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Poland  [7]  Review of VET/HRD research

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Current VET/HRD research

R&D activities in Poland should be analysed according to the sources of financing, which can be divided into expenditures on science from the state budget, European Union funds and other funds. It should be stressed that the level of expenditure on R&D in Poland, determined in the budgetary bill, differs considerably from the Lisbon Strategy objectives, which, in turn, impinge on the scope and scale of research. Far more funds are allocated for research projects in the field of technical sciences than for projects covering humanities and social sciences, including research into VET/HRD. This gap has markedly decreased thanks to educational projects and structural funds of the European Union. Last year, it was observed that the Ministry of National Education had become more interested in research on lifelong education in Poland, one of the examples being the elaboration of a report .

According to the public expectations and opinions of the majority of scientists, Polish science should place a strong emphasis on applied research which directly contributes to the better development of human resources, in particular of the younger generation. This, however, requires investments in the development of human resources, and as regards research, the adoption of an interdisciplinary approach, combining research in technical, economic and social fields, which have so far been developed in Poland in isolation. As a serious weakness of studies in the areas of VET/HRD one should consider their excessive fragmentation, atomisation and an individual form of realisation. Poll studies are the most frequent form of research, but they are often conducted on groups not meeting the criteria of a representative sample. The range of dissemination and valorisation of research results and the level of their transfer to business practice seem to be insufficient as well. These problems have a negative effect on the activities in the field of human resources development. 

It seems that in the next few years the greatest influence on the development of VET/HRD studies in Poland will be exerted by the implementation of the “Promotion of Employment and Employment Market Institutions Act” and by an increasing number of institutions taking advantage of the funds of the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development. Last year the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy initiated the projects to study the effectiveness of implementation of new legal solutions in public employment service (labour offices). Research of definitive beneficiaries of support within the Sectorial Operating Programme Human Resources Development also had a positive reaction that should contribute to improving the quality and effectiveness of new applicable projects.

Future VET/HRD research

An analysis of current development policies, strategies and plans undertaken in Poland with regard to R&D actions in the field of VET/HRD indicates the following main areas which require further research in the future:

  • assessment of the state of continuing education and training in Poland (in the form of annual reports);
  • monitoring of changes with regard to the availability and diversity of training opportunities in the framework of continuing education;
  • evaluation of innovative modular curricula implemented in vocational schools in the school system;
  • studies aiming at the improvement of quality of training services, including: monitoring of the implementation of distance learning methods (incl. e-learning), monitoring of the implementation of an accreditation system for non-formal training, development and implementation of procedures and methods used for the assessment of training outcomes within the framework of the qualification recognition system for formal and non-formal training;
  • development (creation and modification) of vocational qualification standards on the basis of studies of workstations in companies;
  • research concerning utilisation of vocational qualifications standards by different beneficiary groups (in education and labour market sectors);
  • studies enabling an assessment of the effectiveness of investments in human resources, including the analysis of training needs and the development of methods and tools for the evaluation of quality and effectiveness of training services in connection with labour market needs (this concerns the unemployed, employees, VET trainers);
  • elaboration and dissemination of prognoses of the labour market and the demand for jobs as well as studies of the demand for new occupations and qualifications, in the context of the development of technologies, advanced manufacturing and maintenance methods and organisation of work.
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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Poland (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO