OECD Forum 2014: Skills, Empowerment, Resilience - Skills and the Digital Economy
Monday 5 May
15:15 - 16:45
Green Amphitheatre
Parallel session

Knowledge promotes many of the behaviours and emotions that are needed in a thriving economy, including a willingness to share, to co-operate with others, be tolerant of those outside of one’s social circle, and be resilient to change. Skills and education act as social glue with an impact going far beyond higher salaries and better jobs. The recent OECD Survey of Adult Skills shows that individuals with lower proficiency in literacy are more likely than those with better skills to report poor health, to believe that they have little impact on political processes, and not to participate in associative or volunteer activities. In most countries, they are also less likely to trust others.

Education plays a major role in equalising opportunities and counteracting the erosion of core beliefs that hold society together. Policy needs to be involved in, not only raising average skill levels, but most importantly in ensuring access to education and skills.

By 2020 90% of jobs will require digital skills, but – according to the OECD Survey of Adult Skills – only 50% of students between 16 and 24 are digitally competent, dropping to 30% between the ages of 16 and 65. Young people in disadvantaged areas are especially important to reach. They have the most to gain from the digital revolution, but unless they get the access and opportunity they will be left even further behind.

Articles and blogs

Further reading


Keynote speaker
Scene setting