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Better skills, better jobs, better lives

Treasury, Wellington, 9 July 2013

Andreas Schleicher

on 17 July 2013

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Transcript of Better skills, better jobs, better lives

We know that...
A strategic approach
Better skills
Better jobs
Better lives

Policy implementation
but skills don't automatically translate into better outcomes
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
(cc) photo by Franco Folini on Flickr
(cc) photo by jimmyharris on Flickr
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr

because skills have an increasing impact on labour market outcomes and social participation

because failure to ensure a good skills match has both short- term consequences (skills shortages) and longer-term effects on economic growth and equality of opportunities

We know what those skills are that drive economic and social outcomes
Governments build strong skills systems and effective partnerships with
key stakeholders to find sustainable approaches to who should
pay for what, when and where
What skills?
The right mix of skills is being taught and learned in effective, equitable and efficient ways
Economies and labour-markets fully utilize their skill potential
PIAAC and other data
Comparative analysis
OECD Skills Strategy
Integrate OECD’s
unique intelligence on skills, including PIAAC
Country studies, policy implementation
Help countries develop their own national skills strategies and prioritise investment of scarce resources in skills development
Foster peer learning between countries and the building of strategic partnerships between stakeholders to implement
effective skills policy
Strategic Advisory Gruop
Education Policy Committee

CERI Governing Board

PIAAC Governing Board
Committee on Fiscal Affairs
Employmebnt, Labour and Social Affairs Committee

on skills policies
A horizontal project with many actors

Success with converting skills into jobs and growth depends on whether...
Work overseen by the
includes also
Find out more
The Skills Strategy helps countries figure out how differnt
policies interact and helps countries optimise and align them
No one-size-fits all solutions
Redistribution of investments in skills over the lifecycle
Market-oriented, social-partner-led, state-led partnerships, developmental skills system
Ageing socieities vs. developing econmies with large youth populations
Many actors
composed of delegates from Committees
Getting the best returns on investment in skills requires the capacity to assess the quality and quantity of the skills available in the population, determine and anticipate the skills required in the labour market, and develop and deploy available skills in the most effective and equitable ways over the lifecycle of people. It also requires strong governance arrangements and sustainable approaches to who should pay for what, when and how, particularly for learning beyond school.
Lifelong learning helps countries to improve the stock of skills
Understanding changing
demand for skills
Improving quality and equity
of education and training
Sharing costs fairly among
governments, individuals and employers
Involving employers in designing curricula and delivering education programmes
Involving trade unions in providing on-the-job training
Facilitating entry for skilled migrants
Investing in skills abroad and encourage cross-border higher education
Making it easier for international students to remain in the country
Lifelong learning needs to combine with efforts to make better use of talent
Identifying inactive individuals
and why they are inactive
Creating incentives
that make it pay to work
Dismantling non-financial barriers
to participation in the labour force
Helping people work longer
Limiting 'brain drain'
Lifelong learning helps countries improve social and economic outcomes when peoples skills are matched to demand effectively .
Helping employers to make
better use of their employees’ skills
Provide better information about the skills needed and available
Make qualifications
more transparent
Help young people gain a foothold in the labour market
Facilitate internal mobility
Create more high value-added jobs
Help local economies to move up the value chain
Foster entrepreneurship
OECD Skills Strategy
Future work
OECD Skills Outlook
National Skills Strategies
The OECD Skills Strategy, applied in concert with related OECD assessment instruments and tools, can help countries to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of diverse actors in the different facets of skills policies, identify and fill knowledge gaps, and design and implement strategic and evidence-based approaches to skills policies. The OECD can help countries develop National Skills Strategies
PIAAC is a first-of-its-kind instrument that directly assesses key skills and provides data on the use of these skills on the job, and on the associated economic and social outcomes. It provides an empirical base for comparative analytical work as well as a benchmarking tool for countries
With its mix of comparative analysis and country-specific studies the OECD Skills Outlook provides insights into the design and implementation of
effective skills policies

