Education Indicators in Focus

Education Indicators in Focus is a recurring series of briefs that highlight specific indicators in OECD’s Education at a Glance that are of particular interest to policy makers and practitioners. They provide a detailed look into current issues in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, higher education, and adult outcomes from a global perspective, and contain an engaging mix of text, tables and charts that describe the international context of the most pressing questions in education policy and practice.

English Also available in: French

How Can Countries Best Produce a Highly-qualified Young Labour Force?

  • In an economically uncertain world, countries must balance the need for austerity with the need to invest in building a high-quality workforce.
  • There is only a weak relationship between spending per student and tertiary attainment rates – the same level of spending can produce very different outcomes in different countries.
  • The amount of time students spend getting their qualification varies widely across OECD countries but more time spent in education does not produce a better-qualified workforce.
  • The risk of an over-educated population seems small: higher participation rates do not lead to higher graduate unemployment. Rather, the widening employment gap between the most and the least educated suggests countries should continue to aim for a highly-qualified young workforce.

English Also available in: French

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