Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Continuing Training in Romania: Reasons and Benefits from the Perspective of the Knowledge Economy

Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Continuing Training in Romania: Reasons and Benefits from the Perspective of the Knowledge Economy

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT. In the wider perspective of lifelong learning, the continuing education and training play a significant role in the up-skilling of individuals. Rapid transformations due to the technological development and globalisation generated a continuous need for competence and skills improvement. The paper begins with the exploration of the needed competences and qualifications in the current context of globalisation and attempts to emphasize the future competences, skills and qualifications required by the knowledge economy. A study is conducted on the Romanian continuing training market to identify changes in the demand for particular qualifications and competences. Research findings reveal efforts for upskilling from the workforce in Romania. Training courses for transversal competences enjoyed much popularity, together with qualification courses for white-collar, highly skills occupations. Nonetheless, training courses for several agricultural occupations had a significant demand over the investigated period of 2007-2011, due to the large agricultural potential of Romania in the context of European integration.

JEL Classification : M12, M53, M51

Keywords: continuing training, competence, qualification, training provider, Romania

Introduction

There is a general consensus in the literature that continuing education and training represent the solution to the problems from the labour market. Whether the graduates of the initial education system do not possess the required skills and competences, or the adults find themselves in the need to update or upgrade their competences and qualifications, the continuing education and training system is there to fix the problem. Nevertheless, there is a large debate in the literature about what type of competences the workforce now needs. The debate becomes even more wide-ranging when it comes to the agreement on the future competences the workforce will need in the knowledge economy.

As skills demands in the labour market for a range of occupations have been changing with increasing pace, the present paper aims to investigate current and future competences and qualifications requirements, from the perspective of knowledge economy emergence. The originality of the research comes from the empirical investigation and analysis of the demand for continuing training in 13 counties of Romania over the period 2007-2011. Continuing education and training is more strongly enforced in Romania since the country's integration into the European Union. The general research objectives were the investigation of the qualifications and specialisations required by Romanian individuals from selected counties of Romania over the period 2007-2011, and the capture of potential changes in the structure of the demand for continuing training courses over the analysed period.

Findings reveal major transformations in the demand for continuing education and training over the investigated period, reflected by the changes in the skills required on the labour market. Although some findings could be anticipated - like the increase in the demand for information and communication technologies (IT&C), and in the demand for foreign languages and softskills, other may surprise the reader - like the increased demand for agricultural qualifications. This last finding reminds us about the huge agricultural potential Romania has. In the emergence of the knowledge economy, people from Romania still seek to acquire competences in the agricultural field. By analysing the real number of graduates of continuing training courses, this study provides valuable understanding of the real demand for qualifications on the Romanian market, and insights for building continuing training programs adapted to the needs of both the labour market and the requirements of the knowledge economy, like for instance courses on technologies in agriculture.

International Perspectives on Qualification and Competency Requirements in the Knowledge Economy

The global economy has gradually become more skilled intensive due to the rapid technological developments. …

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