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Aligning Education and Jobs in Romania

March 11, 2014

Romania has surmounted significant challenges on its path to EU membership. However, the Romanian economy has recently come under pressure due to the lack of reforms in employment and education, according to a World Bank report.
PROJECT MAP

Students at Romania’s prestigious Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest say they have a common goal.  They say that after graduation next year, they’re hoping to find jobs in the subjects they’ve spent so many years learning.

“I am expecting to work in a bank or maybe in insurance.  I am currently doing an internship in insurance, and it seems pretty nice,” says 21-year-old Bogdan Crismic, who will graduate next year.

Matching education with employment is one of several issues examined in the Europe 2020 Romania Report.

The report says that while Romania has overcome significant challenges on its path to EU membership, the country’s economy is under pressure, partly due to a lack of reforms in education and employment.

“The World Bank study focused on the gap between the education and the labor market,” says Viorel Dobrescu of Romania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is working to implement some of the report’s suggestions.

“There is a gap between these two.  The labor market is asking for certain, let’s say, competencies, and education has provided other types of competencies, and there is a mismatch,” he says.

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I am expecting to work in a bank or maybe in insurance. I am currently doing an internship in insurance, and it seems pretty nice Close Quotes

21-year-old Bogdan Crismic

The Europe 2020 Romania Report discusses this ‘mismatch’, as well as other key challenges which the country currently faces in the field of productive employment, and it proposes a set of steps the Romanian government could consider in order to reach the Europe 2020 targets.

Those steps include increasing Romania’s employment rates, starting with the labor force participation of women, youth, and older workers.

In addition, the report highlights the need for an improved education system that can provide increased skills – including skills for technological innovation and the absorption of new technologies –which companies doing business in Romania are looking for.

The education system “needs to be more targeted, in terms of what the education system’s final product is, and what the industries need.  Right now, there doesn’t seem to be always a connection between what the industries will require in a couple of years from now, and what the education system is prepared to produce,” says Valeriu Nistor, General Manager, IBM Romania.

The report suggests a key role for public policy in strengthening Romania’s job creation pillar to help the country achieve its Europe 2020 employment target, and it highlights a common policy agenda of reforms to promote the restructuring of Romania’s enterprise sector, both to improve the operation of existing businesses, as well as to foster new ones.

“We have in our company today 3,600 employees, and we are planning to grow.  This growth is depending a lot on the economic environment in Romania,” says Marius Georgescu, Sales Manager for Hewlett-Packard Romania.

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We have in our company today 3,600 employees, and we are planning to grow. This growth is depending a lot on the economic environment in Romania Close Quotes

Marius Georgescu
Sales Manager for Hewlett-Packard Romania

Any reforms aimed at generating further enterprise, combined with efforts to improve the country’s skills, are good news for Romania, says 23-year-old Ionut Serea, a business major.

“I chose Business Administration. I hope this is my future. I hope to be a successful businessman,” he says.

More skills and more business, says Ionut, will translate into more jobs and increased prosperity for everyone.