An interactive online portal for skills, skills.oecd will allow governments, researchers and other users to access the OECD’s rich stock of data and analysis in the most up-to-date form.
The OECD Skills Strategy provides a framework to help countries identify the strengths and weaknesses of their national skills systems, benchmark them internationally, and develop policies that can transform better skills into better jobs, economic growth and social inclusion
Other tools for benchmarking
Fostering demand-sensitive and relevant learning involving employers
Fostering lifelong skills-oriented learning instead of qualifications-focused education upfront in life course
By seeing skills as a tool to be honed over an individual’s lifetime, a strategic approach allows countries to assess the impact of different kinds of learning – from early childhood education through formal schooling to formal and informal learning throughout a lifetime – with the aim of balancing the allocation of resources to maximise economic and social outcomes.
Prioritising investments
Combining short-term and long-term considerations
A whole-of-government approach
Aligning perspectives of different levels of government and multiple stakeholders
A lifecycle perspective
It is costly to develop a population’s skills, so skills policies need to be designed so that these investments reap the greatest economic and social benefits
Effective skills policies are needed to respond to structural and cyclical challenges, such as rising unemployment when economies contract or acute skills shortages when sectors boom, and to ensure longer-term strategic planning for the skills that are needed to foster a competitive edge and support required structural changes.
Skills policies straddle a broad range of policy fields, including education, science and technology, employment and social policies. In addition, there are links to many other policy fields such as economic development, migration and integration, or public finance. Aligning policies among these diverse fields helps to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure efficiency. It also helps policy makers to identify policy trade-offs that may be required.
With major geographical variations in the supply of and the demand for skills within countries, there is a strong rationale for considering skills policies at the local level. This would help countries to align national aspirations with local needs.
Governance between government-led and market-oriented skills systems
Spending time in education is one thing; learning is another. Education and training institutions need to be governed by a clear quality-assurance framework that serves both accountability and improvement purposes. Workplace training should also be subject to quality control, in the form of contractual arrangements, inspections and self-evaluations
Employers can have to create a climate that supports learning, and invest in learning, and individuals must be willing to develop their skills throughout their working life. Governments can design financial incentives and favourable tax policies that encourage individuals and employers to invest in post-compulsory education and training
Compared to purely government-designed curricula taught in exclusively school-based systems, learning in the workplace offers important advantages
While skills policies are typically designed nationally, an increasing number of employers operate internationally and must derive their skills from both local sources and a global talent pool. Some countries have therefore started to consider skills policies beyond their national borders and have begun to invest in the skills of people in other countries.
Targeting activation policies efficiently requires identifying inactive individuals and their reasons for inactivity
Costly childcare services, tax systems that make work economically unattractive, or benefit systems that offer better compensation compared with expected salaries can make it uneconomical to work
Inflexible working conditions can make it difficult for people with care obligations and individuals with disabilities to participate in the labour force. Less rigid working-time arrangements and improved working conditions, particularly for workers with health problems, can also make employment more attractive to these traditionally inactive groups.
In the case of under-skilling, public policies can help to identify workers with low levels of foundation skills and offer an incentive to both employees and employers to invest in skills development to meet the requirements of the job. When the skills available aren’t adequately used, better management practices are needed. As workers assume more responsibility for identifying and tackling problems, they are also more likely to ‘learn by doing’, which in turn can spark innovation.
Quality career guidance becomes a critical part of any skills strategy. Coherent and easy-to-interpret qualifications can help employers to understand which skills are held by potential employees, making it easier to match a prospective employee to a job. Continuous certification that incorporates non-formal and informal learning over the working life is also essential, as is recognition of foreign diplomas.
Reducing costs and other barriers associated with internal mobility helps employees to find suitable jobs and helps employers to find suitable workers
Government programmes can influence both employer competitiveness strategies (how a company organises its work to gain competitive advantage in the markets in which it is operating) and product-market strategies, which determine in what markets the company competes.
Government programmes can influence both employer competitiveness strategies (how a company organises its work to gain competitive advantage in the markets in which it is operating) and product-market strategies, which determine in what markets the company competes.
...Skills change lives...
...and drive economies
Next step: Develop empirically-based benchmarking tools for countries
Sectoral composition of economies
Better skills,
better jobs,
better lives
Lifelong learning
Find out more at...
OECD Adult Skills Survey
The survey (a product of PIAAC) provides first-of-its kind data on the skills adults have, how they use them, and what the associated economic and social outcomes are
OECD Skills Outlook
With its mix of comparative analysis and country-specific studies the OECD Skills Outlook provides insights into the design and implementation of effective skills policies

The interactive online portal www.skills.oecd allows governments, researchers and other users to access the OECD’s rich stock of data and analysis in the most up-to-date form.
Greater transparency of returns
Information and guidance for potential learners
Recognising learning outcomes
Flexible delivery that allows learners to decide what to learn when and how
Career Services (CS) (New Zealand)
Advanced data systems (Australia)
My Skills, My Future (US)
Regional knowledge centres for immigrants (Denmark)
Training programmes for highly qualified refugees (Netherlands)
European Qualifications Framework (EQF)
European Credit System for VET (ECVET)
Investors in People (UK)
Employer Ownership of Skills (UK)
Growth and Innovation Fund (UK)
Silicon Valley (US)
'Better, not cheaper' (Germany)
Riviera del Brenta (Italy)
Centre for entrepreneurs (Germany)
Ethnic Minority Business Service (UK)
Wellington, 9 July 2013
Learning a place



Bureaucratic look-upwards


Public vs. private

Delivered wisdom



Culture as obstacle

Learning an activity


Informed profession

Devolved-look outwards


Public with private

User-generated wisdom

Embracing diversity


Culture as capital

PISA Learning Outcomes (15-year-olds)
The kinds of skills that are easiest to teach and easiest to test are also easiest to digitize, automate and outsource
Full transcript