||Skills Security Index
Skill reproduction security is considered as a situation where there
is a wide range of opportunities for training, apprenticeship and education
to acquire and refine knowledge and competencies. It means assured access
to basic education as well as vocational training, with the aim of enabling
people to develop their capacities and acquire the qualifications needed
to exercise a socially and economically valuable occupation. Another
way of looking at it is to say that a person has skills security if he
or she has ownership and control over the property rights in competencies.
||The fact that an ILO Convention
related to education or training has been ratified by a particular
country is an indication of its commitment to skills security and should therefore
be rated positively in the calculation of the SSI. Three main ILO Conventions
are relevant to this form of security.
- Convention No. 142 on
Human Resources Development, 1975, which focuses on vocational guidance
and training, emphasizing that policies should enable workers, without
any sort of discrimination, to develop their capabilities for work
in their own interest and own aspirations.
- Convention No. 138 on Minimum Age, 1973, which orients governments to take action to abolish
child labour and raise progressively the minimum age for employment.
- Convention No. 140 on Paid Educational Leave,
1974, which has a relatively low ratification rate, but stipulates a proposition which, in
the current context of rapid technological change and need for continuous
learning, is gaining relevance. As a way of developing skills, this Convention
states that leave ? during working hours ? should be granted to
workers for educational purposes with adequate financial compensation.
- A fourth indicator takes account of a national instrument in
the form of a law on the number of compulsory years of schooling.
The range is rather wide from 5 to 12 years and is in
our understanding a fair proxy for the value that a society attributes
to (basic) education.
||These indicators focus on the supply side of the educational.
They are intended to reflect how policies and broad orientations and
principles adopted by governments are being implemented.
- A major although incomplete measure, it does not include the private sector ? is public
expenditure on education. When deflated by the population
in schooling age (5?24 years) it indicates the per capita US dollars (current at
PPP) used for the development of skills in a particular country, positioning
it relatively to others in terms of the amount of available public
- Complementarily, we introduce the public expenditure on education
as a percentage of GDP also deflated by the population
aged 5 to 24. This
is to differentiate between countries according to what share of their
public funds they spend on education. While the first expenditure indicator
gives a measure of wealth, the second one is an indication of priority
among the set of other social sectors spending.
- Finally, aiming at a
proxy of how knowledge is delivered the usual pupil-per-teacher
ratio (at primary school level) is used. In spite of its well-known
it aims to reflect the quality of the basic education system.
The indicators are proxy measures for the actual level of skills security.
They are based on estimates of educational attainment, as portrayed by
the educational profile of the adult population (aged 25 to 64) most
likely to be economically active. Lack of data on training in developing
countries has not allowed us to include indicators in this respect.
The first two provide two different estimates of basic education.
is the literacy rate (15+),
- the other the median number of years of schooling (25+).
- For higher
education, the proportion of the population (25-64) that
has completed at least
post-secondary schooling has been retained. Post-secondary was
preferred to secondary completed because, among countries in transition and industrialized
countries, the secondary level does not represent a high level
of education and is less discriminatory.
- All these outcome indicators are introduced
in the calculation of the index in two different forms: total
and by gender.
The latter is defined as the ratio of the rates for females
over those for males. Such ratios with values around one reflect a
gender balance in skills security while those with values greater than one
indicate more security to female relatively to male and the reverse
for values smaller than one.
Data on the above indicators exist for 139 countries.
A clear divide appears between regions and levels of skills security.
All western and eastern European countries are either Pacesetters or
By contrast, no countries from Africa or the Middle East provide satisfactory
skills security, with the exceptions of Lesotho and Israel. A similar
situation predominates in Asia where a majority of countries also have
unsatisfactory levels of skills security, with exceptions from the Asia-Pacific
Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean are represented
in almost equal numbers in the Pragmatists, Conventionals and
indicating the absence of a common regional pattern.
The case of Cuba
should be highlighted as it is the sole country from the region to be
a Pacesetter. It is also the industrializing country with the highest
and most satisfactory skills security score.
Skills Insecurity: Why "human capital" will not do
Work Insecurity: Work-related ill health
Income Insecurity: Neglected aspects of poverty and inequality
Weak Collective Voice leaves Workers Insecure: New forms of voice still limited
Labour Market Insecurity: Lost in global statistics
Employment Insecurity: Why neither formal nor informal my be best for workers
Africa: Insecurities compound poverty
South and South-East Asia: Economic security exceedss income share
Eastern Europe and CIS: Unpaid wages, lost benefits and concealed unemployment
Latin America and the Caribbean: Lower and most unstable growth intensify
insecurities - Huge majorities favour redistribution and basic security
Economic Insecurities in Rich countries: Western Europe still sets lead,
"Targeting" the Poor is Poor Policy: Support for security and equality strong
Women face more Economic Insecurity