OECD Says IT Skills Not Sufficient

Following a Policy Forum and Ministerial Meeting held in 2015, the OECD has begun work on understanding what impact digitalisation, technological change and the development of the digital economy will have on the future of work. The changes they are bringing about raise challenges to public policy. Its latest Policy Brief on the Future of Work highlights the impact that digital transformation is having on the workplace and the skills required to function properly in it. As a consequence, skill development policies need to be revamped. Four priorities are identified:

  1. strengthen initial learning so that all students possess at least basic ICT skills and other complementary ones that can support them;
  2. improve the measurement and prediction of skills needs so that appropriate education and training can be provided;
  3. promote better work organisation and management practices so that employers could better use the existing skills of their workers;
  4. propose further incentives to motivate workers to re-skill and up-skill.

The brief notes that skills other than purely technical ones will be needed in future to thrive in the digital economy, such as numeracy skills and the capacity to work collaboratively and flexibly. In addition, the brief remarks that there is a sizeable gender gap with regard to ICT specialists in OECD countries: 5.5% are men and only 1.4% are women. According to the brief, ICT specialists are in high demand and have good career prospects. The brief also makes a series of recommendation for skills policies to meet the challenges of a digital world.

Read the complete policy brief