By Annelore Verhagen
On 22 October, the OECD released the 2018 edition of its Skills for Jobs Database at a launch event in Paris. The updates and new results of the database were presented during an interactive session with employers, trade unions, government representatives, NGO’s, researchers and other stakeholders. At the event, Hervé Guignot (Lead Data Scientist – Expert in Labour Market Information) gave an inspiring talk about Labour Market Information and Skill Challenges for the Future and Anne Tangy (Director for Certifications at the French National Agency for Adult Vocational Training- AFPA) shared interesting insights on Skills, Competences and the Evolution of Jobs.
The OECD Skills for Jobs Database has been developed with the financial support of the JP Morgan Chase Foundation. It is a new analytical tool designed for policy makers, training providers, employers and workers, and the general public to gain insights into what skills are needed in today’s labour markets and where skill shortages are emerging.
The new wave of data now covers 40 countries with the addition of 9 countries – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Turkey and the United States. Data are now also available at the regional level for several countries (Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom). Moreover, the results are newly available at the sectoral level. This can help design more effective policies by providing robust information on skill demands at a very disaggregated level.
What do the new data show?
First, the data show that skill shortages continue to be most common among high-skilled occupations. On average across the OECD countries analysed by the Skills for Jobs database, the majority of jobs that are hard-to-fill (i.e. in shortage) are found in high-skilled occupations (Figure 1). These jobs range from managerial positions to highly skilled professionals in the health care, teaching or ICT sectors. Almost 40% of hard-to-fill jobs are found in medium-skilled occupations, such as personal service workers or electrical and electronic trades workers. In contrast, low-skilled occupations account for less than 1 in 10 jobs in shortage.
Second, the new data confirm that skill demands are shifting towards more complex, non-routine tasks as a result of digitalisation and globalisation. On average across OECD and EU countries alike, shortages are the strongest in the knowledge of Computers and Electronics (e.g. the knowledge of computer hardware and software, programming and application) followed closely by substantial demand for Judgment and Decision Making Skills and Verbal Abilities (written expression and comprehension and oral expression) (Figure 2).
Making the OECD Skills for Jobs indicators more accessible
The launch of the new OECD Skills for Jobs database is accompanied by a brand-new webpage to make access to the OECD Skills for Jobs database easier and more user-friendly for all audiences. Apart from interactive results on the intensity of skill demands across countries, the webpage allows the user to navigate the rich labour market information available at the occupational level to understand what skills are needed to move from occupations in surplus to others for which there is strong labour market demand. Check it out and stay tuned for more!