The demand for soft skills is increasing, and recent evidence suggests that the supply does not seem to keep up. The benefits from further development of these skills go beyond better labour market outcomes, as soft skills have been shown to contribute to overall well-being.
A more skilled population ahead: age or cohort effects? Evidence from PIAAC and the differences in policies approach.
Tax incentives are used widely across OECD countries to incentivise individuals to invest in education and training, but are they effective? Recent evidence from the USA highlights the risk of creating overly complex systems in which the embedded incentives are no longer fully understood by individuals. This carries an important lesson for other countries in designing their own tax measures for skills investments.
Workers can be mismatched by qualifications while their skills are, in fact, adequate for their jobs. This situation, ‘apparent’ qualification mismatch is more common in certain fields of study than in others and speaks to the need of strengthening the links between employers, education providers and students to share information on the true skills, to avoid true skills mismatch.
A range of OECD analysis has been exploring the relationship between digitalisation, jobs and skills, the magnitude of potential job substitution due to technological change, the relationship between globalisation and wage polarisation, as well as the changes to the organisation of work. This post focused on a recent paper on Automation.
The world of work is in flux as a result of digitisation, the development of the digital economy and broad technological change. These processes, coupled with globalisation, population ageing and changes in work organisation, will shape the world of work and raise challenges to public policy in unknown ways.
Recent fires in Fort McMurray draw attention to a town that has been a prime destination for internal mobility in Canada over the past decades. This post discusses the role that geographical internal mobility can play in improving the matching of skill demand and skill supply in a national labour market, while also noting some of the barriers to labour mobility and potential economic and social costs.
Analysis relying on a new OECD measure of the routine intensity of occupations shows the extent to which countries differ in the share of employment accounted for by routine jobs. It finds that while technological innovation is always associated with higher employment, ICTs correlates positively with employment in all occupations but not in high-routine jobs. Finally, offshoring need not hurt routine-intensive workers.
Digitalisation, globalisation, demographic shifts and other changes in work organisation are constantly reshaping skill needs. This can lead to persistent skill shortages and mismatch which are costly for individuals, firms and society in terms of lost wages and lower productivity and growth. These costs can be reduced through better assessment and anticipation of changing skill needs and by improving the responsiveness of skills development to these changes.
This report identifies effective strategies for improving labour market information on skill needs and ensuring that this information is used effectively to develop the right skills. It provides a comparative assessment of practices across 29 countries in the following areas: i) the collection of information on existing and future skill needs; ii) the use of this information to guide skill development policies in the areas of labour, education and migration; and iii) governance arrangements to ensure good co-ordination among the key stakeholders in the collection and use of skill needs information.
Job displacement (involuntary job loss due to firm closure or downsizing) affects many workers over their lifetime. Displaced workers may face long periods of unemployment and, even when they find new jobs, tend to be paid less and have fewer benefits than in their prior jobs. Helping them get back into good jobs quickly should be a key goal of labour market policy. This report is the fourth in a series of reports looking at how this challenge is being tackled in a number of OECD countries. It shows that many displaced workers get new jobs relatively quickly in Australia, mostly thanks to a flexible and dynamic labour market. A small minority of displaced workers receive special support via the labour adjustment programmes, but some displaced workers who would need specific assistance, in particular in the older worker and/or low-educated groups, do not get sufficient support or only too late. There is room to improve policies by moving away from the current sectoral approach to special assistance programmes for workers collectively dismissed, towards an approach covering all sectors of the economy, with the intensity of intervention tailored to the circumstances and needs of the displaced workers. Expanding the training component for displaced workers and making use of skills assessment and training to better target the training and enhance its effectiveness would also help displaced workers transition to sustainable jobs of a certain quality.