Summary

ICT professionals belong to high shortage occupations for Romania.

Looking at past, current and future trends (3-4 years), a number of occupations have been identified as mismatch priority occupations for Romania, i.e. they are either in shortage of surplus. Shortage occupation: an occupation that is in short supply of workers, and for which the employers typically face difficulties finding a suitable candidate. Surplus occupation: an occupation for which there are plenty of suitable workers available but low demand. The employers have no problems filling such posts.

The list below is based on an assessment of the labour market of Romania. The occupations presented are not given any rank. All of them present high mismatch.

 

Shortage Occupations

ICT professionals [1]

The Romanian ICT sector has significant potential for innovation and export oriented growth. The sector employed almost 137 thousand people in 2014, around 33% more than in 2008. The ICT sector's share of Romania's GDP is 6%, one of the highest in the EU [2]. The total number of ICT specialists in Romania [3] increased from approx. 119 thousand in 2008 to 173.5 thousand in 2014. This increase was mainly driven by people with postsecondary non-tertiary education. The sector will continue to grow in the coming years, but will face labour shortages due to four main reasons.

First, high-skilled graduates are mainly employed abroad (“head hunting” of tertiary education graduates is particularly wide-spread). The share of ICT specialists with tertiary education (EQF levels 5-8) decreased from 55% in 2014 to 42% in 2014 mainly due to external mobility for better jobs. Second, updates in learning curricula do not keep up with technical advancements. Third, there exist outdated teaching methods and scarcity of trained teachers. Fourth, there are low levels of non-cognitive skills [4] that are required to boost entrepreneurship and efficient management (risk assessment, strategic approach etc.). In addition, the pre-university education (second level and post-second) does not deliver the necessary skills for graduates to be employed in the sector. There is a need for supplementary training on the job and lifelong learning (LLL) courses.

The growth in ICT sector employment is supported by Government measures to retain a qualified workforce in the sector, particularly through incentives and tax breaks, stimulating the creation of a software developer cluster. [5] In November 2014, Romania’s National Strategy on Digital Agenda for Romania – MCSI [6]was officially launched. The strategy aims to set out the key role that the use of ICT will play in achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy. Three of the seven pillars of the strategy are of relevance here:

  1. improving the ICT skills of children, young people and adults;
  2. supporting innovation and research;
  3. responding to social challenges by using ICT. Structural funds have been deployed in recent years for lifelong learning programmes to acquire or upgrade the ICT skills, and training provided by the National agency for employment [7] has been developed, but further efforts are necessary.

Jobs fairs organised for students contribute to reducing the skills gap by

  1. a better orientation for optional courses in the last year of education, or for master specialisation,
  2. additional training for specific skills through LLL courses or ESF - HRD projects 2007-2013 for students (i.e. internships, training firms, career counselling services, and guidance activities for entrepreneurship –start-up small companies etc) [8].

Curricula reform in initial education is also necessary to equip graduates with the right skills. The majority of university graduates consider that the skills actually required for jobs are acquired through “on-the-job” training and not through the education system. [9]

Health professionals [10]

In Romania, the supply of health professionals with tertiary bachelor diplomas has decreased since 2010/11. The number of graduates in 2013/14 was approx. nine thousand persons, which is 5% less than in 2010/11. [11] Insufficient development of health care services and infrastructure (as a result of the crisis [12]), decentralisation of management and finance, cuts in wages by 25% as well as the introduction of 1-to-7 limit for new entrants (one for seven replacements rate for re-employment) [13] – all these developments contributed to recruitment difficulties [14] in the public health sector (insufficient labour supply), which has led to decline in employment (approx. 8%) between 2009 and 2014. [15] The employment deficit in the sector is increasing, mainly because of emigration of graduates (e.g. more and more university graduates are looking for an internship position in hospitals abroad) and employed specialists. According to the College of Physicians of Romania, three thousand doctors enter the system each year while about 3.5 thousand leave the labour market (through migration, retirement and death). Since 2011, around 28 thousand professionals have left the public health sector. In 2014, 2.4 thousand doctors requested the Medical College of Romania current professional certificate in order to go to work abroad [16]. A slight increase in employment was recorded in 2014 against 2013 (around 5%), but the increase is insufficient compared with labour demand in the sector.

Recent measures taken in the second semester of 2015 (e.g. a wage increase of 25% and continuing developments of private hospitals) will demand the upgrade of skills especially for key occupations like nurse and midwifery professionals.  Romanian doctors working abroad are attracted to return to Romania to private hospitals, where the working conditions are being improved significantly. The example of specialists who have returned to work in the private health sector is expected to motivate graduates to remain in Romania. According to the National health strategy 2014-2020 [17], the reforming process will include updating training programs in terms of professional qualifications and prioritisation of training for specialisations with deficits of professionals (including e-training solutions). The 2014 report[18] of the Ministry of Health pointed out the main problems in the sector: personnel deficit and lack of a career plan for employees as well as lack of a coherent training policy and retention of staff. In relation to this, policy measures for the coming years include: recognition of qualification, development of the IMI S network in Romania [19] and designing the methodological norms for the independent general nursing profession, and the profession of midwifery.

