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Getting Skills Right: Future-Ready Adult Learning Systems

image of Getting Skills Right: Future-Ready Adult Learning Systems

With digitalisation, deepening globalisation and population ageing, the world of work is changing. The extent to which individuals, firms and economies can harness the benefits of these changes critically depends on the readiness of adult learning systems to help people develop relevant skills for this changing world of work. This report presents the key results from the Priorities for Adult Learning (PAL) Dashboard which facilitates comparisons between countries along seven dimensions of the readiness of adult learning systems to address future skill challenges. Based on the dashboard, the report highlights in which areas action is needed, and policy examples from OECD and emerging countries throughout the report illustrate how these actions could be implemented.

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Executive summary

The world of work is changing. New technologies, globalisation, and population ageing are having a profound impact on the type and quality of jobs that are available and the skill‑sets they require. For instance, the number of manufacturing jobs has decreased in advanced economies in the past decades, and an increasing number of the remaining jobs in this sector now require the ability to operate, monitor and maintain advanced industrial robots. At the same time, new jobs requiring new combinations of skills have emerged, such as data scientists, web developer or social media manager. Further changes are expected in the future. For example, the latest OECD research suggests that, should current cutting-edge technology become widespread, 32% of current jobs across the 32 countries analysed are likely to see significant changes in how they are carried out and a further 14% of jobs could be completely automated.

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