OECD Skills Strategy 2019: skills to shape a better future
Since its launch in 2012, the OECD Skills Strategy has aimed to support Members and Partners to achieve their economic and social ambitions by strengthening their skills systems. The strategy was developed as a horizontal OECD project bringing together the perspectives of all relevant committees and was prepared by a cross-directorate team.
Since 2013, the OECD Skills Strategy has “gone national” with the development of tailored national skills strategy projects carried out in close co-operation with interministerial teams. Each national skills strategy project supports countries in developing national skills strategies by building on comparative OECD data, analysis and policy insights. Each project is designed to encourage a whole-of-government approach and, through a series of interactive workshops, engages relevant stakeholders to identify strengths and challenges of the current national skills system, explore policy options and develop an action plan.
To date, projects have been completed in ten OECD Member countries (Austria, Belgium [Flanders], Italy, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain) and in one non-Member (Peru). In Norway, Portugal and Slovenia, the initial project was followed up by a second project, which investigated a specific challenge identified in the first phase in greater detail, providing further in-depth analysis and recommendations.
Much has been learned by the OECD since the launch of the original OECD Skills Strategy, and these lessons are incorporated in this update of the strategy. Specifically, the 2019 OECD Skills Strategy: takes account of the lessons learned from applying the OECD Skills Strategy framework in 11 countries; summarises new evidence about the implications of so-called megatrends, such as globalisation, digitalisation, population ageing and migration; and provides new evidence about skills policies that work.
In taking stock of the above, the 2019 OECD Skills Strategy introduces a number of improvements, including: a revised OECD Skills Strategy framework; a new OECD Skills Strategy Dashboard; key policy insights, good practice examples and policy recommendations for developing relevant skills, using skills effectively and strengthening the governance of skills systems.
The structure of this document:
- Chapter 1 (“Re-engineering skills systems”) summarises the key messages of the report.
- Chapter 2 (“Updating the OECD Skills Strategy”) introduces the 2019 OECD Skills Strategy. It highlights what is new, including the revised OECD Skills Strategy framework, analysis of the skills implications of megatrends, a new OECD Skills Strategy Dashboard, and the identification of key policy findings and good practice examples for developing relevant skills, using skills effectively and strengthening the governance of skills systems. Finally, the chapter introduces and explains the three components of the updated 2019 Skills Strategy framework: 1) developing relevant skills over the life course; 2) using skills effectively in work and society; and 3) strengthening the governance of skills systems.
- Chapter 3 (“The skills implications of megatrends”) explains how a number of megatrends – including technological change, globalisation, and demographic changes – are making skills more important than ever for success in today’s world. It explores the combined implications of these trends, including: their implications for the types of skills that will be needed for success in the future; the imperative of a lifelong learning approach; the imperative of ensuring more equitable opportunities and outcomes; and the imperative of making better use of technology as a learning pathway.
- Chapter 4 (“Developing relevant skills over the life course”) presents the OECD Skills Strategy Dashboard for developing relevant skills over the life course. It explores five policy priorities for improving performance in developing relevant skills: 1) raising aspirations for lifelong learning; 2) providing a good start for lifelong learning; 3) making lifelong learning affordable and sustainable; 4) making lifelong learning visible and rewarding; and 5) making lifelong learning accessible and relevant. It also presents a good number of country case studies from across the membership of the OECD.
- Chapter 5 (“Using skills effectively in work and society”) presents the OECD Skills Strategy Dashboard for using skills effectively. It explores a series of policy priorities relating to the use of skills, including: 1) promoting labour market participation; 2) promoting social participation; 3) expanding the pool of available talent; 4) making intensive use of skills in the workplace; 5) reducing skills imbalances; and 6) stimulating demand for high-level skills. It also presents a good number of country case studies from across the membership of the OECD.
- Chapter 6 (“Strengthening the governance of skills systems”) introduces the dimensions of effective governance of skills systems: 1) promoting co-ordination, co-operation and collaboration across the whole of government; 2) engaging stakeholders throughout the policy cycle; 3) building integrated information systems; and 4) aligning and coordinating financing arrangements. Once again, it presents a good number of country case studies from across the membership of the OECD.