Teachers [20]

The austerity measures in the public sector during the crisis decreased the attractiveness of jobs in the education sector. The number of staff decreased by 15%: from 432 thousand in 2008 to 373 thousand in 2014. Graduates of tertiary bachelor’s studies in academic and pedagogical fields sharply decreased by 55% in 2013/14 compared to 2009/10 (from approx. 60 thousand to less than 27 thousand). [21]Administrative measures for compulsory retirement at standard age [22] changed the age structure of teachers and also reduced the attractiveness for a career in education. Due to decreasing number of new entrants and external migration, in 2014, the share of persons 25-34 years old employed in education decreased by 8%, compared to 2010. [23] Working conditions - , such as unattractive payment schemes and the high share of teachers with fixed-term contracts in secondary education – also make teaching career less desirable.  Consequently, skills shortages have increased and the quality of education has suffered; e.g. in the 2013/14 school year, compared to 2009/10, the share of qualified teaching personnel decreased by 2 percentage points in high schools, approx. 7 percentage points in VET and approx. 3 percentage points in post-secondary education[24]. Inadequate teaching methods and poor cooperation with the business sector are the main obstacles for curricula updates to respond to labour market demand for new skills and competences and/or new specialisations/professions.

Teaching is not a financially attractive profession in Romania for top graduates. While a number of notable legal and institutional changes to the education system have taken place, problems of quality, efficiency and equity remain. Romania has the highest gap between the salaries of newly-qualified and experienced teachers. The 2013 OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) found that a high proportion of teachers (58%, as compared to the EU average of 36%) worked in schools where a shortage of qualified staff was reported and where only 26% of teachers used ICT for students’ projects or class work (EU average: 34%) [25] . Using ICT in education and training has become a priority for teacher training programmes in Romania and large-scale ICT infrastructure has recently been installed. In particular, ESF-funded projects have focused on the large number of teachers involved in ICT-related training, targeting particular age-groups to achieve the greatest benefits [26]. The LLL Strategy 2015-2020 focuses on the provision of training programs and the involvement of stakeholders as a support for quality assurance at provider level. Beneficiaries of training through LLL courses include teaching staff from educational institutions and vocational and technical institutions, from higher education, and from authorised training providers. In particular, at the tertiary level but also at earlier stages, there is insufficient provision of higher level generic and technical skills needed for a modern and competitive economy, including skills for technological innovation and ability to use new technologies. A possible solution is to foster tracer studies to collect and disseminate data on employment and earnings outcomes and how the tertiary sector is performing from a skills perspective [27].

Sales, marketing and public relations professionals, [28] Financial professionals and legislators and senior officials, [29] Professional services managers [30]

In recent years, there was a sharp increase in skills shortage for these professionals in Romania. Skilled trades were reported as the hardest job to fill in the most recent three years. [31] Among the top 10 job positions where employers experienced recruitment difficulties were management/executive, accounting and financial staff and sales managers. In 48% of the cases this was due to a considerable lack of technical skills (related to availability of higher professional certifications and training, qualifications and certifications for craftsmen). In 14% of the cases lack of soft skills was identified (e.g. personal and interpersonal skills, networking skills, ability to work collaboratively in a team, attention to detail, planning and organisation skills).

Participation in lifelong learning remains far below the EU average; the quality and labour market relevance of higher education is inadequate, especially for market oriented skills, Romania has started addressing these challenges, with varying degrees of progress being made in the different areas, and, to date, little tangible impact. Possible solutions in the short run could be provision of on-the-job training for practical competencies and problem solving skills. In addition, focus on shortcomings concerning the provision of basic skills (including generic and socio-sensitive ones) to the newer generations and proper balancing of generic and subject-specific (technical) skills for specific professions may improve the situation. It is important also to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set using ESF through the provision of specific training programs including mentoring [32].

The demand for qualified workers from these occupations is growing in Romania e.g. qualified workers in forestry represent 53% of total employment (2015) [34], the rate of vacancies in agriculture, forestry and fishing activities has increased in the last four years. [35] The increasing demand may be related to the adoption of new legislation on forest protection, which will create opportunities for the acquisition of new skills and new job profiles (i.e. Forest Guard) as well as expected qualitative changes in farms’ activity. Shortages can be explained by the sharp decrease in the supply of graduates during and after the crisis (e.g. from around 2 thousand graduates in 2009/10 to 577 in 2013/14). The decrease in supply is mainly from secondary education. In addition, the Cedefop forecast highlights that, mainly due to high replacement demand, around 47% of total jobs opportunities in the sector (agriculture, forestry and fishing) in 2013-25, will be for skilled workers, nearly eight times higher than the 6% forecast for these occupations for the EU as a whole [36].

