Discrepancies have appeared in the field of internal security between the education provided by the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences (EASS) and the needs of the employers. The employers complained about the skills and knowledge of the graduates, and how in some fields their preparation had been too limited. Professional training is not useful, when there is no need for that profession or the skills acquired cannot be used or do not reach the required skill level of the job. Considering the high cost of this kind of education, the country spends its money unreasonably if the education provided by the EASS does not comply with the actual needs of the employers in the field of internal security. This analysis was iniciated to deal with this problem, and find out how much the current education provided by the EASS complies with the development goals of Estonian Rescue Board, Police and Border Guard Board, Estonian Rescue Service, Estonian Tax and Customs Board.
The main results of the analysis were:
- These institutions do not have big workforce issues, with the exception of a few fields and areas (the fringe areas of the country). The analysis of the development programmes does not foresee a big increase in the workforce, the missing parts will be filled by increasing the amount of voluntary partnerships.
- Very little attention has been paid to assessing the influence of economic developments – e.g. unemployment, the level of income and inequalities.
- The replacement demand is becoming a big problem – the workforce is ageing or going abroad and these institutions do not fully acknowledge the problem of replacing them.
- The importance of general competencies is increasing due to the developments in the field and the changes in the nature of the job. The work is getting more complex and less standardized, the power of decision is increasing, more tasks require analysis or working with ICT (Information and communications technology) and it is necessary to adapt to the changes inside the institution. So it is important to pay more attention to these competencies during the education process and on-the-job training. These are not skills that can be directly taught, but which should be addressed continually in addition the skills relating to the professional side of the job.
- The increasing interdisciplinarity of the tasks demands that employees have the know-how to link different fields and operate in them simultaneously. Therefore the education could implement problem-based learning more widely and increase the collaboration between the students of different fields.
- Insufficient language skills of graduates /employees. Those who graduate from the EASS in Estonian do not have the best Russian skills, but in fringe areas (especially in Ida-Viru County, where most speak Russian as a first language) it is hard to find workforce who speaks Estonian well. International co-operation is increasing so good English skills are more and more needed.
- Inconsistency between the education that is given and the actual demands of the position. a) some positions where graduates from the EASS are wanted do not comply with the graduates’ qualifications – the demands of the positions are mostly lower than the qualification, but in some situations also higher than the EASS qualification (especially the expectations of the employers). b) The curriculums of the EASS are unclear about what kind of positions they are preparing the students for – the descriptions are inaccurate, therefore should be amended and should also include references to other positions which are suitable with that particular qualification.
- It is necessary to improve the quality of job descriptions so that they would be in accord with the tasks and the amount of responsibility given. The personal qualities mentioned should be replaced with general competencies. More attention should also be paid to coordinating and working through the information about the education of the EASS inside the institution so the EASS would understand clearly what a certain position requires.
- Increasing co-operation between the employers and the EASS. Although in many fields and institutions the employers consider it to be good, in other cases personal disputes or confusing forms of co-operation interfere. Therefore more exact forms should be agreed upon and the aim should be to move towards an institutional co-operation instead of a person-based one. Here the Ministry of the Interior has a chance to offer an efficient solution.