International Conference on Jobs and Skills Mismatch

This conference aimed to deepen understanding of the labour market effects of various types of skill mismatch and how they can be best measured in different country contexts. It included ILO research and also presented the work of other partner international organizations.

High and persistent levels of unemployment together with job vacancies that remain unfilled are often attributed to mismatches between jobs and skills. However, the idea of skills mismatch does not always explain why employers are unable to fill the vacancies they have. Skills mismatches are driven by low quality education and systems, demographic change, rapid technological development, new sources of job creation and newly created forms of work organization. Regardless, skills mismatch can negatively affect labour market outcomes, workers’ productivity, competitiveness and economic growth. Consequently, due to its impact on rising unemployment, the topic is a priority for ILO tripartite constituents and directly linked to the ILO´s work on employment and its Future of Work Initiative. In this context, the ILO´s Global Product on Jobs and Skills Mismatch has been launched to undertake new research, develop new knowledge products and provide support to constituents on how they can better understand the labour market impact of various forms of skill mismatch. The Global Product will also contribute to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda by proposing measures for both developed and developing countries to promote jobs and reduce skills mismatches, as well as to improve the quality and relevance of skills and job creation systems.

This conference represented one of the major outputs of the Global Product. The conference considered both new research on the different forms of mismatch and the measurement challenges that impact our understanding of this issue. The conference also provided a global perspective on the topic by presenting insights from the Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Africa regions.

This event was aimed at researchers, policy-makers, practitioners and other stakeholders active in skills development systems and labour market economics.


Day 1 - May 11

Keynote Address: Skills Mismatch and Labour Market Signals

Professor Peter Cappelli, Director, Centre for Human Resources, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

The ILO Global Product on Jobs and Skills Mismatch

Paul Comyn, Skills & Employability Branch, ILO

The Labour Market Impact of Skills Mismatch: A Global View

Seamus McGuinness, Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin: Educational Mismatch in Low and Middle Income Countries
World Bank, Handel: Education and skills mismatch in developing countries, magnitudes, explanations and impacts
ILO, Olga Kupets: School-To-Work Transition Survey
OECD, Glenda Quintini: Skills use and mismatch at work, what does PIAAC tell us?

Regional Presentations

Asia Pacific – ADB, Tania Rajadel: Assessing skills mismatches, a perspective from the Asia-Pacific Region
Europe – CEDEFOP, Konstantinos Pouliakas: Skills mismatch, the European experience
Latin America – IDB, Graciana Rucci: Skills mismatches in Latin America and the Caribbean
Eastern Europe, Central Asia & Arab States - ETF/ILO: Eduarda Castel Branco & Patrick Daru: Regional review, Arab States and Central Asia

Day 2 - May 12

The Future of Work & Labour Markets

ILO Future of Work Initiative: An informal briefing note
Sangheon Lee, Research Department Officer-in-Charge & Special Advisor to the Deputy Director-General for Policy, ILO

The Future of Work & Skills

World Economic Forum, Till Leopold: System initiative on the future of education, gender and work
Manpower Group, Elsa Amouzgar: Are you ready for the skills revolution?
ILO, Olga Strietska-Ilina: Skills and Future of Work: Challenges and issues

Keynote Address: How Useful Is the Concept of Skills Mismatch?

Prof. Seamus McGuinness, Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin

Measuring Skills Mismatch

ILO, Valentina Stoevska: Draft ICLS 2018 Statistical Guidelines on Skills Mismatch
ILO, Andre Gama: Measuring Skills Mismatch Globally
ILO, Theo Sparreboom: Skills Mismatch amongst Migrant Workers