The decrease in the number of graduates will have a negative impact on restructuring the jobs in forestry and related activities, mainly of skilled workers. The following measures could alleviate skills shortages: provision of sound training for specific skills for forestry professionals and for workers with technical skills deficiencies, potentially amongst disadvantaged unemployed youths (including Roma) and older adults outside the labour force. There is also a need to develop the system of apprenticeships, and increase the relevance of LLL training programs by guiding education towards skills formation (through initial education in vocational schools and special courses financed by ESF projects).  The National Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 sets as a priority acquiring “adequate knowledge” by fostering lifelong learning and vocational training in the agricultural and forestry sectors. [37]

Administration services professionals [38]

The share of public servants in total public sector employment was 13% in 2014, of which almost 56% was in local administration [39]. The vacancy rate was 2.8 times higher in local administration than in central and territorial administration. The main reasons for shortages relate to poor attractiveness of jobs: the (generally) low level of remuneration of civil servants; internal rigidity of the system; limited career prospects; insufficient organisational culture’s openness to innovation and integration of human resources with entrepreneurial spirit; and a seniority system of career advancement. The present system of recruiting and evaluating personnel in public administration is inefficient, it causes skill shortages and therefore will be redesigned (based on EU good practices). Shortages may relate also to replacement demand e.g. the current age structure of the civil service shows an "aging" trend (35% of civil servants were over 50 years old and 39% between 40 and 50 years).

There is broad support to update the skills of public employees, in particular, management, communication and ICT skills. The national Plan for public servants training is the operative instrument for monitoring the reduction of skills shortage in the public sector.[40] In accordance with the current legislative changes (eGoverment implementation), ANFP (National Agency of Civil Servants) launched a series of training programs that focused on the areas of: management; communication and transparency in decision-making; community law and legislation; personal development; ICT; and public services and resources. During 2015 NACS in collaboration with certified training partners organized 323 training programs, the total number of participants being approx. 5 thousand (in 2014, approx. 4 thousand persons were trained in 257 courses). Also 97 persons completed a specialised training program for senior civil servants (initiated in 2014). Possible recommendations include: continuing focused training on specific priority skills to meet the requirements of the modernisation of public services; promoting partnership in project management for investment in local planning strategies for economic development and social inclusion initiatives; supporting managerial skills, ICT, communication competences, and financing etc. In addition, eGovernment should be implemented.

Surplus Occupations

In Romania, there is no (official) data available on the incidence of surpluses. Those national stakeholders that were consulted identified the following surpluses: Market-oriented Skilled Agricultural Workers [41], Client information workers [42], Clerks [43], Retail and wholesale trade managers [44], Street vendors (excluding food) [45] and Building and housekeeping supervisors. [46]

National stakeholders expressed a concern regarding increased skills imbalances because medium-skilled jobs are often filled by candidates with higher qualifications. For many years the education system has been producing graduates whose skills are not in line with employers’ needs, therefore supply of tertiary educated workers outpaced labour market demand and did not fit with structural changes of professions. As a consequence, many graduates ended up taking jobs that required lower qualifications and skills (or they migrated).

No specific policy measures aiming to reduce skills surpluses exist in Romania. Secondary education provides skills and qualifications demanded in EU15 labour markets; qualifications provide recognition of some specific skills from engineering, construction and services sectors.  Possible recommendations to mitigate the surpluses are as follows. First, there is a need for better communication and cooperation between schools and businesses (firms) for acquiring knowledge and skills corresponding to market needs. In the mid-2000s under the PHARE pre-accession financing, the National Centre for the Development of VET in consultation with local stakeholders built a system which allowed for the substantiation of the local and regional plans for the development of VET provision. The system was further developed through an ESF-funded project focusing on skills demand for VET students [47]. Second, job search networks for employment opportunities should be improved. Third, counselling and support incentives to seek work and access to jobs should be promoted (this relates to the active inclusion measures provided by the National Authority for Employment to graduates and young unemployed). Fourth, school curricula for technical skills should be restructured and updated. The curricula for key competencies (management, ICT, etc.) should be more flexible e.g. closer to the dynamics of labour market demand. Fifth, the tax burden on wages should be reduced and fiscal stimulus for new entrants to the labour market should be promoted. These initiatives are presented in the national strategies on education and LLL, but the implementation is less efficient than expected.

