Austria needs to do more to help people with mental health problems find a job or stay in the workplace, according to a new OECD report. A more comprehensive approach would help employees and firms alike: mental health issues are estimated to cost the Austrian economy around 3.6% of GDP every year in lost productivity, health care and out-of-work benefits.
The fact remains that robots have persistently failed to imitate the most human of skills, such empathy, teamwork, relationship building, etc. While technology may be reducing the demand for some routine skills, it is simultaneously increasing the demand for more difficult-to-automate social skills.
Why are workers mismatched in the first place? Many, if not most, students choose a field of study based on what they want to become and do to earn a living. Yet almost four in ten workers end up doing something unrelated. This is sometimes by choice but not always.
Apprenticeships provide opportunities to build up new skills and knowledge both on and off the job. When they are of high quality, apprenticeships promote a smoother transition from school to work for young people, giving them a good start to their working careers.
This blog post looks at the importance of assessing and anticipating skill needs as recent empirical literature warns about the negative impact that skills mismatch can have on individuals and economies as a whole.
The combination of work and study has been hailed as crucial to ensure that youth develop the skills required on the labour market so that transitions from school to work are shorter and smoother. As a result, many governments encourage learning on the job, particularly when it comes as part of certified programmes such as vocational education and training pathways (VET) or apprenticeships.
Latvia should step up its efforts to improve the employment prospects of young people by continuing to reform its vocational education system and pursuing the commitments made as part of the Youth Guarantee to further reduce the share of young people under 30 who are not in employment, education or training.
Countries where skills are less equally distributed tend to have higher wage inequality. Putting skills to better use can help reduce wage inequality, by strengthening the links between workers’ skills, productivity and wages.
Human capital is key for economic growth. Not only is it linked to aggregate economic performance but also to each individual’s labour market outcomes. However, a skilled population is not enough to achieve high and inclusive growth, as skills need to be put into productive use at work.
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OECD countries are seeing a trend away from traditional employment towards part-time and temporary work and self-employment. However, there are concerns that part-time and temporary work are contributing to inequality and poverty. Policy needs to focus on ensuring that these "non-traditional" jobs are stepping stones to better jobs, not dead ends.