The latest issue of the Industrial and Labor Relations Review addresses the closely linked topics of skill shortages, skill mismatch and structural unemployment. The core of this collection of articles consists of three papers on skill demand and skill supply issues, complemented by papers on firm-level developments in countries like Korea, Spain, Italy and China, which point at the role of differently skilled segments of the workforce.
The articles by Peter Cappelli and Katharine Abraham focus on the current situation in the United States. A third contribution by IZA researchers Werner Eichhorst, Núria Rodríguez-Planas, Ricarda Schmidl and Klaus F. Zimmermann outlines a “Roadmap to Vocational Education and Training in Developed Countries”. This article provides a broad and structured overview on the evidence that is available on the effects of different types of vocational education and training, such as vocational schooling, formal apprenticeships and dual vocational training on the transition from school to work and early individual labor market careers.
The paper makes a strong point in arguing that dual vocational training can pave the way to sustainable jobs for young people because during the dual apprenticeship they acquire a combination of occupational and general skills that matches the skill demand from the employer side. Hence, effective forms of vocational training can help avoid skills shortages on the one hand, and mismatch and unemployment on the other. Dual vocational training systems are quite demanding as they require the involvement of firms, social partners and government. Building such capacities is not an easy task for policy makers as existing points of departure vary considerably between countries. Nonetheless, developing effective training models seems viable if they take these conditions into account.
Related IZA Newsroom posts:
- What can we learn from Germany’s dual vocational training model?
- Youth unemployment in France at record high: Study recommends activation policies and dual system of vocational training
- The youth unemployment crisis: a fix that works and pays for itself