See chapter 5.1 for an institutional overview of vocational and professional training in Latvia.
The vocational orientation level of cultural education (on elementary education level) is geographically the most accessible from all levels of arts and culture education. Almost every municipality has one or more arts and culture education institutions. Altogether, in 2018 there were 210 locations on which arts and culture education was provided (159 vocational orientation education institutions and their branches). A network of music and visual art schools (and a few dance schools) forms the first level in arts and culture education pyramid in Latvia. These schools are co-financed by municipalities (for the most part), the state (paying salaries for teachers) and parents of pupils.
Vocational secondary education
in arts and culture is available in 13 municipalities and is provided
by 24 education institutions. Three of these schools are established by municipalities, ten by the Ministry
of Culture, nine by the Ministry of Education and two are private establishments. The role of the
Ministry of Culture is to provide a continuity in vocational arts and culture education, which leads to a third level after secondary education – higher art education institutions that provide education to professional musicians, dancers, visual artists etc.
One of the priorities set by the cultural policy guidelines Creative Latvia 2014-2020 is to develop long- life learning and cultural education that responds to the needs of employers. The planning document suggests reorganising the existing cultural education system on secondary level, consolidating schools and establishing eight professional cultural education centres of competence. Funding of EU Structural funds will be invested in these centres and the process of reorganisation started in 2015.
Commissioned by the Latvian National Centre for Culture two comprehensive studies on vocational education in Latvia were carried out in 2017-2018. Both projects together can be considered the most extensive and in-depth account of vocational arts and culture education in Latvia.
Key conclusions of the first phase project:
- Labour market of cultural and creative industries is fragmented; it is composed of diverse subsectors that differ in terms of scope, product type, as well as labour and capital intensity.
- State and municipal institutions are key employers only in some of these subsectors.
- Individual initiative plays an important role in cultural and creative industries labour market; professionals can produce new creative products that in turn might open up new markets, create jobs, and even result in whole new fields of expertise, later to become a formally recognised occupation.
- Most professionals are involved in more than one subsector, and may be active on both local and international, levels.
- It is a common practice in many subsectors to combine various forms of employment in multiple local, national, and international legal entities, but the current official data-gathering and classification system does not provide enough information to properly assess the scope of the use of this model of employment.
- Arts and culture education system can prepare specialists, but it takes an employment offer (including the salary level) commensurate with the expertise of graduates for them to meet the needs of employers.
- These peculiarities of cultural and creative industries labour market makes it impossible to utilise forecasting approaches used in other more traditional sectors of economy.
The second research project “Arts and Culture Education in Latvia: Accessibility, Demand, Quality” builds on these important findings. It analyses three levels of arts and cultural education system – vocational orientation, vocational secondary, and the higher. The study aims to contribute to the further development of arts and culture education programmes and to serve as a basis for planning the state budget allocations for these, in line with labour market demands and culture development tendencies.
The introductory section of the report specifies the definition of arts and culture education in Latvian national legislation, describes the legal framework of this field, its institutional system and funding structure. The report is structured according to three levels of arts and culture education system. Five themes are addressed in analysis of each level – accessibility, demand, continuity, quality, and relatedness to the labour market. This is a novel and until now unpractised way to analyse arts and culture education in Latvia. The report covers data on those state accredited institutions of arts and culture education that receive funding from or have been established by the Ministry of Culture of Latvia.
Both studies are available in Latvian:
“On implementation of vocational orientation, vocational secondary and higher education programs of art and culture education and on correspondence of the number of specialists to the needs of cultural and creative industries sector” (Latvian Academy of Culture, 2017). “Arts and Culture Education in Latvia: Accessibility, Demand, Quality” (The Laboratory of Strategies and Analytical Studies, Ltd, 2018).