Skills and Work

Assessing and responding to changing skill needs


Skills are a major driving force of growth through their effect on labour productivity. They are essential for young people to enter the labour market, access good-quality jobs and embark in successful careers. They are also crucial for adults to keep abreast of technological developments and maintain their employability in a rapidly changing and inter-dependent world.

At OECD, the relationship between skills and the labour market is the object of in-depth research and policy analysis. This includes the measurement of skill requirements in the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), thematic analysis on the links between skills and key labour market outcomes, as well as the assessment and policy response to changing skill needs. The OECD is also extending its work on skills to G20 economies and some low-income countries and has developed an international database on employment and skills indicators (WISE).

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Assessing and responding to changing skill needs

As the OECD Skills Strategy has shown, skills transform lives and drive economies. But this requires developing the right skills that respond to labour-market needs and ensuring that these skills are fully utilised by individuals and employers. The OECD can assist countries in three broad areas: (1) Establish good practice in the assessment of existing and emerging skill needs; (2) Help countries to strengthen the responsiveness of their employment, education and migration policies to changing skill needs; and (3) Identify effective strategies to tackle the mismatch between workers’ skills and labour market requirements.


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