The Slovenia Times

National Council debate stresses importance of training


Because if demographic changes, rising of retirement age and rapid technological development, the training of older generations has become very important, especially in the light of staff deficiencies, National Council President Alojz Kovšca wrote.

In her video address, European commissioner in charge of employment, social affairs, skills and labour mobility Marianne Thyssen noted that not just Slovenia but most EU countries lacked competent staff.

She called for cooperation on all levels - local, regional, national and the EU levels. Everyone from politicians to researchers must help strengthen the connections between the business world and education. Lifelong learning must become commonplace, she believes.

Education, Science and Sport Minister Jernej Pikalo said that skills and competences should be rewarded and that the education system should be adjusted to adults, which could only be achieved in cooperation with the business sector.

The Slovenian economy is growing but "we are running out of qualified staff to achieve higher added value", said Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek.

He believes a new approach is needed to hiring, be it by offering training to the few of the unemployed, hiring young people earlier, offering practical training to students, rehiring pensioners or by importing workers.

He said his ministry was preparing a programme of digital transformation of companies and that companies had the chance to co-shape 20% of the educational programme.

The minister of labour, the family, social affairs and equal opportunities, Ksenija Klampfer, said that demographic change was a key problem.

"The fact is that older workers will become an increasingly important part of the labour force, so special attention will need to be paid to this in the future. One of the ways to tackle this is to change the attitude of employers to the elderly and keeping older staff, healthy environment and jobs," Klampfer said, stressing the importance of life-long learning.

Public Administration Minister Rudi Medved said digital literacy and people's skills need to improve, as Slovenia had a big development deficit in this respect.

He said that based on the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), Slovenia remained above the EU average while it was below average in terms of connectivity.

Noting that the 500,000 Slovenians living abroad also struggled with staff deficiencies, Minister for Slovenians Abroad Peter Jožef Česnik said that a scholarship programme would be available for Slovenian youth living outside the country, including in the Balkans. The scholarships are to help them finish their studies in Slovenia.


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