Min­is­ter: un­em­ploy­ment is no longer Latvia’s main chal­lenge

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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.

Zane Bitere/LETA

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