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Author/s:  Mark Keese (OECD), with a contribution from Jee-Peng Tan (World Bank)
Publisher/s:  OECD and the World Bank in collaboration with ETF ILO and UNESCO
Published:  2013

Indicators of skills for employment and productivity: a conceptual framework and approach for low-income countries

A report for the human resource development pillar of the G20 multi-year action plan on development

The skills possessed by each country’s population provide the fundamental determinants of prosperity and well-being. However, developing skills is costly and so investments in skill building need to be made wisely. This requires good information about: where skill development is most needed; how well the skills individuals have acquired are matched with those required in the labour market; and the returns on investments in skills in terms of their economic and social outcomes. Putting in place a comprehensive system of information relating to skills development is not easy and is particularly challenging in lowincome countries with very limited resources to devote to a strong statistical infrastructure of data collection, processing, analysis and dissemination.

Therefore, this report seeks to provide a framework for the collection of statistical indicators which can be used to guide skill development with a focus on low income countries but which can also be used to allow each country to benchmark its progress against that of other countries, including more economically developed countries. A preliminary list of indicators is also presented in the report as well as a stock-take of data availability and the key areas where further statistical capacity building efforts may be required.

The report was prepared as part of the work that various international organisations have been carrying out under the Multi-Year Action Plan on Development that was adopted by G20 leaders at their Seoul Summit in November 2010. Of the nine pillars underpinning the G20 Action Plan, the Human Resource Development (HRD) pillar called for the relevant international organisation to create a set of internationally comparable skills indicators for developing countries. The OECD, together with the World Bank, subsequently took the lead in responding to this call on behalf, and with the active support and cooperation, of ETF, ILO and UNESCO. This report is the result of this collaboration and will be followed up in 2014, subject to obtaining funding, with the development of an international database of skills indicators and an accompanying report on the database and options for further development.


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