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.
OECD employment rate increases to 66.1% in first quarter of 2015
As the first edition of “Youth Skills day” unfolds, about 40 million youth aged 15-29 in OECD countries are either looking for work or entirely disconnected from the labour market and from education and training.
Labour market conditions are generally improving in OECD countries. However, employment is still growing too slowly in the OECD area to close the jobs gap induced by the crisis by the end of 2016.