«Better policies for better lifes»




Uma Estratégia de Competências para Portugal” – o Diagnóstico“, it’s a project that collaborates with OECD and it aims to improve an “effective skills strategy” for our country, in order to evaluate strategically the system of effectiveness in Portugal.

On the 1st of April, the Report of the Diagnosis resulting from this project was presented in Centro Cultural de Belém, in Lisbon.

The diagnosis identified 12 challenges for Portugal, in matters of effectiveness. Let’s take a look:

  • The improvement of quality and equality in education;
  • Reinforcement of VET (Vocational Education and Training) according to the requirements of the labor market;
  • Centralization of education of adults and lifelong learning for low-skilled citizens;
  • Reduction of youth unemployment rates young people who are neither working nor integrated into the education and training system;
  • Increase of reintegration of long-term unemployed into the labor market;
  • Reduction of obstacles to employment;
  • Promotion of entrepreneurship;
  • Encouraging innovation and the creation of highly skilled jobs;
  • Giving incentives to employers to encourage their skills development, especially the small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • Financing of a system more equitable and effective;
  • Adjustment to the decision-making powers to satisfy local needs;
  • Training and partnerships for a skills policy based on proved data.


In sum, according to the 12 challenges, the Report highlights the fact that we should fight several weaknesses and empower some strategies in our country:

– Portugal is one of the OECD countries where the socio-economic background of students has an impact on their above-average results. Our country has also a high rate of school dropout and an higher rate of school retention than the OECD average;

-People that study through the Vocational Education and Training (VET) have better job prospects in countries where work-based learning is a strong component of the courses. The strengthening of training performing in the enterprises will help to ensure that the VET system is consistent and aligned with the needs of the labor market;

-In Portugal, 62% of people between 25 and 64 years old have not completed high school education, which is the third highest percentage in the OECD area, so it’s crucial to give them opportunities to participate in lifelong learning activities to improve their basic skills;

-Portugal has the fourth highest rate of youth unemployment among OECD countries and a large number of young people are neither working nor integrated into the education and training system. Significant investment is being directed to support unemployed young people, particularly through the Garantia program for EU Youth;

-Portugal has a high percentage of long-term unemployed and population who are outside the labor market for more than a year. Specific measures targeted to support retraining actions and help in finding jobs are essential to ensure that the long-term unemployed are not completely disconnected from the labor market;

-In Portugal, the unemployment benefits for some groups of people can act as disincentive to look for employment. Recently, it has been introduced several reforms in the labor market, to fight these problems: in 2014, most of the created jobs led to permanent contracts. Other efforts could still be made to increase employment rates and quality of new jobs.

-In the last years, entrepreneurship has occupied a prominent place on the political agenda of Portugal. To strengthen entrepreneurship in Portugal we must do efforts to increase access to finance; and to have a greater administrative simplification for the promotion of entrepreneurship throughout the education and training system.

-In Portugal, the business expenses on Research and Development are among the lowest in the OECD area and in comparison with other OECD countries, large companies in Portugal spend relatively little on R&D. Adopting further measures to improve the links between university research and the business community is vital to take full advantage of the highly skilled workers from Portugal.

-Currently, Portugal has more budget resources for seniors than for young people and education. The education budget has suffered successive cuts in recent years, which makes it imperative to ensure that scarce resources are spent effectively and equitably. The improvement of skills of all citizens (through targeted support for disadvantaged schools and students and also by promoting lifelong learning) is a crucial investment for Portugal.

-The budget decentralization in Portugal is one of the lowest in the OECD area. A greater flexibility in decision-making process would allow the political adjustment of regional and local actors.


We invite you to read the report so that we can together start a process of creating solutions that can help Portugal overcome its challenges! You can read the PDF here: http://skills.oecd.org/developskills/documents/Portugal-Diagnostic-Report-web.pdf


«Better policies for better lifes»