Only half of the world’s workers have jobs that match their education: ILO report


Only half of workers in the world have jobs corresponding to their level of education, according to a recent report by the International Labor Organization (ILO). The report pointed out that many people have jobs that do not match their education level, while at the same time, many employers say they have difficulty finding workers with the skills they need to develop their skills. business and innovate successfully. This phenomenon indicates a significant disconnect between the world of education and the world of work, said the author of the report.

According to the report, over the years, considerable efforts have been invested in improving the educational attainment of people around the world, especially in the context of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and the Millennium Development Goals. sustainable development. “However,” he said, “the huge strides made in raising education levels, especially among women and girls, have not translated into corresponding improvements in market outcomes. job”.

The report was compiled using labor force survey data on educational attainment and occupations of all employed workers in over 130 countries. The ILO has estimated that only about half of these workers are in jobs commensurate with their level of education. The rest of the workers are either overeducated or undereducated for their work.

According to the ILO, workers in high-income countries are more likely to work in jobs commensurate with their level of education. In high-income countries, this is the case for about 60% of the working population. The similar shares for upper and lower middle income countries are 52% and 43%, respectively. In low-income countries, only one in four workers has a job corresponding to their level of education. These observations suggest that the match rate increases with the level of development of countries.

According to the report, the mismatch of skills and competences has become a problem of particular concern for policymakers in developed and developing countries, following rapid changes in labor markets, globalization, labor migration -work, technological changes and demographic changes. He said: “It is now a global priority to rationalize vocational skills and competences with a view to ensuring better employment and employability outcomes for workers and increased productivity and competitiveness for their countries. “.

The ILO has found that although over-education and under-education are present in all countries, regardless of their income level, there are different patterns for the various income groups of countries. Under-education is more common in low-income countries, while over-education is more common in high-income countries.

In high and upper middle income countries, about 20% of all employees are overeducated, that is, they have more education than is necessary for their job; the corresponding share for lower middle income countries is around 12.5%, while for low income countries it is less than 10%. The higher over-education rates in high-income countries are likely due to the composition of the workforce, which is characterized by a relatively high level of education, according to the report.

The author explains that a certain degree of overeducation will always exist because some people accept jobs below their level of education, or because these jobs offer benefits, such as less demanding and stressful work, better work-life balance, better social protection, shorter commuting times and increased social responsibility, or because they lack experience. For some of these workers, over-education may only be a temporary situation.

The report adds: “However, when overeducation is due to labor market distortions where the supply of workers with a higher level of education exceeds the demand, it is usually a longer term phenomenon. and generally requires political intervention “.

Under-education is also observed in both low-income and high-income countries. Low-income countries have the highest proportion of undereducated workers: around 70% of employees have less education than is necessary for their job, according to the report. The similar share for lower middle income countries is around 46%, while in middle and high income countries it is around 20%.

According to the author, the main reason for under-education is the relatively low level of education of the existing workforce and / or the lack of formal skills, especially in low-income countries. “Some of these undereducated workers may still be able to do their jobs well because they have acquired the necessary skills through on-the-job training, experience, self-learning, social activities or volunteering, ”the report says.

Women in high-income countries are more likely than men to be overeducated, while women in low-income countries are more likely to be undereducated, according to the ILO.

The report states that when the data was disaggregated by sex, it was found that both women and men have difficulty in finding jobs that match their education. However, while in high-income countries there is no significant difference between the sexes in terms of match level, women in low-income countries are less likely than men to be employed. corresponding to their level of education.

In high-income countries, the rate of overeducation is higher for women than for men; in upper middle income countries, there are no significant differences; and in low-income countries, women are more likely than men to be undereducated for the jobs they do.

“These differences in educational mismatch patterns between women and men, and between low and high income countries, suggest that as a country becomes more developed, many well-educated women will end up in jobs below their level of education. , “It said.

“Despite the tremendous progress made in improving access to education and raising the level of education of people around the world, many workers are still undereducated for the jobs they do. especially in low income countries. income countries have jobs that require a lower level of education, ”the report adds.


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