Skills Forecasting: What Lessons Can be Drawn for Education and Training Policies in Germany?

Friday, 3 July 2015: 2:15 PM-3:45 PM
CLM.B.06 (Clement House)
Nicola Helene Duell, Economix Research & Consulting, Munich, Germany; Economix Research & Consulting, managing partner, Munich, Germany
Skills forecasting: what lessons can be drawn for education and training policies in Germany?

Rapid ageing and a declining workforce represent a major challenge for the future labour market development in Germany. Therefore the Ministry of Labour has commissioned a skills forecasting for Germany until 2030. Our approach to skills forecasting combines qualitative future scenarios and mathematical forecasting procedures in order to forecast the fundamental changes in the economy and society. The approach includes the formulation of varying assumptions regarding migration, labour force participation of women and older workers, technological change, globalisation and trends in education and training behaviour and anticipates to some extent policy responses. This paper will discuss the assumptions made and the methodology chosen and show key results (two main reports have been submitted so far in 2012 and 2014 and work is continued). In the second part of the paper, it will be asked to what extent skills forecasting systems can be used as an early warning system. The paper will address the following questions: What lessons can be drawn for the development of the vocational education and training system? Which possible changes and trends in the VET system need to be made endogenous to the skills forecasting? Is demographic and technological change threatening the dual vocational training system? Will vocational education and training systems need to offer more multi-skills or deepen specialization? Are disadvantaged groups getting new opportunities or will segmentation lines be deepened? How can underutilisation of skills be avoided? What might enterprises, vocational training institutions, universities and Public Employment Services be doing to up-skill adults?