Summary

The labour market in Luxembourg has very distinctive characteristic that affects, among others, skill anticipation activities: approximately 45 per cent of all the salaried people are cross-border workers, with around 180,000 individuals coming from France (50 per cent), Belgium (25 per cent) and Germany (25 per cent) each day.

There are only a limited number of studies monitoring or anticipating skills needs in the country, many of which focus on anticipating skills at a sectoral level. Skills anticipation activities in Luxembourg provide information about the skills that are likely to be required in the labour market over the medium and long term. In Luxembourg, these activities are consistent with the concertation sociale approach, which involves employers, trade unions, other actors, and the State in decision-making at national and sectoral levels. The aim of such activities is to prompt dialogue and discussion between government, employers, educational institutions, training providers and trade unions, which informs initial and continuing education and training curricula, and provision. Cooperation between the State and social partners is a core principle of the system. Skills anticipation exercises are used by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (Ministère de l'Éducationnationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse, MENJE) and the professional chambers to inform the development of occupational standards and course curricula.

Although skills anticipation activities in Luxembourg are limited, the results are shared across a wide range of stakeholders. In general, bodies such as the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques du Grand Duché de Luxembourg, STATEC) and the National Employment Administration (Agence pour le développement de l’emploi, ADEM) make the results from skills anticipation publicly available. There is no structured process in place to ensure the skills anticipation data are taken into consideration in policymaking.  

 

Please cite this document as: Cedefop (2017). Skills anticipation in Luxembourg. Skills Panorama Analytical Highlights. https://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/analytical_highlights/skills-anticipation-luxembourg

Overview of the Luxembourgish approach

Skills anticipation in Luxembourg

Description

The skills anticipation activities mainly involve:

Skills anticipation activities rely on a social partnership approach involving representatives of business and employees. Alongside this, the government has implemented a range of instruments to support skills development at a national and regional level (such as educational and professional training reforms, skills and training programmes developed by the public employment service, the ADEM, and the implementation of the White Book on Lifelong Learning (Livre Blanc sur la Stratégie nationale du Lifelong Learning). There are, however, a limited number of exercises, which monitor or anticipate skills needs in the country. Many of the skills anticipation efforts focus on the sectoral level, such as the qualitative study undertaken on the finance sector (see Perspectives économiques sectorielles à moyen et long terms dans une optique de durabilité).
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The main sources of skills anticipation include the following:

  • STATEC, which collects and provides a large range of data on employment, education and training.  Although the information is general, it is used to analyse current skills demand and supply, and to forecast future skills needs;
  • The Annual Skills Needs survey undertaken by FEDIL (the employer association) provides data from participating companies on how many jobs they expect to create or replace in the next two years, as well as the expected qualification levels of future recruits;
  • Under the Ministry of Labour, the Permanent Committee of Labour and Employment (Comité permanent du travail et de l’emploi, CPTE), the Women’s Labour Committee (Comité du travail féminin), and the Observatory of Industrial relations and Employment (Observatoire des relations professionelles et de l’emploi, ORPE) undertake studies on skills mismatches. These three bodies are advisory bodies of the Government and can make suggestions for actions, which are likely to improve the labour market outcomes of individuals;
  • The ADEM has recently built up a large dataset that matches the skills and educational attainment of unemployed people to the skills and qualifications required in job openings.  

In addition, the Luxembourgish Institute of Socio-Economic Research, LISER (formerly known as CEPS/INSTEAD) conducts bespoke research related to a range of policy areas including employment and skills. The results of this research are published through reports, monographs, and scientific articles.

Aims

Education and professional training are considered to be key elements in the 2015 National Reform Programme for Luxembourg. To achieve the national employment objectives, the government focuses its efforts on: (a) supporting job seekers who require training; and (b) targeting vulnerable groups. Skills anticipation activities have had to address the increase in the volume of skills mismatches following the economic crisis, which has been identified as a major constraint hampering the economic recovery. (1) In particular, the large increase in the long-term unemployment rate has raised concerns about ensuring that long-term unemployed people have or retain the skills required to re-enter employment. (2) At the same time, there is growing evidence that employees’ skills are not fully used, especially those of young graduates who tend to accept jobs that do not (fully) match their qualifications. (3) In response to these developments policymakers agreed on the need for investments in: (i) initial and adult learning; (ii) active labour market policies to overcome skills mismatches and promote effective transitions back into employment; and (iii) better use of VET and employment policies that promote training so that job seekers can be matched to available jobs. Skills anticipation data has a key role in informing policymaking related to (i) to (iii).

