The new indicators allow the user to gauge issues around skill mismatches such as under-skilling, under-utilisation of skills or skills obsolescence among employees in the European Union. Other indicators explore labour market imbalances such as the long-term unemployment rate and the number of young people not in employment, education or training.
The ‘Matching skills and jobs’ section provides new evidence on matters such as:
- Under-skilling which occurs when workers’ skills may be below the level needed because the skill needs of their jobs may change over time, due to new technologies, production methods and forms of work. Individuals are more likely to be under-skilled in industries and occupations with high and fast-paced skill needs (e.g. professional and scientific services, advanced manufacturing). Under-skilled workers are more concerned that they will lose their job in the near future (they have higher job insecurity). They require higher levels of continuing vocational training to upgrade their skills and remain productive in their jobs.
- Under-utilisation of skills which is a matter of concern for public policy and enterprises as over-skilled individuals are more likely to be dissatisfied and have lower productivity in their jobs. Individuals who occupy jobs that do not fully utilise their skills are also less likely to experience continued skill development.
- Skills obsolescence which is a consequence of industrial restructuring or of changing skill needs in technologically intensive sectors and occupations (e.g. ICT, finance, professional and scientific activities), which may render worker’s skills outdated over time. It can also arise as the physical and cognitive skills and abilities of adults deteriorate with age due to atrophy or wear and tear. To prevent skills obsolescence, commitment by individuals and employers to continuous adult learning is required.
Visit the new section of the Skills Panorama ‘Matching skills and jobs’ to find out more about skill mismatches in Europe.