7.5 Recognize global trends when programming and policymaking

The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) shares through its 2012 report, The World at Work: Jobs, Pay, and Skills for 3.5 Billion People, that by 2020 the global economy may face the following hurdles:

  • “38 million to 40 million fewer workers with tertiary education (college or postgraduate degrees) than employers will need, or 13 percent of the demand for such workers
  •  45 million too few workers with secondary education in developing economies, or 15 percent of the demand for such workers
  • 90-95 million more low-skill workers (those without college training in advanced economies or without even secondary education in developing economies) than employers will need, or an 11 percent oversupply of such workers”

Following are key recommendations from the report:

  • Government and businesses need to simultaneously increase educational attainment and provide job-specific training to greater numbers. Market forces will reduce, but not eliminate, projected market imbalances.
  • Stakeholders in advanced economies will need to make a concerted effort to increase the number of their college degree holders, especially those in high-demand sectors, such as science, engineering, and other technical fields, to boost productivity.
  • Vocational training needs to be available to students and mid-career workers who will not continue on to college.
  • Policymakers need to create jobs for both high-skilled workers and those who aren’t as highly educated.
  • Businesses need to find available talent pools with the skills they need, and focus their hiring, retaining, and training strategies on the workers who will give them a competitive advantage.

For more information, please visit: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/mgi/research/labor_markets/the_world_at_work.

ManpowerGroup also recently engaged in a research effort that provides policy recommendations to reduce global youth unemployment trends. Their 2012 report, How Policymakers Can Boost Youth Employment, addresses the broader enabling environment (e.g., policies and programs, financial and civil society resources).

Their key finding is that talent mismatch is a structural and long-term development that results, in part, from the accelerating rate of change in the global economy—making it harder for the skills supply system to keep up with rapidly-changing demand. The result is that persistent, high unemployment exists alongside severe skills shortages and unfilled positions in many enterprises, “choking the global economy.” Education systems and employers share responsibility. University and vocational education graduates do not have the right skills and face unemployment, but (in a cost-cutting era) employers are responding counterproductively by multiplying their skills requirements for open positions, and seeking individuals who combine the skills for multiple potential jobs, narrowing eligible candidates and shutting out many youth who lack work experience.

Manpower finds that workforce development vehicles are important: “Programs that intervene on the “supply” or skills side of the equation—education, training, apprenticeships, school-to-work, and other assisted job placement initiatives—are therefore essential for ensuring that young people are prepared for the actual job opportunities that are created by economic growth.” Government and education systems retain a central role in positive programs to help individuals access and succeed in the workforce.

The report calls for several policy-level strategies to address skill mismatches:

  • Information and market-making solutions, including more comprehensive, real-time labor market information, better coordination of efforts related to training and job search, facilitated by intervention from skilled intermediates who serve as real time “market makers”
  • Career guidance solutions, including greater emphasis on career information programs at all levels of education and training, especially in high school and at key career decision points for youth, with an emphasis on the economic returns to degrees and other types of skills training
  • Outcome-based training solutions, including “sectoral” micro-training tailored to the requirements of specific jobs on top of solid basic skills and general vocational skills training
  • Strategically using technology to make relevant, actionable information on skills, careers, and current job opportunities more accessible to students, using both online and mobile media.

For more information, visit: http://www.manpowergroup.com/common/download/download.cfm?companyid=MAN&...

This is only some of the research and convening work related to the YEO field that took place in 2012. Additional research initiatives and findings are shared through the other chapters of this publication. Making Cents International is also posting recently-released resources on these and other YEO topics through its online Resource Library: http://www.youtheconomicopportunities.org/resource-library. You are invited to share your research and contribute to our field’s knowledge base.