Skills anticipation activities are not specifically defined within the legal framework. The three ministries (the MENJE, the MTEESS and the MESR) are responsible for ensuring that education and training meet the needs of the labour market through a process of social dialogue with key stakeholders. In particular, the Permanent Committee of Labour and Employment, within the MTEESS, is legally required to present proposals to the Ministry on how to address skills mismatches. The National Institute for the Development of Continuing Vocational Training (Institut national pour le développement de la formation professionnelle continue, INFPC) is legally required by the MENJE to follow trends in training. The INFPC leads the monitoring and, in response to the observed trends, provides training.

Governance

Three government ministries are involved in skills anticipation: the MTEESS; the MENJE; and the MESR. In addition, there are five professional chambers – which act as independent policy institutes – responsible for safeguarding the interests of the groups they represent and providing views on various related topics. These include:

These five Chambers are officially consulted especially on all education and training matters but are not represented in the Tripartite Advisory Committee on Vocational Training (Comité consultatif tripartite sur la formation professionnelle). This Committee comprises members from trade unions, employer’s associations and from the State.
As part of the Luxembourgish social dialogue model, trade unions and employer’s associations have membership in the professional chambers. Unions and employers are part of the dialogue ensuring that education and training meet the needs of the labour market. The chambers and the MENJE also work together to develop training standards that meet the needs of the labour market. The professional chambers use findings from skills anticipation exercises in their deliberations.  
The role of stakeholders
The role of stakeholders – especially the social partners – is an important feature of skills anticipation activities in Luxembourg. As outlined above, the social model, concertation sociale, is designed to ensure the co-ordination of different stakeholders’ activities in skills anticipation to reach consensus. In this way, skills anticipation has the potential to influence policy. The Professional Chambers and the MENJE work together to develop training and occupational standards that then inform policymaking. Evidence from the FEDIL is provided to the government and social partners, who are involved in skills governance, and education and training provision.
Under the Ministry of Labour, three bodies work together in skills anticipation:

Although these bodies work together, they are not legally required to collaborate in a permanent, systematic way. As advisory bodies of the Government, CPTE, the Women’s Labour Committee and the ORPE are mandated to review and provide policy proposals and recommendations.
The results of the Business Federation of Luxembourg (FEDIL) survey are debated by these stakeholders.

In Luxembourg, a number of stakeholder fora are in operation to ensure that both general education and vocational guidance are based on labour market needs. As part of the reform of the education system undertaken in 2009, the FORUM Orientation was established which aims to design a national strategy for the provision of general education and vocational guidance for students. It comprises representatives from various ministries, student associations, and representatives from business associations.

In particular, cooperation between the State and social partners is a core principle in vocational education and training (VET), as stated in the 2008 VET reform. (4) The professional associations and the Chamber of Commerce are involved in VET, skills forecasting, work-based learning and ensuring education-business links. For example, major sectors in Luxembourg (such as the construction and finance sectors) have been offering training and other learning opportunities in order to address the skills needs they have identified. (5)

In general, stakeholders have access to the skills anticipation data that are produced as an outcome of the various skills assessment, foresight, and forecast activities (outlined in section “Methods and Tools”).

Target groups

The primary intended users of skills anticipation exercises are policymakers, social partners and the ADEM. Nonetheless, skills anticipation data are also used by education and vocational guidance practitioners, as well as the Chambers and the committees.

Funding and resources

Where evidence is available on funding it points to skills anticipation activities being funded by the government and the Professional Chambers.

 

Methods and tools

In Luxembourg, there is a relatively small volume of skills anticipation activity taking place in practice.

Skills assessments

The Permanent Committee of Labour and Employment, (6) by law, analyses both current and expected skills mismatches in relation to developments in the labour market and changes in the skills required in occupations.  It relies on existing data or studies or it can initiate studies in the case of missing information. The Committee can put forward proposals on how to address skills mismatches.

Skills forecasts

There are no national skills forecasting instruments in Luxembourg. Those that are undertaken are at a sectoral level and results are not publicly available.

Skills foresight

The Competitiveness Observatory has compiled data on corporate competitiveness on a number of EU2020 indicators. No skills data are publicly available from the Observatory. There is no other evidence of skills foresight activities being undertaken.

