A well-qualified work force is vital to economic competitiveness. It is important people enter the labour market with qualifications which correspond to the needs of employers.

The rapid pace of technological change, changes in the division of labour, the development of new goods and services, globalisation and the accompanying shifts in production all require workers to continually update and further develop the knowledge, skills  and competences they acquired in initial education.

This has two important corollaries:

  • The starting point for the NSK must be the needs of the labour market. These are reflected in the National System of Occupations.
  • The NSK qualifications standards are used in the development of national secondary education curricula and for retraining programmes.

Fig. 1: Diagram illustrating the relations among the NSK, the National System of Occupations, and initial education:

Vocational qualifications have a key role in continuing education.  If standards for a qualification exist, accreditation to an educational programme in further education is granted only to those that lead to exams as stipulated by the standards for the relevant qualification.

Further information about the National System of Occupations can be found in the Appendix II, Units in the National System of Occupations.