Monday, May 19, 2014

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[IWS] World Bank: EMPLOYER VOICES, EMPLOYER DEMANDS, AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC SKILLS DEVELOPMENT POLICY [May 2014]

IWS Documented News Service

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Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau

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World Bank

Policy Research Working Paper 6853

 

EMPLOYER VOICES, EMPLOYER DEMANDS, AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC SKILLS DEVELOPMENT POLICY [May 2014]

by Wendy Cunningham, Paula VillaseƱor

https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/18345

or

https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/18345/WPS6853.pdf?sequence=1

[full-text, 53 pages]

 

Educators believe that they are adequately preparing youth for the labor market while employers lament the lack of skills. A possible source of the mismatch in perceptions is that employers and educators have different understandings of the types of skills valued in the labor market. This paper uses economics and psychology literature to define four skills sets: socio-emotional, higher-order cognitive, basic cognitive, and technical skills. The paper reviews the literature that quantitatively measures employer skill demand, as reported in preference surveys. A sample of 28 studies reveals remarkable consistency across the world in the skills demanded by employers. Although employers value all skill sets, there is a greater demand for socio-emotional and higher-order cognitive skills than for basic cognitive or technical skills. These results are robust across economy size and level of development, sector, export-orientation, and occupations. Employers perceive that the greatest skills gaps are in socio-emotional and technical skills. These findings suggest the need to re-conceptualize education and training systems. Taking into consideration the developmental process to acquire the skills identified by employers, this implies the need to recognize that (a) the job-skills development process necessarily begins at birth and continues throughout the life cycle so skills policy should, as well; (b) schools play a relevant, but limited, role in skills development and the role of parents, mentors, and the work place must be defined and enhanced; and (c) the skills most demanded by employers -- higher-order cognitive and socio-emotional skills -- are largely taught (the former) or refined in secondary school, which argues for a general education until these skills are formed.

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