Survey shows many school-leavers unable to apply their skills in practice

Illustrative photo: wistechcolleges via / CC BY-NC-ND

Meeting supply and demand on the job market is not always easy and something that the Education Ministry has struggled to address in recent years. While there is a lack of skilled workers in certain spheres, roughly a third of Czechs between the age of 20 and 34 are not able to apply their skills in their work, according to a survey conducted by the Czech Statistics Office.

Illustrative photo: wistechcolleges via / CC BY-NC-ND
The once popular Czech saying “řemeslo má zlaté dno”, roughly translated as “a trade in hand finds gold in every land” referring to the fact that people skilled in a trade will never be in need of work is losing its attraction for the young generation. Vocational schools often have to struggle to find students for certain specializations, even if there is a shortage of them on the market. On the other hand, coordination in meeting supply and demand clearly leaves much to be desired.

According to an extensive survey conducted by the Czech Statistics Office around 46 percent of Czechs who graduated from vocational schools –and had six months hands-on practice in the field as part of their education – said they had not ended up in a job that would allow them to use their acquired skills. Graduates of secondary schools, particularly those specializing in the arts, agriculture, forestry and fishery are also dissatisfied.

The most satisfied group in the age bracket polled were university students who by and large apply their knowledge in the given field of expertise. Only 13 percent of university graduates said they had taken a job that was not within the sphere of their specialization.

Three-quarters of respondents said they had found a job with the help of relatives and friends or by working for the given employer during their studies. Roughly 13 percent said they had answered an ad.

The choice of job is also restricted by a person’s work mobility. According to the survey some 35 percent of university graduates would be prepared to take work abroad. In the 20 to 34 age bracket 13 percent said they had moved because of their work. Willingness to move for a job decreases with age. In the 25 to 29 age bracket it is 16 percent. In the age bracket between 30 and 34, when people are usually settled and have children, it is a mere 8 percent.