OECD Skills Outlook 2015

OECD Skills Outlook 2015

Youth, Skills and Employability You do not have access to this content

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27 May 2015
9789264234178 (PDF) ;9789264210875(print)

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Young people around the world are struggling to enter the labour market. In some OECD countries, one in four 16-29 year-olds is neither employed nor in education or training. The OECD Skills Outlook 2015 shows how improving the employability of youth requires a comprehensive approach. While education , social, and labour market policies have key roles to play, co-ordination between public policies and the private sector is also crucial. The publication, which builds on the results of the 2012 Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) presented in the first edition of the Skills Outlook, also presents examples of successful policies in selected countries.

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  • Foreword and Acknowledgements

    The transition from school to work has never been particularly easy; but for millions of young people in OECD countries, it has become nearly impossible. Seven years after the 2008 global economic crisis, more than 35 million 16-29 year-olds across OECD countries are neither employed nor in education or training. In fact, young people are twice as likely as prime-age workers to be unemployed. Many of the young people who do manage to find work are not using the skills they acquired during their schooling. And one in four young people who are employed is working on a temporary contract – which limits the opportunities to advance in a career or even to participate in further training. Giving young people a good start to their independent working lives has become a major challenge across OECD countries today.

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  • Executive Summary

    In 2013, 39 million 16-29 year-olds across OECD countries were neither employed nor in education or training (NEET) – 5 million more than before the economic crisis of 2008. And estimates for 2014 show little improvement. The numbers are particularly high in southern European countries that were hardest hit by the crisis. In Greece and Spain, for example, more than 25% of young adults were NEET in 2013. More worrying still: around half of all NEETs – some 20 million young people – are out of school and not looking for work. As such, they may have dropped off the radar of their country’s education, social, and labour market systems.

  • Designing a comprehensive strategy to foster young people's skills and employability

    Youth unemployment rates remain high in most OECD countries and, according to the most recent data, more than 15% of youth aged 16-29 were neither in employment nor in education or training in OECD countries in 2013. Countries have already done a lot to raise youth skills and employability. This chapter offers an overview of the whole report, and discusses how countries can continue with reforms by adopting a consistent and comprehensive strategy and engaging all stakeholders.

  • Trends in improving young people's education and skills

    Education and skills are central to employability. Young people who leave school before they achieve a sufficient level of proficiency in literacy and numeracy find it difficult to enter the labour market. Increasingly, employers are looking for workers who are not only proficient in these cognitive skills, but who can also apply those skills to solve problems, and who are also deft in "soft" skills, such as communicating and working well in a team. This chapter offers an overview of how education today, including compulsory schooling, vocational education and training, and tertiary education, prepares young people for the world of work.

  • Policies towards improving young people's education and skills

    All levels of education – from pre-primary to tertiary – and all modes of education – from learning on the job to massive open online courses – can help to prepare young people for the world of work. This chapter focuses on how governments, policy makers and educators can ensure that all young people leave school well-equipped to enter – and succeed in – the labour market.

  • Trends in integrating youth into the labour market

    Many young people face difficulties integrating into the labour market. Transitions from school-to-work can take time and include spells of unemployment and short-term contracts. In addition, some youth disengage from education and the labour market; they are not in employment, education or training, often referred to as NEETs. The economic crisis has exacerbated the challenges faced by youth to find a job and maintain employment. This chapter offers an overview of how youth are integrated into the labour market. It also looks at those who have disengaged from education and the labour market and attempts to assess their distance from the labour market in terms of educational attainment, skills and additional barriers they may face.

  • Policies towards integrating youth into the labour market

    Ensuring that all youth leave the education system with the right skills and linking education systems more closely with the labour market (as discussed in Chapter 3) are crucial, but not enough to close the gap between the world of study and the world of work. This chapter discusses how labour market institutions and specific policies can ease youth’s transition towards employment and help those who are not in employment, education or training to re-engage with education or find a job.

  • Trends in using young people's skills at work

    When they enter the world of work, young people need to use and enhance their skills to strengthen their employability. Many young people who have just left the education system are likely to have the most up-todate skills in certain areas. At the same time, these skills may not be fully in line with employers’ needs and making full use of them will take time. Some youth find that the skills they have acquired at school are simply not needed on the labour market. This chapter discusses how young people’s skills are used at work.

  • Policies towards using young people's skills at work

    This chapter discusses policies to improve the match between skills and jobs, to encourage youth to make better use of their skills on the job and to remove barriers to entrepreneurship, which can be an alternative for youth to use their skills. Many different policies influence the use of skills and the matching process both on the side of employees and employers, and therefore, efforts should be on many fronts: removing barriers to geographical mobility, designing consistent national and international qualification frameworks but also promoting effective work organisations and removing barriers to youth entrepreneurship.

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