Emerging Labour Market Data Sources towards Digital Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

Paper by Nikos Askitas, Rafik Mahjoubi, Pedro S. Martins, Koffi Zougbede for Paris21/OECD: “Experience from both technology and policy making shows that solutions for labour market improvements are simply choices of new, more tolerable problems. All data solutions supporting digital Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) will have to incorporate a roadmap of changes rather than an unrealistic super-solution. The ideal situation is a world in which labour market participants engage in intelligent strategic behavior in an informed, fair and sophisticated manner.

Labour market data captures transactions within labour market processes. In order to successfully capture such data, we need to understand the specifics of these market processes. Designing an ecosystem of labour market matching facilitators and rules of engagement for contributing to a lean and streamlined Logistics Management and Information System (LMIS) is the best way to create Big Data with context relevance. This is in contrast with pre-existing Big Data captured by global job boards or social media for which relevance is limited by the technology access gap and its variations across the developing world.

Network effects occur in technology and job facilitation, as seen in the developed world. Managing and instigating the right network effects might be crucial to avoid fragmented stagnation and inefficiency. This is key to avoid throwing money behind wrong choices that do not gain traction.

A mixed mode approach is possibly the ideal approach for developing countries. Mixing offline and online elements correctly will be crucial in bridging the technology access gap and reaping the benefits of digitisation at the same time.

Properly incentivising the various entities is critical for progression, and more specifically the private sector, which is significantly more agile and inventive, has “skin in the game” and a long-term commitment to the conditions in the field, has intimate knowledge of how to solve the the technology gap and brings a better understanding of the particular ambient context they are operating in. To summarise: Big Data starts small.

Managing expectations and creating incentives for the various stakeholders will be crucial in establishing digitally supported TVET. Developing the right business models will be crucial in the short term and beyond, and it will be the result of creating the right mix of technological and policy expertise with good knowledge of the situation on the ground….(More)”.