EXPECTATIONS BY EMPLOYERS ON SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDES OF EMPLOYEES
Changes of the work conditions and technologies ask to change approach to the main principles of education system. The education system can’t prepare employees for the whole working life. Relative role of different parts of the qualification are changing. Skills, practical experience, which were main object of investigation and assessment, becomes less valid for whole working life, significance of motivation, emotional intelligence and attitudes increase. Skills and knowledge must be periodically improved, but attitudes remain as more constant basis for the competences. Attitudes are significant part of employers needs for qualified employees, but their role should be investigated more carefully. Investigation demonstrates different assessment of attitudes by employers depending on strategic plans and short term needs. Increasing role of motivation supports the appropriate changes in education system. The relevant recommendations for the improvement of education system have been proposed. The purpose of the study is to investigate the expectations by employers on skills, knowledge and attitudes of employees. To achieve the purpose the following tasks were set: to summarize and analyse the results of the research published in scientific literature; to study the opinions of the employers. Research methods used: scientific literature studies, survey of employers of the Kurzeme region, Jelgava city, Jelgava district, Ozolnieku district, Dobele district (survey was conducted in June 2013 – October 2013). For employers selection company register LURSOFT was used and every tenth company was approached, response rate 21%. In survey for most of questions evaluation scale 1 – 10 is applied where 1 – not significant, 10 – very significant. For data processing used methods: descriptive statistics – indicators of central tendency or location and indicators of variability; multivariate statistical analysis – factor analysis; non-parametric statistical methods – Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, Kruskal-Wallis test. The empirical research showed that professional skills, knowledge, caring for the agenda and organization of work, purposefulness, cooperation, ability to plan and control, honesty are significant part of employers needs for qualified employees. The cooperation between education institutions and companies is necessary for the development of the study programs and practical skills in real production environment. The results of recent requirements by employers have been compared with survey results last decade. The important role of motivation of employees has been observed. The discussions about the employers needs could be divided in two main parts – social and specific skills. Transferable skills and attitudes become more significant owing to fast changes of knowledge and skills necessary for the quickly changing technologies. The ways of continuing improvement of qualifications of employees during their career are discussed. Special attention is paid to different possibilities to involve employers and local municipalities in the creation of the conditions favourable for the life-long learning of employees.