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Globalisation and rapid technological change, together with demographic developments are reshaping skill demands and supply in all countries. These trends are expected to continue in the coming years at an increasing pace and to substantially affect Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) countries. Technological change is reshaping people’s lives, workplaces and economies, profoundly transforming the world of work and, in turn, the skills demanded by employers.

Skills are crucial to thrive in such increasingly changing landscapes and the extent to which individuals will be able to harness the benefits stemming from technological progress will depend on their ability to maintain relevant skills over their working careers and the preparedness of their country’s adult learning system.

This report draws on the new information contained in the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), the Skills for Jobs database as well as other international databases to assess the readiness of LAC countries’ adult learning systems to the new and upcoming challenges of the future of work.

In particular, this report identifies the specific megatrends that are reshaping the world of work in LAC countries by looking at the potential disruptive impact that automation and technological change will have on workers and firms in the region. The report also discusses the substantial impact that population ageing and demographic changes will have on adult learning systems and suggests ways to prepare countries and firms to effectively react to these changes.

Several specific challenges emerge. Among those, the report provides an overview of the most salient gaps that affect the inclusiveness of adult learning systems in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. It also discusses the actions that can be taken to make the access more inclusive and to boost participation of adults in learning activities. The report also provides an assessment of the role of government, employers and individuals in the governance and financing of adult learning. It discusses the limits of existing approaches and provides examples of international best practices to improve the co-ordination and coherence across all actors of the adult learning system.

This report was prepared by Elena Crivellaro from the OECD Centre for Skills, under the supervision of Fabio Manca (Head of the Skills Analysis team). Montserrat Gomendio (Head of the OECD Centre for Skills) and Andrew Bell (Head of the National Skills Strategy project) provided guidance, oversight and comments. Stefano Scarpetta (OECD Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs) ensured strategic oversight for the project. The report has benefitted from helpful comments provided by staff at the Banco Santander.

Jennifer Cannon co-ordinated production and provided valuable support in the editorial process, while Rasa Silyte-Niavas provided administrative support.

This report was made possible by a financial contribution from Banco Santander. The views expressed in this report should not be taken to reflect the official position of Banco Santander. This report is published under the responsibility of the Secretary-General of the OECD.

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