADIVA.NSF/18a6b9887c33a0bdc12570e50034eb54/7844fac71ebd3f17c12581c500210d44/$FILE/ZIO_vlgr_25_10_17.pdf.

[32] MIZS (2013), Ljudska univerza Jesenice, http://lu-jesenice.net/ (accessed on 16 October 2018).

[17] MJU (2018), Vzpostavitev kompetenčnega modela [Establishing Competency Model], http://www.mju.gov.si/si/delovna_podrocja/zaposleni_v_drzavni_upravi/projekt_vzpostavitev_kompetencnega_modela/ (accessed on 16 October 2018).

[16] MJU (2017), Ciljno vodenje (Management by Objectives), http://www.mju.gov.si/si/delovna_podrocja/kakovost_v_javni_upravi/ciljno_vodenje/ (accessed on 16 October 2018).

[5] Kern Pipan, K., M. Arko Košec and M. Aškerc (eds.) (2015), Javna uprava 2020: Strategija razvoja javne uprave 2015-2020 (Public administration 2020. Public Administration Development Strategy 2015-2020), Ministry of Public Administration, Ljubljana, http://www.mju.gov.si/fileadmin/mju.gov.si/pageuploads/JAVNA_UPRAVA/Kakovost/Strategija_razvoja_JU_2015-2020/Strategija_razvoja_ANG_final_web.pdf.

[20] Municipality of Ajdovščina (2017), Letni program izobraževanja odraslih v občini Ajdovščina 2018 (Annual Plan for Adult Education in the Municipality of Ajdovščina 2018), https://www.ajdovscina.si/mma/Letni%20program%20izobrazevanja%20odraslih%20v%20obcini%20Ajdovscina%202018.pdf/2017121511300549/?m=1513333803.

[19] National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia (2018), Zakon o izobraževanju odraslih (Adult Education Act), National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO7641 (accessed on 07 August 2018).

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[25] National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia (2012), Uredba o regionalnih razvojnih programih (Decree on regional development programs), http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=URED6106 (accessed on 16 October 2018).

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[1] OECD (2005), Promoting Adult Learning, Education and Training Policy, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264010932-en.

[2] OECD (2003), Beyond Rhetoric: Adult Learning Policies and Practices, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264199446-en.

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[37] Thinesse-Demel, J. (2009), “Background report: Germany (regional report)”, R3L+ Quality Framework For Learning Regions, European Commission.

[33] Velenje, S. (2017), MIC Velenje (Inter-Company Training Centre Velenje), http://mic.scv.si/ (accessed on 16 October 2018).

Annex 3.A. Chapter 3 detailed tables
Annex Table 3.A.1. Education and training of civil servants, by ministry (2017)

Ministry

Number of employees (December 2017)

Conferences, seminar, symposiums

Professional education of employees

Number

Costs

(EUR)

Number

Costs

(EUR)

Ministry of Finance

408

/

/

136

60 091

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

663

24

9 772

127

67 871

Ministry of Justice

186

199

61 666

117

25 621

Ministry of Economic Development and Technology

209

23

31 911

336

95 218

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food

203

93

86 147

77

32 951

Ministry of Infrastructure

181

4

21 997

221

75 398

Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning

275

96

126 040

141

97 327

Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities

200

64

44 521

45

17 081

Ministry of Health

142

23

36 954

97

42 029

Ministry of Public Administration

480

342

264 516

243

89 110

Ministry of Education, Science and Sport

274

5

12 725

79

33 489

Ministry of Culture

126

/

/

36

5 881

Ministry of the Interior

269

3

3 097

28

24 978

Ministry of Defence

730

39

21 771

43

102 515

Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy

68

220

331 345

163

44 709

Source: Data provided by the Ministry of Finance (13 July 2018).

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888933858753

Annex Table 3.A.2. Current resourcing of co-ordination mechanisms

Body/process

Members

Seniority

Time

Funding

AE co-ordination body

9 ministries (excluding Economy), public institutes (ACS and CPI), Expert Councils, associations of adult learning providers, the AE association, business chambers and trade unions and Association of Municipalities and Towns of Slovenia.

Ranges from representatives of different stakeholders to State Secretaries, differs between meetings

Meeting twice per year

No separate budget line

Expert Council AL

President and 14 experts in adult education:

8 adult education providers

2 public faculties

2 national agencies

2 chambers

1 union

Experts in adult education

When necessary, at least four times per year

Budget of the Republic of Slovenia – dedicated funds in the financial plan of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport.

Attendance fees: EUR 2 124 (2017)

Leading the SSIO: EUR 7 440 (2017)

Expert Council VET

President and 14 experts in vocational and/or technical education:

8 adult education providers

4 chambers

1 national agency

1 union

1 firm

Experts in vocational and/or technical education

When necessary, as a rule, once a month.

Also anytime if at least one-third of the members of the Council, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, the minister responsible for education or the minister responsible for work proposes this.

Budget of the Republic of Slovenia – dedicated funds in the financial plan of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. 1

Inter-ministerial review of legislation

MIZŠ: form stakeholder committees for every legislative proposal

MDDSZ: occasionally form stakeholder committees for legislative proposals

Responsible civil servants

Each time a ministry sends a proposal to the Government

No separate budget line

National PIAAC co-ordination

Representatives of consortium which implements PIAAC, MIZŠ, SSIO

Director of the Development Unit at the MIZŠ, representatives of the Consortium

When necessary

No separate budget line

National Skills Strategy project team

9 ministries and offices

Representatives of the ministries (civil servants)

Meeting during OECD visits

No separate budget line

Shared inter-ministerial funding for Action Phase

Expert group for lifelong career guidance

Representatives of MIZŠ, MDDSZ, SVRK, MGRT

As well as ACS, chamber of commerce, University, Institute of Education etc.).

Representatives of different stakeholders

No separate budget line

Note: 1 No exact data on the amount obtained.

Sources: Information obtained during OECD missions in Slovenia, including information provided by the MIZŠ (8 August 2018).

Note

← 1. The Decree on the Promotion of Public Employees to Salary Grades (Uredba o napredovanju javnih uslužbencev v plačne razrede) and the Decree on Promoting Officials to Titles (Uredba o napredovanju uradnikov v nazive).

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