Note on the methodology

The list has been compiled by Cedefop in the first half of 2016 combining quantitative and qualitative methods. In particular, a list of mismatch occupations was formulated following quantitative analysis of labour market indicators. Country experts were then asked to build on and scrutinise this list. Their expert assessment and knowledge of the country’s labour market has provided rich insights about the reasons behind the skills shortages or surpluses at occupational level. These are also accompanied by measures and policies that aim to tackle such mismatches. Country’s stakeholders have also been included in validating the final list of occupations.

Find here more data and information about Romania.

References

[1] 133 Information and communications technology service managers; 251 Software and applications developers and analysts; 252 Database and network professionals

[6] The National Strategy on Digital Agenda for Romania targets directly the ICT sector, aims to contribute to the economic growth and increase competitiveness in Romania, both by direct action and support of development of effective Romanian ICT and through indirect actions such as increasing efficiency and reducing public sector costs in Romania, improving private sector productivity by reducing administrative barriers in relation to the state, improving the competitiveness of the labor force in Romania and beyond. National Strategy on Digital Agenda for Romania - MCSI. Read more: www.mcsi.ro

[10] 221 Medical doctors ; 224 Paramedical practitioners; 226 Other health professionals; 322 Nursing and midwifery associate professionals; 325 Other health associate professionals

[11] Statistical yearbook 2015, INS

[12] Vasile V., Romania: A Country Under Permanent Public Sector Reform, ch 12 (p. 449-510) in Vaughan-Whitehead Daniel (ed.) Public Sector Shock: The impact of policy retrenchment in Europe, ILO Geneva, 2013, Edward Elgar Publishing, table 12.5. Read more: www.ilo.org/global/publications/ilo-bookstore/order-online/books/WCMS_187628/lang--en/index.htm

[13] The IMF recommendation of decreasing employment in public sector was applied as: a) reorganization of the public institutions and jobs cuts; b) limitation of new entrants at a rate of 1 to 7, i.e. one person was employed only after 7 persons left the system through lay-off or retirement

[14] Although the VET system produces a high number of nurses, vacancies remain high as a considerable share leaves for other countries facing shortages of manpower in the health care which are able to provide better salaries and conditions, p3.

[15] Civil employment in health and social assistance, end of year, National Institute for Statistics, time series, 1990-2014, Tempo on-line. Read more: www.insse.ro

[16] Of these, 424 are family medicine, 127 obstetrics and gynaecology, 85 general-surgery, 60 - ATI 55 - Psychiatry, 55 - Internal Medicine, 52 - paediatrics, 48 ​​- radiology, imaging, 45 - emergency medicine, 43-Orthopaedic -, 42 - cardiology, 32 - plastic surgery – 32, Colegiul Medicilor din Romania, Press release, 7 January 2015. Read more:  www.cmr.ro/comunicat-de-presa-34

[20] 232 Vocational education teachers; 233 Secondary education teachers; 235 Other teaching professionals

[21] INS data, tempo-online

[22] Before this decision for teachers and researchers there were the possibilities: a) for the full professors/senior researchers degree 1 to continue to work up to 70 years old as employees; b) to be re-employed after retirement and to cumulate the pension with wages, for a certain period, according to the legal regulation. For the other teaching degree, the b) solution was also available.

[23] INS statistical yearbook 2011 and 2015, table 3.8

[24] Ministerul educatieisi cercetarii stiintifice, Raport privind starea invatamantului preuniersitar din Romania, 2014, p8, table 3, based on NIS data. More information: www.edu.ro/index.php/articles/c1166/.

[25] The 2013 OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS)

[28] 243 Sales, marketing and public relations professionals; 122 Sales, marketing and development managers

[29] 111 Legislators and senior officials; 241 Finance professionals

[30] 112 Managing directors and chief executives ;121 Business services and administration managers; 134 Professional services managers;132 Manufacturing, mining, construction, and distribution managers; 141 Hotel and restaurant managers

[33] 621 Forestry and related workers; 622 Fishery workers, hunters and trappers

[34] Eurostat, ISCED11, NACE_R2

[35] NIS data, Romanian Yearbook 2015 and press release no 76/march, the 30-th, 2016 there are not available data just for forestry

[38] 335 Regulatory government associate professionals; 242 Administration professionals;

[39] Ministerul Dezvoltării Regionale Şi Administraţiei Publice Agenţia Naţională A Funcţionarilor Publici Proiectul Strategiei privind dezvoltarea funcţiei publice 2015-2020,

[41] Animal producers (ISCO 612) and Mixed crop and animal producers (ISCO 613)

[42] ISCO 422

[43] Numerical clerks (ISCO 431); Material-recording and transport clerks (ISCO 432); General office clerks (ISCO 411) and Other clerical support workers (ISCO 441)

[44] ISCO 142

[45] ISCO 952

[46] ISCO 515