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Lithuania  [7]  Review of VET/HRD research 

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Current VET/HRD research

Regular research activities in the field of VET/HRD in Lithuania were started in 1996/97. Since then research activities have grown considerably. However research projects are usually dealing with rather specific topics, they often have no continuity, and mechanisms of coordination at the national level are not created yet.

The effectiveness and impact of R&D activities is not high for two main reasons. First, many policy makers due to their soviet experience are not used to rely on research and analysis. Therefore the majority of researches are initiated by universities themselves and often are not in line with the policy practices. Second, there is a shortage of researchers who are practically oriented, and recommendations of the research reports often are of very general nature and cannot be directly implemented even if they have been ordered by policy makers.

At present, priority is given to investigations that should help to improve correspondence between labour force supply and demand and participation in lifelong learning activities.

Future VET/HRD research

One of the possible initiatives would be to start coordinating VET research activities. A research programme is needed to provide VET/HRD policy makers and VET providers with recommendations for the active participation of Lithuania in the Copenhagen process and for properly using the possibilities of EU funding for the advancement of VET and HRD activities. 

The following priority fields for VET research could be mentioned:

  • investigation of human resource management practices especially in the case of small and medium businesses, to ensure a more effective use of ESF funding;
  • investigation of existing skill gaps and future skill needs to support a fast growth of modern sectors of economy;
  • investigation of labour market needs to optimally plan labour force qualifications. At present the national policy is very much in favour of tertiary education, and this in the situation of a recovering economy can result in a shortage of qualified workers;
  • situation of IVET and ways to improve its standing compared to general education at upper-secondary level. In Lithuania at present only 25-30 percent of students are choosing vocational route, ES average being almost 60 percent;
  • problems of the involvement of young adults in second chance learning. In the last decade of the previous century there was a big number of early school leavers, and at present there are many unqualified young adults in the labour market.
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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Lithuania (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO