6.4. Education and training

Certain skills and qualifications, such as those related to science, engineering and ICTs are especially useful for thriving in the context of the digital transformation. In 2016, out of all tertiary graduates in OECD countries, 6% did so with degrees in natural sciences, mathematics and statistics; 14% in engineering, manufacturing and construction; and nearly 4% in ICT fields. It should be noted, though, that modern degree programmes in other fields can also endow students with relevant ICT skills. For example, graduates in the arts, graphic design, journalism and information, 6% of all tertiary graduates in OECD countries, are increasingly involved in activities related to production and management of digital content.

Firm-based training is an important means of complementing and building upon academic and other qualifications. Employees in highly digital-intensive industries are more likely than others to engage in training - by 7 percentage points on average, though differences vary markedly across the countries for which data are available. In general, employers in highly digital-intensive industries are more likely to engage in formal training, leading to official qualifications, than employees in less digital-intensive sectors, whereas the inverse is true for on-the-job training.

Workers performing non-routine tasks or ICT-intensive tasks are generally endowed with relatively higher skills than other workers are. Firm-based training helps to motivate and reward employees, as well as to align their competences to firms’ needs. Training may also help to reduce income inequality and provide low-skilled workers with the skills needed to navigate the digital transformation. Evidence nevertheless suggests that most training further upskills medium and high-skilled workers rather than being undertaken by lower skilled workers. In all countries high-skilled workers have the highest incidence of training, almost 75% on average, compared to almost 55% of medium-skilled workers engaging in training on average and 40% of low-skilled workers doing so. On average, in the countries considered, between 30% (the Russian Federation and Greece) and 76% (the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland) of workers engaged in some training. With the exception of Turkey, only a quarter or less of workers receiving training are low skilled, whereas high-skilled workers account for between a quarter (Austria) and three-quarters (Russian Federation) of those receiving training.

Did You Know?

Low-skilled workers are most in need of training to adapt to a digitalising workplace but are less likely to engage in firm-based training than other workers.

Definitions

Tertiary-level graduates are individuals who have obtained a degree at ISCED-2011 Levels 5 to 8.

The creative and content fields of study comprise the arts (including graphic design) journalism and information.

Firm-based training is employer-provided (i.e. funded) worker training.

Formal training refers to organised training undertaken outside of the work environment and results in the attainment of an official qualification.

On-the-job training may take place both inside or outside a firm, but does not typically lead to the attainment of a formal qualification.

Sectors were classified by digital intensity (high/medium-high/medium-low/low) using a number of dimensions (ICT investment and ICT intermediates, use of robots, online sales and ICT specialists) and then grouped by quartile. Highly digital-intensive sectors are those in the upper (“high”) quartile of digital intensity. Examples include transport equipment, ICT services, finance and insurance, legal and accounting, R&D, advertising and marketing. See page 2.9 for more information.

Measurability

Indicators on graduates by field of education are computed on the basis of annual data collected jointly by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the OECD and Eurostat. The data collection process aims to provide internationally comparable information on key aspects of education systems in more than 60 countries worldwide. See http://www.oecd.org/education/database.htm.

Firm-based training endows workers with the skills needed to perform in their job and to transition between jobs – which becomes especially important in an era of fast technological change that is changing the nature of jobs. The Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) surveys thousands of individuals in each participating country and gathers information on workers’ participation in training (among other aspects of their working life). Training figures are based on the number of employees that reported having received training at least once in the year. Both public and private sectors are covered. Numbers are weighted to obtain countrywide representativeness. Frequencies may hide differences in the length of the training period across individuals and countries.

Tertiary graduates in the natural sciences, engineering, ICTs, and creative and content fields of education, 2016
As a percentage of all tertiary graduates
picture

Source: OECD calculations based on OECD Education Database, September 2018. See 1.

1. The “Creative and content” field includes arts (including graphic design), journalism and information.

For Japan, “Creative and content” fields of education are not presented due to data availability.

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888933930687

Workers receiving firm-based training, highly digital-intensive and other sectors, 2012 or 2015
As a percentage of workers in each sector group
picture

Source: OECD calculations based on the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) Database, June 2017. See 1. StatLink contains more data.

1. Employed workers engaged in on-the-job training have undertaken a training activity either offered in the workplace or provided by external educational structures. Proportions are estimated by summing all workers in highly digital-intensive (vs. other) sectors, who engage in training, and dividing this by the sum of all workers employed in highly digital-intensive (vs. other) sectors.

Highly digital-intensive sectors are sectors ranked in the top quartile of the digital intensity of all sectors, as estimated in Calvino et al. (2018).

Point estimates and confidence intervals are estimated using PIAAC sampling and replicate.

The data for the following 23 countries from the first round of PIAAC refer to the year 2012: Australia, Austria, Belgium (Flanders), Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the Russian Federation (excluding Moscow), Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom (England and Northern Ireland) and the United States. Data for the remaining countries refer to 2015 and are sourced from the second round of the first wave of the PIAAC survey.

For the Russian Federation, the PIAAC sample does not include the population of the Moscow municipal area. The data published, therefore, do not represent the entire resident population aged 16-65, but rather the population of the Russian Federation excluding the population residing in the Moscow municipal area.

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888933930706

Workers receiving firm-based training, by skill level, 2012 or 2015
As a percentage of workers in each category
picture

Source: OECD calculations based on the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) Database, October 2018. See 1.

1. The percentages of trained people are calculated as the ratio of total employed persons displaying a given skill level and receiving training at least once in the year, over the number of a country’s workers displaying a given skill level. Training refers to formal, on-the-job or both types as defined in Squicciarini et al. (2015). Low-skilled individuals refers to persons who have not completed any formal education or have attained 1997 ISCED classification level 1 to 3C degrees (if 3C is lower than two years). Medium-skilled individuals have attained a 3C (longer than two years) to 4-level degree. High-skilled individuals have attained a higher than ISCED-1997 category 4 degree. Values are reweighted to be representative of the countries’ populations. The total trained workforce is the proportion of workers in a country who engaged in training at least once in the year.

The data for the following 23 countries from the first round of PIAAC refer to the year 2012: Australia, Austria, Belgium (Flanders), Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the Russian Federation (excluding Moscow), Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom (England and Northern Ireland) and the United States. Data for the remaining countries refer to 2015 and are sourced from the second round of the first wave of the PIAAC survey.

For the Russian Federation, the PIAAC sample does not include the population of the Moscow municipal area. The data published, therefore, do not represent the entire resident population aged 16-65, but rather the population of the Russian Federation excluding the population residing in the Moscow municipal area.

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888933930725

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