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Faced with automation, OECD deplores training gap

Automation, the aging of the population and globalization are likely to cause major changes in the world of work. In his latest report titled "Adult training systems ready for the future", the OECD says it is "urgent to modernize the training system". For Stefano Scarpetta, Director of the Employment Division, "We went from a concept of the profession to a concept of the task […] It is urgent to invest in training because of the risk of automation ", he recalled during a workshop held Tuesday, February 12.

According to the international institution based in Paris, "the most recent analyzes suggest that almost one job out of seven risks being fully automated and nearly 30% could undergo transformations". While the numbers and methods used to quantify the number of jobs threatened by automation are not universally accepted, many experts agree that the content of jobs and the skills required should change dramatically.

> Read also: Automation: Jobs and skills at the center of concern

60% of adults do not form

The lack of vocational training is particularly alarming in developed countries. According to figures from the Adult Skills Assessment (PIAAC), only 41% of adults participate in a training activity. Conversely, almost half of adults do not follow specific courses to learn. When asked about the possible reasons, respondents indicate "no training suits them, they are not motivated or they are discouraged by the obstacles to be overcome". Of the 11% who wish to be educated, a good part of the respondents mention the lack of time related to professional (29%) or family (16%) obligations, lack of financial means (16%), hours or places of work. unsuitable training (12%) and lack of support from the employer (7%).

Among those who do not form, disadvantaged adults are overrepresented. So, "low-skilled adults are 23 percentage points lower than those of medium to high-skilled adults. Other audiences also lack training throughout their journey. These are the oldest people, low-wage workers or temporary workers.

A lack of quality training

In addition to a small proportion of adults who have received training, the OECD report indicates that a significant proportion of respondents do not seem to be satisfied with the learning offered. According to the PIAAC survey, only half of adults feel that their training has been very useful for their job.

"Today, too many adults are not completely satisfied with the training they follow." The authors of the report deplore that "monitoring and evaluation are still insufficiently developed in the field of vocational training."

France late

The French training system is late. According to the OECD paper, only 32% of adults participated in work-related training. A figure well below the OECD average (41%). This is even more striking for people with low basic qualifications (15%) and seniors (13%) as well as for long-term job seekers. Distance education could be a solution to improve these results but Stefano Scarpetta notes that "only 6% of staff in France make distance education in France against 19% on average in developed countries".

If Mark Keese, the head of the OECD's Directorate of Employment, Labor and Social Affairs acknowledges that "the reforms started [par Muriel Pénicaud] go in the right direction, we still have to wait for the implementation ". The establishment of certification training centers for example should not be done before 2021 reminds the team of the OECD.


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