Other skills anticipation practices

A range of activities is taken within a wider skills anticipation framework in Luxembourg. For example, annual skills needs surveys are undertaken by the FEDIL in collaboration with the Luxembourg Bankers' Association, the Luxembourg Confederation of Commerce, the Chamber of Commerce, and the MENJE, with support from the European Union (EURES). It is a large-scale survey conducted every two years in two areas: industry and new technologies of information and communication. It pools data provided by participating companies on how many jobs they expect to create or replace over a two-year period, as well as the expected qualification levels of those expected to be recruited. The survey explores skills needs of enterprises in order to achieve the goal of obtaining a good balance between vocational training supply and labour market demand. The results of the survey are supplied to the ADEM and the Professional Chambers. There is no legal requirement for organisations to participate in the survey, and response rates have declined. In addition, the forecasts of future skills demand – based on employers’ viewpoints – are considered to be indicative. The results are widely disseminated and used. The associated Qualifications of Tomorrow (Les qualifications de demain) publication provides a forecast of firms’ skills requirements for replacement staff and new job openings, and the associated qualification levels. The ADEM also supplies information on the composition of the labour force and sector profiles, which are available online for jobseekers. Furthermore, the Skills Observatory of the Luxembourg International University Institute (Institut Universitaire International Luxembourgeois), in collaboration with companies, identifies and anticipates skills needs in sectors and occupations. The Observatory of the INFPC collects data on entry to labour market and the trajectories of VET students. It aims to provide information on early career pathways.

In addition, other skills anticipation exercises in Luxembourg include the following:

  • A qualitative skills anticipation exercise, which has been undertaken in the finance sector (Perspectives économiques sectorielles à moyen et long terms dans une optique de durabilité) by Luxembourg’s Economic and Social Committee (Conseil Economique et Social), which focuses on the challenges in the sector, economic and business forecasts, as well as expectations about employment and related skills;
  • Quantitative and qualitative analyses on a large range of training topics, such as: in-company training; integration into the labour market of those leaving vocational education and training; training provision; and the working population’s perception of ‘life-long’ learning, provided by the INFPC;
  • A labour market dashboard based on analysis of labour market data conducted by the Employment Observatory (Réseau d’études sur le marché du travail et de l’emploi, RETEL). Although the dashboard provides general information on the current labour market situation, this information can help to identify skills needs in sectors and occupations. In its next working program, RETEL will develop studies on the topic of skills requirements for the labour market;
  • Several projects in the global framework of training developed by ESF (European Social Fund) initiatives.

 

Dissemination and use

Use of skills anticipation in policy

Skills data are transferred to a number of stakeholders involved in policymaking, including the ADEM, training providers, companies, ministries, the five Professional Chambers, and those involved in education and vocational guidance.

Some data from skills anticipation exercises are publicly available. For example, the Competitiveness Observatory and the INFPC disseminate skills data via their websites, reports or publications. The portal for lifelong learning (Le portail de la formation tout au long de la vie), managed by the INFPC, provides detailed statistical knowledge on training and produces analysis on the link between employment and training.

In Luxembourg, skills anticipation data are mainly used to inform the development of skills supply. Careers counsellors also use information from skills anticipation – notably the Qualifications for Tomorrow publication – in advising their clientele.

Whilst data from skills anticipation exercises are shared amongst a number of stakeholders, including ministries and the professional chambers, the extent to which this informs policy around skills provision is uncertain. That said, data from skills anticipation exercises are part of the dialogue between policymakers and the social partners on education and training matters that takes place through the tripartite system. The results of skills anticipation are also shared with the ADEM, training providers, and education and vocational guidance providers.

Target groups’ uses of skills anticipation outputs

As previously mentioned, the extent to which policymakers use skills data that stem from skills anticipation exercises is uncertain. Nonetheless, the data are used to inform individuals and support career counsellors. Luxembourg has a strong education and vocational guidance system in place for individuals to access throughout the life course. Most guidance services operate within the guidance house initiative (maison de l’orientation). Education and vocational guidance practitioners have a role to play in ensuring that decisions are informed by the available data on skills.

 

Please cite this document as: Skills Panorama (2017), Skills anticipation in Luxembourg. Analytical highlights series. Available at /en/analytical_highlights/skills-anticipation-luxembourg

 

 

 

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Endnotes

(1) ECB (2012).Euro area labour markets and the crisis. Structural issues Report, European central Bank (Frankfurt and Main)
(2) European Commission (2014). Employment and social developments in Europe. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
(3) Liu, K., Salvanes, K.J., and Sorensen, E.O. (2012). Good skills in bad times: cyclical skill mismatch and the long-term effects of graduating in a recession. IZA discussion paper, No 6820.    
(4) SCL (2008) Loi du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle [Law of 19 December 2008 on the reform of vocational training]. Mémorial A, 220, 3273-3288. Available online: http://eli.legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/loi/2008/12/19/n19
(5) In the construction sector see Institut de Formation Sectoriel du Bâtiment (IFSB) http://www.ifsb.lu/fr/.
(6) PLegislated under the Law of 21 December 2007 on the creation of a Permanent Committee of Labour and Employment, Mémorial A, Number 249, 31 December 2007.