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Forecasting Labour Markets in OECD Countries

Measuring and Tackling Mismatches

Edited by Michael Neugart and Klaus Schömann

This book offers a wide-ranging overview of the state of labour market forecasting in selected OECD countries. Besides presenting forecasting models, the contributions provide an introduction to past experiences of forecasting, highlight the requirements for building appropriate data sets and present the most up-to-date forecasts available.
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Chapter 1: Why Forecast and For Whom? Some Introductory Remarks

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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