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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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Policies to reduce skill imbalances

Skills imbalances have become a widespread concern among policy makers. Beyond the assessment and anticipation of skill needs in an attempt to prevent skill imbalances, governments are focusing on finding solutions for those imbalances that inevitably arise. Actions to foster a better matching between supply and demand span education, lifelong learning, and active and passive labour market policies. Action may be needed on several fronts, including policies which target the demand for skills, their supply, or both. In some of the countries reviewed, shortages in high-level skills are motivated by high unmet demand, while in others they arise because of limited supply.

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