Back-to-back with the 2016 OECD Labour Ministerial meeting, a Policy Forum on the Future of work will take place to discuss how digitisation is shaping the world of work and the implications for skills and labour market policy.
Job displacement (involuntary job loss due to firm closure or downsizing) affects many workers over their lifetime. Displaced workers may face long periods of unemployment and, even when they find new jobs, tend to be paid less and have fewer benefits than in their prior jobs. Helping them get back into good jobs quickly should be a key goal of labour market policy. This report is the fourth in a series of reports looking at how this challenge is being tackled in a number of OECD countries. It shows that Sweden has been relatively successful in minimising the adverse effects of displaced workers, manily due to the longstanding tradition of collaboration between the social partners to share responsibility for restructuring by creating special arrangements and practices that provide help to workers much faster that in other OECD countries. Despite this positive institutional framework, there is room to improve policies targeted to displaced workers as remarkable inequalities still exist in both the Swedish labour market and in the way workers are treated.
The OECD’s most recent ‘Investing in Youth’ country reviews identify three broad streams of solutions to provide disadvantaged youth with the skills they need and thus reduce the share of youth outside of education or employment.
Tackling mental ill-health of the working-age population is a key issue for labour market and social policies in OECD countries. OECD governments increasingly recognise that policy has a major role to play in keeping people with mental ill-health in employment or bringing those outside of the labour market back to it, and in preventing mental illness. This report on Australia is the ninth and last in a series of reports looking at how the broader education, health, social and labour market policy challenges identified in Sick on the Job? Myths and Realities about Mental Health and Work (OECD, 2012) are being tackled in a number of OECD countries. It concludes that policy thinking in Australia shows well-advanced awareness both of the costs of mental illness for society as a whole and of the health benefits of employment. However, challenges remain in: making employment issues a concern of the health care services; helping young people succees in their future working lives; making the workplace a safe, supportive psychosocial environment; and better designing and targeting employment services for jobseekers with mental ill-health.
Being able to directly measure all the above aspects would be extremely useful but economists and analysts usually face severe data limitations (e.g. small sample size, data comparability, measurement error etc.) and are, in many instances, forced to use second-best proxies to describe skills and build indicators.
Youth who have disconnected from the education system and are not working or planning to return to training are at high risk of marginalisation. Review of programs and other initiatives to re-connect.
High-skilled jobs as an important driver of overall employment growth in the EU and the impact of high-skill job creation goes beyond the highly educated workforce. If European regions are very unequal in terms of high-skill intensity, they are converging slowly.
Older workers earn more than younger workers with the same skills. So what explains the lower return to skill among younger, less-experienced workers? Employers may need time to learn about (and reward) the true skills of young workers. “Experience and the returns to education and skill in OECD countries, Evidence of employer learning?” published in the OECD Journal: Economic Studies.
On 14-15 January 2016 the OECD will host a Ministerial meeting on Labour and Employment, and a Policy Forum on the Future of Work.
The potential for automation is limited when it comes to social skills, which is why social skills are increasingly rewarded in the labour market. Technological change is shaping the future of work through, in part, a skill-biased effect on employment.