This study was produced for the “Study of Instruments and Tools to anticipate the effects of industrial change on employment, trades and vocational qualifications” and for DG V (Employment) of the European Commission in the late 1994. It started when the previous Portuguese government was still ruling, the main policies were defined, and the available instruments were not used in a minimum extend. The new Government, issued from the 1995 elections, proposed “employment” as a major objective with horizontal responsibility. That’s also why there is now a Ministry for Qualifications and Employment, and another one for Solidarity and Social Affairs, not one for Employment and Social Affairs as the previous Government had. But more than that, this objective is considered to need a coordinated and consistent action that involves external affairs, industrial and regional policies, and the policies on education, training and employment, among others. The promotion of the “quality of employment” is being recently done at the working conditions, remuneration, social protection, occupational promotion levels, and the equality of opportunities towards employment and vocational training levels, and finally, the levels of qualification of human resources for a better labour market, education policy and training policy developments. In Portugal, the influence of the industrial change is produced in a top-down way; with (in some cases) an ex post analysis process to formulated training needs. This means that the industrial change impact is produced (normally, unexpectedly), and afterwards the responsible at the company level tries to know which training needs should be formulated in order those effects could be the smoother possible. The training needs at the company level is not based on anticipatory studies, neither is done any long term forecast on qualification, or even employment level.
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