And the mismatch continues

In February 2018, we wrote about the mismatch between education and working. A research by the Dutch retail industry concluded a mismatch between what educators offer and what the retail market demands. According to this research, institutional educators focused on the profile choice and execution of the training plan. Retail organisations, however, focused on the competences, knowledge and entrepreneurship.

The conclusion was that companies and the education sector together, should develop a long-term vision for the labour and education market. Its topics should be education routes, job and education profiles, sharing of knowledge and starting a research agenda. The ultimate aim would be to better engage talent in a labour market that is becoming more and more stretched.

Mismatch is threat to prosperity

Last month, secretary-general of the Dutch Ministery of Economic Affairs, Maarten Camps, warned that the offering of the education sector does not match with what the economy requires. Camps said that “The gap between what the economy demands and what the education sector offers has been widening for too long. This threatens productivity growth and hence, our prosperity.” Camps is also of the opinion is that “it is the world upside down that some technical studies stop taking students because of a lack of capacity.”

Camps would like to see more focus on digital skills in education. But also the career perspective for teachers should improve. And finally, the central government should make clear what it expects from the education sector through clear goals.

At the same time, the labour market is moving to the point beyond which it cannot be stretched any longer. EU unemployment is at an historical low (pdf) and some member status hover around or below the 3% unemployment rate. This is the rate at which (un)employment becomes a threat to economic growth and prosperity.

So we can only repeat our one-year old conclusion: companies and education institutions must work together more. They need to start looking at the delivery method of their teachings. These need to integrate better with what the working environment of today requires.
We are convinced that if you start here, the current mismatch between education and working will dissolve in the most natural way. Perhaps the central government can show the way. We would prefer not to write another article with this same subject one year from now.

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