OECD Forum 2014: Addressing the Talent Gap
Monday 5 May
10:30 - 13:00
Room 6

Despite persistently high unemployment rates, employers have difficulty filling millions of jobs and the inability to find enough skilled talent has become a key concern. Young people need to be equipped with a range of skills to succeed in today's complex marketplace. Business and policymakers are looking beyond tertiary education to apprenticeships as a possible way of addressing the talent mismatch, and improving job prospects.

Apprenticeships alone are not a panacea for the employment crisis, but can do a lot to help. Countries with strong traditions of apprenticeships (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), proved resilient during the 2008 downturn; and registered less than 9% youth unemployment, compared to the OECD average of 16%. Many OECD countries are building on their experience and introducing strategies that target the skills mismatch. The OECD included apprenticeships as one of the key points in its Action Plan for Youth, while the G20 has called for greater investment in apprenticeships.

But for apprenticeship programmes to be adopted in more countries, a number of structural issues need to be addressed, e.g. skill certification, age restrictions and financing. Forum 2014 will explore the frameworks that need to be put in place to promote apprenticeships schemes, such as the Global Apprenticeships Network that aims to develop quality apprenticeships and support employment for youth through multi-stakeholder dialogue, partnerships and concrete action.

Articles and blogs

Further reading


Keynote speaker
Scene setting