OECD Economics Department Working Papers

ISSN: 
1815-1973 (online)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/18151973
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Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

 

Improving productivity and job quality of low-skilled workers in the United Kingdom You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
Sanne Zwart, Mark Baker
10 Jan 2018
Bibliographic information
No.:
1457
Pages:
36
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/14dfd584-en

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More than a quarter of adults in the United Kingdom have low basic skills, which has a negative impact on career prospects, job quality and productivity growth. Furthermore, unlike most other countries, young adults do not have stronger basic skills than the generation approaching retirement. The lack of skills development starts at young ages and continues in secondary education; despite a modest reduction in recent years, the educational attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students remains high. The low participation in lifelong learning of low-skilled individuals puts them at risk of falling behind in meeting the changing skill demands of the dynamic labour market. Ongoing reforms to the vocational education and training (VET) system and apprenticeship system should have a positive impact on low-skilled productivity, enabling students to gain the necessary basic skills and for workers to find quality jobs. Improving the targeting of active labour market policies, and ensuring that the ongoing increases in the national living wage are delivered in a sustainable way will also play an important role in improving job quality and reducing the high rate of youth neither employed or in education or training. Policy responses to the rise of non-standard work will also be essential in improving the job quality of the low-skilled.
Keywords:
low-skilled, Productivity, social mobility, job quality
JEL Classification:
  • E24: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy / Employment ; Unemployment ; Wages ; Intergenerational Income Distribution ; Aggregate Human Capital ; Aggregate Labor Productivity
  • H75: Public Economics / State and Local Government ; Intergovernmental Relations / State and Local Government: Health ; Education ; Welfare ; Public Pensions
  • J24: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Human Capital ; Skills ; Occupational Choice ; Labor Productivity
  • J62: Labor and Demographic Economics / Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers / Job, Occupational, and Intergenerational Mobility
 
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