The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has recently published the following working papers and books related to employment in Australia.

By Christian Geppert, Yvan Guillemette, Hermes Morgavi and David Turner. OECD Economics Department Working Papers, No. 1554.

A decomposition of changes to participation rates of 55-to-74 year-olds between 2002 and 2017 based on an estimated equation attributes more than two thirds of the median increase (of 10.9 percentage points) to rising life expectancy and educational attainment. About 1 percentage point is attributable to changes in statutory retirement ages, although part of the reason these effects are not larger is that in most countries, statutory retirement ages have not kept pace with life expectancy. Although difficult to incorporate in the empirical framework, evidence of falling disability pension rolls and reduced sensitivity of old-age participation to the level of unemployment suggests that the tightening of alternative early retirement pathways through unemployment or disability schemes has been a major factor in the turnaround in the participation rate of older workers. Projections indicate that participation rates for 55-to-74 year-olds should keep rising through 2030, by 3.4 percentage points for the median country. Rising life expectancy and educational attainment are projected to make the largest contributions, more than compensating for the negative contribution of population ageing in most countries.

See also: Pensions at a Glance (Edition 2018).

By Herwig Immervoll, Daniele Pacifico and Marieke Vandeweyer. OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 226.

Although Australia’s labour market escaped the dramatic negative impact of the global financial economic crisis seen in other OECD countries, a substantial share of working-age Australians either did were not working or worked only to a limited extent as the global recovery gathered pace between 2013 and 2014. The paper extends a method proposed by Fernandez et al. (2016) to measure and visualise employment barriers of individuals with no or weak labour-market attachment, using household micro-data. The most common employment obstacles in Australia are limited work experience, low skills and poor health. A notable finding is that almost one third of jobless or low-intensity workers face three or more simultaneous barriers, highlighting the limits of policy approaches that focus on subsets of these employment obstacles in isolation. A statistical clustering approach points to seven distinct groups, each characterised by unique profiles of employment barriers that call for different configurations of activation and employment-support policies.

Local vocational education and training programmes serve as a valuable educational pathway to improve the transition from school to work. Within the VET system, quality apprenticeship programmes can provide employers with a skilled workforce that is more agile in a rapidly evolving global economy while also supporting new employment opportunities for disadvantaged groups. This report focuses on how to better engage employers in apprenticeship and other work-based skills development programmes aligned with growing sectors of the local economy. A key part of this report was the implementation of an employer-based survey, which gathered information from over 300 Australian employers about their skills needs and barriers to apprenticeship participation. The report also provides information on four case studies, including Sydney Metro and STEMship in New South Wales, Collective Education in Tasmania, and the Dream, Believe, Achieve programme in Queensland. The case studies demonstrate how local organisations are building stronger business-education partnerships.

(Source: OECD iLibrary).

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