According to RTU Vice-Rector Artūrs Zeps, Human Capital is the Cornerstone of Latvian Economic Development

30th of November, 2023
RTU Vice-Rector for Development and Finance Artūrs Zeps

The development of human capital and the promotion of innovativeness and technological development of enterprises are the two most important challenges for Latvia to increase the overall productivity and gross domestic product (GDP) in the coming years. Latvia lags in these indictors not only in terms of European averages, but also its neighboring countries. To solve these issues, we need not only to understand how to speed up the move forward, but also how to become faster than our competitors to reach the European average level. This is what RTU Vice-Rector for Development and Finance Artūrs Zeps comments in his latest opinion article on the Delfi portal.

In the article, the vice-rector mentions the conference «How to Manage Latvia's Human Resources Development?» which was held in November at RTU and organized by RTU in cooperation with the Saeima's Education, Culture and Science Commission, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Finance, and the Minister of Economy (MoE). During the event, issues related to human capital development and the implementation mechanism of Latvia's Human Capital Development Strategy were discussed, along with innovativeness, and the technological development of companies. 

A. Zeps states in the article that the Human Capital Development Strategy of Latvia is currently being developed, which the MoE is going to soon present to the wider public. In addition, preparations have also been made for the effective implementation of the strategy, along with promoting the coordination of ministries and other involved parties.

While considering the role of universities in human capital development, A. Zeps emphasized that first and foremost, it is necessary to define the skills that will be needed for future professions, as they need to be integrated into the curriculum. Even now, people need to be prepared for these occupations, which today we have no idea about. This is a big challenge, so the interaction between the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of Welfare (MOW) is critical, to prepare people for future careers, rather than each narrowly operating in its own cilo. It is also important to involve universities in this process - they have the capacity to define future professions and the skills needed in the labor market. Universities must become knowledge centers that provide essential support to policymakers in this process, especially in data analysis, to offer data-based answers to policymakers' questions.

It was also indicated that the business environment plays an important role in the development of human capital. Entrepreneurs admit that compared to the situation a decade ago, there are positive trends in the cooperation between employers and the education system. For example, the industry is involved both in the development of the curriculum and in the learning process, thus ensuring that employees are trained with the skills needed in the current labor market. However, the most important thing that modern workers need in addition to basic knowledge and skills is to possess the flexibility and adaptability to bend to the demands of the labor market. 

Unfortunately, the industry is also unable to accurately predict what skills and occupations will be needed in the future. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly analyze what workforce is currently being trained and the corresponding demand for the labor market. If there is no such demand, the educational institutions must be able to make responsible and courageous decisions, refusing to implement the relevant curricula.

In his summary of the lessons learned from the «How to Manage the Development of Latvia's Human Resources?» conference, A. Zeps concluded that it is necessary for these discussions to continue so Latvia's Human Capital Development Strategy is appropriate for the needs of Latvia's national economy and ensures the efficient and coordinated use of all state administration resources to achieve a common goal.

Artūrs Zeps: Human capital – the cornerstone of Latvian economic development ( , 30.11.2030)

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30th of November, 2023 at 17:35

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