OECD Skills Outlook 2019

Thriving in a Digital World

image of OECD Skills Outlook 2019

Economies and societies are undergoing digital transformations that bring both opportunities and challenges and countries’ preparedness to seize the benefits of a digital world is largely dependent on the skills of their population. This edition of the OECD Skills Outlook 2019 aims to understand how policies, and in particular those that affect skills development and use, can shape the outcomes of digital transformation and translate into more equally shared benefits among and within countries’ populations. Ensuring people can benefit from new technologies and are not left behind requires a comprehensive and co-ordinated policy effort. This package of co-ordinated policies needs to simultaneously promote digitalisation where the latter increases productivity and well-being, and otherwise cushion its negative impacts.

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Executive summary

New digital technologies, including information and communication technologies (ICTs), artificial intelligence and robotics, are reshaping the way people live, work and learn. Digitalisation presents immense potential to boost productivity and improve well-being. It can give people more power over what they learn, where and when they work, and how they engage in society. However, it can also increase inequalities if some people or regions are left behind. By improving the skills of their populations, countries can ensure the new technologies translate into better outcomes for all. This requires a comprehensive and co-ordinated policy intervention, with skills-related policies as the cornerstone of this package.


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