have become the global currency of 21st century economies. Without sufficient investment in skills, people languish on the margins of society, technological progress does not translate into productivity growth, and countries can no longer compete in an increasingly knowledge-based global economy. And, at a time when growing economic and social inequalities are a major challenge, effective skills policies must be part of any response to address this challenge. But this ‘currency’ depreciates as skill requirements of labour markets evolve and individuals lose the skills they do not use. For skills to retain their value, they must be continuously maintained and upgraded throughout life so that people can collaborate, compete and connect in ways that drive economies forward.
Challenges for skills policies are manifold

Many countries have developed strategies to improve the skills level of their citizens, but their success in implementing them varies widely. And many continue to struggle with low levels of adult basic skills, problems of skills mismatch, skills shortages and unemployment.
How can the OECD Skills Strategy help?

The OECD is preparing a Skills Strategy with the aim of fostering a cross-government, peer-learning approach towards improving the supply of, anticipating the demand for, and optimising the use of skills in the workforce to promote economic growth and social inclusion.
The OECD Skills Strategy action plan
Gathering and analysing data

We are currently integrating the information on skills from several work areas of the OECD, including education, labour, local economic development, tax, research and innovation. We are using this information to produce the OECD Skills Strategy.
Developing good-practice guidelines

The OECD, in co-operation with member and partner countries and the social partners, will also identify and develop a set of good practices for financing skills-development programmes and formulating sound, inclusive and effective skills policies. All of this will feed into a comprehensive Skills Strategy to guide countries in developing better skills policies for better lives.
Towards an OECD Skills Strategy and beyond

The OECD Skills Strategy will figure on the agenda of OECD Week 2012 and be launched in May 2012, along with an online skills portal that will feature compelling skills data, country-specific information and policy pointers for developing, supplying and using our global talent pools.
In 2013, we will release the OECD Skills Outlook, which will feature new data from the Adult Skills Survey (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies PIAAC. The OECD Skills Outlook will be published on a regular basis with updated data and analysis.
Andreas Schleicher, (33 1) 45 24 93 66; Kathrin Hoeckel, (33 1) 45 24 93 50
Read the most recent articles on skills
Knowledge and skills are infinite – oil is not, by Andreas Schleicher, March 2012
Presentation: Skills matter: Developing an OECD Skills Strategy, by Andreas Schleicher, February 2012
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Also available: Stratégie de l'OCDE sur les compétences (French).