Minister: unemployment is no longer Latvia’s main challenge
Latvia’s main challenge is no longer unemployment, rather the lack of qualified work force, said Welfare Minister Jānis Reirs at the opening of «Employment in Latvia yesterday, today and tomorrow» conference.
According to him, when he became welfare minister the priority was finding ways to provide jobs to people and pull them from their state of unemployment. The situation has since changed in the opposite direction, because now we have to provide assistance to employers in need of qualified workers, said the minister.
He added that unemployment in the country is in decline. This tendency is observed in all target groups. At the same time, however, there is an increase of vacant jobs in the country.
The minister believes the largest challenge for Latvia is being in the vanguard of the employment system – to be able to follow modern trends. The process of change is a continuous one nowadays – new technologies require new knowledge and skills, some professions are at risk of disappearing while new professions appear.
One other major challenge is ageing of labour force. Because of that, Latvia’s employers have to be able to keep up with the times, says the minister.
Reirs says residents are aware the labour market is in need of knowledgeable and qualified workers. Because of that, one of Welfare Ministry’s objectives is improving services to help improve workers’ competitiveness on the labour market.
At the same time, employers desire professional and skilled workers. With that, Latvia should also work to ensure education system’s compliance with demand of the labour market and provide residents with life-long education, says Reirs.
He also mentions that workers’ needs are no less important, as is their financial state, health and safety-compliant environment and emotional satisfaction.