Since 2017, everyone working in Latvia can improve their knowledge and skills in adult continuing education programs. In the previous four rounds, the study courses took place in person, but this time almost 11 thousand residents will study remotely.
Among the most coveted educational programs this time are business project management in the digital environment and programming. In third place, which was a surprise even for the project implementers themselves, are the basics of gardening.
“In general, agriculture has never been in the list of top industries in previous rounds. It is possible that people have evaluated their opportunities or the knowledge that they need or lack in this sector as well, ”explains Elīna Purmale-Baumane, Head of the Vocational Education Projects Department of the State Education Development Agency (VIAA).
In this round, when the training takes place remotely, more women have applied.
Looking at age groups, the most active were the population aged 25 to 44.
However, those who are approaching retirement age also want to learn. For example, this time the oldest person who will be going to a course on data analysis in logistics very soon is a 73-year-old gentleman.
“We are glad that people of pre-retirement age, retirement age also use this opportunity.
This is precisely the target group that is most at risk, who in fact are most in need of both this digital and other skills to stay in the labor market, ”says Purmale-Baumane.
Although the topics of the courses are diverse, for example, you can study drawing and management psychology, as well as food production documentation and forestry work, the main trend is unchanged – digital skills are the most in demand. “We see that the industry is developing rapidly, technologies are entering various professions, everything is automated.
And digital skills, cross-cutting skills are needed in all sectors, practically performing almost any job, ”explains the VIAA representative.
One of the 23 educational institutions that provide adult continuing education is the Riga State Technical School. This time the institution offers three different courses. Previously, those who wanted to learn had to come in person, but the knowledge will be transferred by studying at their own computer.
Educators are already starting to form training groups, and they are looking forward to the new training period, which will start in August. “We are in a positive mood. We are ready to work – to offer distance learning. The response from people is also positive –
mostly everyone who has applied is also ready to learn.
Offering distance learning is like a challenge, but we are in a positive mood. We will do everything, ”says Andra Zenčaka, the head of the Adult Education Center of the Riga State Technical School.
Adults are much more motivated compared to students who study in a technical school on a daily basis. They are aware that the knowledge gained many years ago must be constantly updated.
“They are more focused because their motivation is really clearer. They gain additional knowledge that can be used in their working lives. So they increase their value in the eyes of the employer and in the labor market, ”explains Zenčaka.
The next round of the project will take place in September. Anyone over the age of 25, including working pensioners, can apply.
As the European Union funds and the state cover 90% of the course costs, you only have to pay one tenth yourself. If there is no second Covid-19 wave in Latvia, the training will take place in person again in the next round.
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