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Developing and using people’s skills effectively is crucial for Poland’s economic prosperity and social cohesion.

Globalisation, digitalisation and demographic change are combining to increase and transform the skills needed to thrive in Polish workplaces and society. People will need a stronger and more well-rounded set of skills, including cognitive, social and emotional, and job-specific skills, to flourish in life both in and out of work. Poland will also need to make better use of people’s skills in the labour market and in individual workplaces.

Poland has achieved relatively strong skills performance in various areas. In terms of developing people’s skills, Poland’s youth perform relatively well in the school years1, and an increasing number complete tertiary education. In terms of using people’s skills, the unemployment rate in Poland is at record low levels, and labour market participation has grown for most groups.

However, Poland faces several complex skills challenges. Skills imbalances are high, and some graduates enter the labour market without a strong and well-rounded set of skills. Many adults have low levels of skills, yet most adults and enterprises in Poland are not engaged in education and training. Polish enterprises are not utilising the full potential of workers’ skills to support productivity and innovation.

In recent years, Poland has enacted wide-ranging skills policy reforms spanning all levels of education and training, as well as many areas of labour market policy. Their successful implementation will require strong stakeholder engagement and careful impact monitoring.

Poland has also developed an Integrated Skills Strategy to set the country’s priorities for skills development and activation. To support this process, the OECD has conducted a Skills Strategy project with Poland. This has involved detailed analysis and widespread engagement with stakeholders, leading to several tailored recommendations outlined in this report.

The OECD stands ready to support Poland as it seeks to implement effective skills policies and continue its transition to a knowledge-based economy and society.

← 1. This publication takes into account data from the 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

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