Identification of factors affecting personnel demand
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This MONOGRAPH is the first part of a report on original research conducted as part of the research project "Demand for Managerial and Engineering Personnel in the Lodz Province in the Years 2007-2015". The primary objective of this work is identification of demand for personnel, in particular taking into account the social and economic situation in Poland, and the dominant issue of unemployment. Identification of factors affecting demand for personnel is significant from the point of view of: employers, as it will allow them to expect better preparation for work in enterprises, institutions and other job-creating entities from higher education graduates; students, as they will receive knowledge which is more adequate for employers' needs and will thus enhance their competitiveness on the labour market; institutions of higher education, which will increase their competitiveness on the education market by using research results, appropriate adjustment of their curricula and creating specializations sought. Unemployment during and after political system transformation has been Poland's greatest social and economic problem. Now nearly 3 million are without jobs and Poland's unemployment rate exceeds EU average by 9 percentage points (figures as at the end of March 2008, source: The Economist). The actual figure may be lower even by several percentage points due to the socalled "black economy", registration of those who later go abroad and of those non-economically active only to secure insurance. As at the end of 2007, Poland had the highest unemployment rate among the EU countries ( 17 .8% ). This high percentage originates both from cyclical and structural unemployment. The former is caused by insufficient economic growth dynamics on the one hand, and low flexibility of demand for labour against GDP growth on the other. It is comforting and optimistic that Poland has recorded a significant economic growth since 2004. Sources of structural unemployment are related to a mismatch between qualifications of potential workers and a dynamically changing economic structure. Developments triggered by Polish economic transformation, which was completed within a decade, extended over much longer periods in West European economies. On the other hand, working-age population does not demonstrate sufficient willingness to retrain, which is the underlying cause of structural unemployment. The social and economic situation in Poland, including the Lodz Province, and the dominant issue of unemployment requires detailed analyses of demand for specific qualifications. It should also be noted that analysis of demand for professional qualifications is in line with regional, national and EU-wide activities aimed at human capital development. These include: Poland's National Development Plan for 2007-2013, which entails, among others, activities facilitating the development of "knowledge and competences", in particular in the field of science and higher education; Strategy for the Development of Education for 2007-2013, aimed at increasing the level of civic education and, at the same time, the level of adult qualifications, which should help them participate in contemporary society; Activities relating to execution of European Social Fund projects: the Integrated Operational Programme Education and Competences and the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development; Lisbon Strategy, based on sustainable economic growth connected with a rise in employment, which will be impossible to achieve without increasing investment in human capital and modernization of education and training systems as well as activities intended to improve their quality and efficiency; Bologna Declaration, which provides for activities in the area of higher education aimed at ensuring that knowledge taught corresponds both to professional needs and challenges of globalisation; "Lodz Province Development Strategy", as it is directly harmonized with the priority "Improving the level of civic education and cultural development" through achievement of the objective "Alignment of civil qualifications with needs of a developing regional economy". The practical application of research results boils down to drawing particular attention to social and economic factors which have a significant influence on demand for personnel from the point of view of current and prospective needs of the economy. Analysis of those factors and an attempt at predicting the quantity of demand for specific qualifications in consecutive years will help reduce the unemployment rate and minimize the necessity of retraining - through matching supply and demand in the labour market. A comparison of personnel demand for Poland, EU and OECD countries will have a significant impact on labour market mobility in the age of globalisation.