Measuring and Tackling Mismatches
Labour Markets and Employment Policy series
Edited by Michael Neugart and Klaus Schömann
Michael Neugart and Klaus Schömann1 THE WORLD IS CHANGING: ADAPTABILITY OF TRAINING AND EDUCATION SYSTEMS Nowadays there is widespread consensus among scholars and policymakers that investments in human capital confer beneﬁts on individuals, ﬁrms and societies. Better educated people have higher employment probabilities, are subject to a lower risk of unemployment and receive on average higher income (OECD, 1998). Positive eﬀects from education also accrue in the forms of economic growth, social cohesion and lower crime. However, the beneﬁts of a better trained workforce should not lead governments to support human capital investments irrespective of quality concerns. Even though education, training and lifelong learning policies seem to be a promising form of investment, resources need to be allocated in an eﬃcient way. No doubt this is a diﬃcult task. Some scholars advocate the hypothesis that technological progress, societal changes, and internationalization of product, capital and labour markets continue to evolve largely parallel to each other, and some even argue that these processes have been speeding up. This view challenges training and employment systems and the links between the two systems. Adaptability of the latter system, involving individual employees and ﬁrms as well as their representatives, such as trade unions and employers’ organizations, is decisive for achieving and maintaining prosperous economies. A successful policy has to take into account that education, training and lifelong learning policies must respond to shifts in the demand for skills and qualiﬁcations ﬂexibly, and in due time. The challenges...
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