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Getting Skills Right: Good Practice in Adapting to Changing Skill Needs

A Perspective on France, Italy, Spain, South Africa and the United Kingdom

image of Getting Skills Right: Good Practice in Adapting to Changing Skill Needs

This report identifies effective strategies to tackle skills imbalances, based on five country-specific policy notes for France, Italy, Spain, South Africa and the United Kingdom. It provides a comparative assessment of practices and policies in the following areas: the collection and use of information on skill needs to foster a better alignment of skills acquisitions with labour market needs; the design of education and training systems and their responsiveness to changing skill needs; the re-training of unemployed individuals; and the improvement of skills use and skills matching in the labour market. The assessment is based on country visits, desk research and data analysis conducted by the OECD secretariat in the five countries reviewed. Examples of good practice from other countries are also discussed.

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Evidence from the Skills for Jobs Database and the state of skill imbalances today

Market forces should help align skills demand and skills supply. However, due to time inconsistencies, rigidities or information gaps, the response of skills supply to changing demand (and vice versa) can be slow, generating skill imbalances. Understanding where these skill imbalances arise is crucial to design effective policy responses. To assist policy makers in doing so, the OECD has developed the Skills for Jobs Database, providing objective and comparable measures of skill shortages and mismatch for all European countries and South Africa. This chapter provides a summary of key findings for the five countries reviewed.

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