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CELE Exchange - February 2009
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Rural communities in many countries are faced with the need to restructure their school networks and close some smaller facilities. Óbidos, a town in western Portugal, provides a case study of how to meet these challenges by creating new school complexes that offer improved educational opportunities to the teaching staff, students and local people.
Simple fact: older workers are leaving the labour force earlier than they did in the 60s and 70s. The retirement age declined steadily across OECD countries from the 1970s to the early 2000s. Over the past decade this drop has levelled off, with some countries experiencing a slight upturn. Despite this, apart from Japan and Korea, it is still significantly lower than in the 1960s and 1970s.
Today, global companies are fascinated by the prospect of what the World Economic Forum calls ‘the next billion’ – the future consumers of the developing world whose income is rising from around $2 a day to between $5 and $7 a day.
The OECD has launched its Skills Strategy to help governments build economic resilience, boost employment and reinforce social cohesion. Despite the pressure on public finances, spending on education and skills is an investment for the future and must be a priority.
"The OECD Skills Strategy is designed to help countries build better skills policies and turn them into jobs, growth, and better lives." - Mr. Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD
While a number of single-country studies have been done to explore whether or not there is a "critical age" at which the arrival in a new country becomes a steep disadvantage to the immigrant student, this study aims to determine whether the steepness of the age-at-arrival/test score profile varies across origin or destination countries. As expected, the later the arrival, the greater the penalty. However results vary according to
Without adequate investment in skills, people languish on the margins of society, technological progress does not translate into inclusive economic growth, and countries can no longer compete in an increasingly knowledge-based global society, said OECD Secretary-General.
The relationship between ageing and skills is becoming an important policy issue, not least in the context of population ageing.
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