Organisation of training of the unemployed could be done in a better way

6/12/2003 | 12:00 AM

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TALLINN, 12 June 2003 - The audit of SAO looking into the training of unemployed persons and payment of stipends to them, using Võrumaa and Tartumaa Employment Offices as examples, revealed that the funds could be used much more effectively than to date. The same issue was discussed also in 2001, and several of the proposals of that time had to be repeated.

To date, the proposal to enable purchasing of short-term training for unemployed persons has not been considered. Education licences are not issued for training courses with duration of less than 120 academic hours, therefore, employment offices cannot buy training courses of shorter duration, although there is a need, for instance, for week-long computer courses. Purchase of long-term training courses also increases the risk that training providers insert unnecessary subjects in the curriculum.

For a more effective use of funds, the SAO made a recommendation to harmonise the changes in training fees if the number of actual classes is smaller than agreed upon. Võrumaa Employment Office changed the fee paid to the training provider only in the case a trainee terminated his or her studies; Tartumaa Employment Office deducted fees for all unattended classes for reasons other than illness from the training fee. In this way, the practise of Tartumaa Employment Office motivated training providers to conceal the absences of unemployed persons, and brought about a risk that an unemployed person may receive a stipend for unattended classes.

To inspect the content and quality of teaching, information about the level of training was collected from employers and vocational schools, in-site inspection was conducted with regard to the level of training, and also the attendance of courses was checked. Inspection would have been more thorough if timetables had been asked for inspection from the training providers. No questionnaire was used to find out if the subjects included in the curriculum and timetable were actually treated in classes and if so, to what extent.

Organising supervision on training depends to a great extent on the officials’ workload. The audit showed that the workload of training specialists is very different in different employment offices. For instance, Võrumaa Employment Office has a better control over training organisation and payment of stipends than Tartumaa Employment Office where the number of job-seekers is higher, and the specialist has to co-ordinate more training courses as well.

A study completed by Praxis, Centre for Policy Studies at the beginning of this week, reveals that each kroon invested in the employment training will bring back three kroons to the society in the long run. According to Praxis, the expenses on the active labour-market policy in Estonia to date are the smallest compared to both the European Union member states as well as the candidate states. Taking this into account, it was surprising to discover that despite a general shortage of money, one fifth of the stipend funds were not used in the employment offices we audited – mainly because a stipend does not cover the actual costs of transport to the training place and back, and many unemployed persons had to give up longer training courses.

Last year 47.8 million kroons for training of unemployed persons and 9.4 million kroons for scholarships were allocated from the state budget.

Sven Soiver
Press Representative of State Audit Office
Telephone: (372) 640 0787
GSM: (372) 53 414464

  • Posted: 6/12/2003 12:00 AM
  • Last Update: 10/2/2015 5:50 PM
  • Last Review: 10/2/2015 5:50 PM

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