The talk of the town this year has truly been the so-called fourth industrial revolution–and rightly so. Digitalisation causes an increasing interconnectivity of people, production and processes. Combined with the rapid development in artificial intelligence, self-learning machines and robot technology it heralds a new time of revolutionary technological progress.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) are changing profoundly the skill profile of jobs. To thrive in the digital economy, ICT skills will not be enough and other complementary skills will be needed, ranging from good literacy and numeracy skills through to the right socio-emotional skills to work collaboratively and flexibly.
An increasing number of middle-income countries are participating in projects measuring cognitive skills of the adult population. Large differences in skill levels exist between these countries, with some having a large skills gap compared to OECD countries. Skill differences not only reflect differences in educational attainment, as skill levels among adults with the same level of educational differ widely across countries.
New research finds that green jobs use high-level cognitive and interpersonal skills more intensively compared to non-green jobs, and tend to be less routinized. They are also heterogeneous in terms of skill level.
Giving young people the skills and tools to find a job is not only good for their own prospects and self-esteem, it is also good for economic growth, social cohesion and widespread well-being. That’s why investing in youth must be a policy priority the world over. This page provides an overview of OECD work on the topic of youth.
The OECD has just released a new working paper by Thor Berger and Carl Frey which provides a systematic overview of the literature examining the impact of digitalisation on labour markets. The paper highlights some well-known as well as some lesser-known facts about digitalisation, deindustrialisation and the future of work.
Low birth rates have become a pressing issue in Italy and many young Italians feel they do not enjoy the necessary economic stability to plan ahead and start a family. Education that matches the skill needs of employers leading to work-based learning in the form of apprenticeships can be useful to help young Italians plan ahead and to sustain the much needed increase in the birth rate.
Despite unprecedented progress over the past century, gender gaps in the labour market persist throughout the emerging world and are accompanied by important skill gaps. Women tend to perform worse in STEM subjects, have lower financial literacy and business knowledge than men. The OECD Employment Outlook 2016 paints an up-to-date picture of gender gaps in 16 emerging economies and outlines a comprehensive set of policy recommendations.
The recently published Second International Report for the Survey of Adults Skills looks in detail at the extent to which proficiency in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments matters for the well-being of individuals and nations. The answer that emerges is clear: proficiency is positively linked to a number of important economic and social outcomes.
This chapter analyses how skills are used at work, why skills use matters for workers and economies and its key determinants. It draws on data for the 28 OECD countries participating in the Survey of Adult Skills.