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Title NEWSKILLS
Education and training, new job skill needs and the low-skilled
Aspect
Concept Trends Findings Practice Challenge
Synopsis Long-term developments facing the low-skilled include the following:

(1) The labour market situation of the low-skilled in Europe remains difficult with high levels of exclusion. The trend towards increased exclusion has continued into the 1990s and there is no indication that the situation will be reversed in the coming decade. Indeed, the latest indications are that it may be again be accelerating (McIntosh 1999, p. 11).

(2) Improvements in the education and training levels of young people have not prevented a worsening of the situation for the low-skilled. Even at present growth rates, in most European countries at least 20 per cent of the population will continue to fall into this category well into the 21st century. As a consequence, the employment prospects of the low-skilled and associated social inequality will continue to pose a major problem for Europe over the coming decade (McIntosh 1999, p. 11).

(3) The skill demand resulting from technological change will probably continue to grow and both the lower and the intermediate skill group will experience pressure to participate in skill upgrading. As a consequence we may find that, in contrast to the past and present situation, it will be necessary for larger proportions of education and training qualifications to be acquired in adult life and that education levels are not fixed only during the period of initial education. Since standards of basic mathematics of many of those who leave with only lower secondary education are inadequate as a basis for upgrading, it is essential to raise the standards of the lowest attainers in compulsory education. Only then will the whole population have the potential to build on their education (McIntosh 1999, p. 6).

Reference The final project report (McIntosh 1999) provides a detailed account of past and future trends related to the low-skilled, with the analysis focusing on the period 1985 to 1995.
See also project info on NEWSKILLS.
Descriptors D-CDO  D-CVT  EP02        
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Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO