Representatives of the Austrian Development Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment, Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection, Sectoral Committee for Agriculture and Food Industry, IOM, ANACEC, Intervention Agency for Agricultural Payments, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova, TVET institutions with agricultural profile, etc. met on June 18 this year in the Blue Room of the Summit Events at a workshop organized by the Educational Center PRO DIDACTICA.

The event was the focus of the report on the results of the identification of the medium-term labor market demand for higher education and technical vocational education in the fields of: Plant Science, Horticulture, Pedology and Soil Protection, Production of Agricultural and Livestock, Zootechnics and Veterinary Medicine, of vegetal origin and was carried out within the project “Development of rural areas in the Republic of Moldova”, Part I “Increasing the agro-food sector’s competitiveness by integrating it into the domestic and global value chains, especially the soybean culture sector” financed by the European Union and implemented of the Austrian Development Cooperation, in partnership with the PRO DIDACTICA Educational Center and the Donau Soja International Association (Austria).

The study was carried out between February and March 2019 by Veronica Prisăcaru, Grigore Baltag and Tatiana Şevciuc, in the context of Activity 1.16 of the project: Involvement in the elaboration of the annual Plan for student registration in TVET institutions, in line with the labor market demand in the agrifood sector . It aimed at assessing the need for the workforce (specialists, skilled workers) for the next 3-5 years (2019-2024) at national level, quantitatively and qualitatively, in the 6 domains. The specific objectives of the research were focused on: the analysis of the current state and the trends of the sectors related to the initial and continuous professional training programs in the fields in question; assessing the quality of the initial and continuing training system based on employers’ perceptions; identifying the skills to be improved by future specialists, the training programs required by employers; studying the current and medium-term demand for specialty employment in relation to the existing offer; forecasting the number of places for admission 2019 to the training programs investigated; the analysis of the Occupation Classifier of the Republic of Moldova in order to assess the extent to which it correlates with the existing educational offer (in terms of vocational training programs), with the new specialties and crafts.

The research recommendations addressed several aspects – the number of places in the admission plan 2019; the vocational and continuing training programs to be included in the educational offer of the responsible institutions; the quality of the professional and continuous training process in the related fields; capitalizing on the STED methodology in the process of studying the needs of the labor market – and assumed:

  • for educational institutions: achieving more effective communication with business representatives, transforming them into active actors of vocational training; reviewing the system of competencies for each program based on employers’ suggestions; reviewing teaching approaches in teaching-learning-evaluation, adopting innovative approaches; initiating the procedure for inclusion in the educational offer of the vocational training programs requested by the employers; implementing a more efficient mechanism for recording the employment of graduates on the labor market and their professional trajectory;
  • for the line ministries (Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment, etc.): assuming the role of mediator in the communication between TVET institutions and the business community; taking the initiative to create a state mechanism that would oblige employers to report centrally data on the employment of qualified specialists and graduates to provide data on work placement and professional trajectory (at least in the first 5 years after graduation).

One of the IOM’s technical assistance tools to serve as a guide to integrating competences into sectoral policies is the STED (Skills for Trade and Economic Diversification) method, which looks ahead to the sector, anticipating development and growth opportunities. STED results are recommendations at policy, institution and enterprise level. In the workshop, Georgeta Mincu and Daniela Prăşca (C.E. PRO DIDACTICA) came up with a description of the 6 stages of realization of the STED method in Moldova, pointing, at the same time, some landmarks for its potential beneficiaries.

The workshop ended with constructive discussions, the participants reiterating the importance of this exercise to determine the needs of the labor market, on the basis of which a mechanism will be developed to allow VET institutions to assess their capacities and propose an educational offer according to the application employers.

Project “DevRAM”. Part I: “Enhancing the competitiveness of the agri-food sector by integrating it into the domestic and global value chains, especially the soybean culture sector” implemented by the Austrian Development Cooperation in partnership with the Educational Center PRO DIDACTICA and Donau Soja with the financial support of the Union Aims to contribute to increasing the capacity of the sector to assert on the internal and external market as well as to strengthen the capacity of the institutions of technical vocational education in the agri-food sector and to complement the Moldovan component within the Regional Strategic Partnership between Autrian Development Cooperation and Donau Soja, which supports the building of sustainable and inclusive value chains for organic and GMO soybean in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Moldova and Ukraine.