The system that the Unemployment Insurance Fund uses to
commission training for the jobless is unpopular with trade schools; ?cumbersome?
is the word they used in describing the requirement of public procurements.
There is no intention on the part of the Fund and the
Ministry of Social Affairs to throw out the system, however, as they say there
are no better of more objective approach for choosing the best offer.
Learning that the European Union decided to bank roll 166 million euros into
the infrastructure of 16 Estonian trade schools, the schools claim that the
Unemployment Insurance Fund ignores the fact that they are the best-equipped to
organize retraining of the unemployed.
Tanel Linnus, the director of the Võru County Vocational Education Centre, points
out the tedious nature of the process - a welders' course was inaugurated
only two years after the tendering procedure was declared.
Linnus said, "Vocational schools no longer want to take part in the
Unemployment Insurance Fund's public procurements. It is too much trouble and
it is very hard to explain to the Fund's specialists each time that we have
qualified teachers, manufacturing bases and we can cope well with teaching."
The other difficulty that the schools cite is that in many circumstances a
private company has promised that it does have the teaching staff needed however
at a later time begins searching for instructors in one breath.
This implies that the company may have supplied wrong information. To cite
an example, one course provider - Sotsiaalse Õppekeskuse OÜ - that has won a multitude
of contracts is said to be regularly posting want ads for teachers. Deniss
Tsõri, a director with the company, explained that they do have their in-house
teachers, but teachers, "like other people, sometimes fall ill."
There?s an admission on the part of the Unemployment Insurance Fund about
having problems. But they explained that these problems are not extensive, and
that on some occasional circumstances contracts have been repealed and
Kadri Lühiste, head of the Fund's services department, said "We do not
have the option of state-funded student places and this requires amendment of
Perhaps what could help reorganize the adult education market is a piece of
draft legislation that will make the issuing of education licenses less formal.
According to Under Secretary Kalle Küttis of the Ministry of Education and
Research, they are determined to make the review of educational institutions
more rigid beginning with the existence of curricula, study
facilities, and teachers.
However, for now, the skill of writing a good application for re-training
contracts will stay to be a prerequisite.