BBC-OECD skills Debate

With unemployment soaring, it may come as a surprise to learn that there’s also a shortage of qualified people to fill job vacancies. In fact, companies in Europe have around three million unfilled vacancies, says David Arkless of Manpower Inc.

Mr Arkless was speaking on the BBC’s World Debate, which was recorded at the OECD in Paris on 7 July, marking the release of the annual OECD Employment Outlook. The debate offered a fascinating insight into the skills shortage at a moment when the issue is being eclipsed by unemployment. As panelist OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría pointed out, “thinking about skills now is an act of foresight”. Could migration help plug the skills gap? The trouble there, as BBC presenter Nik Gowing suggested, is how to “persuade politicians to argue for skilled immigration in a time of unemployment?”

The World Debate on “Matching Skills to Jobs” was broadcast on BBC World from 9 July. Other panelists included Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, Jacques Myard , French UMP governing party and member of parliament, and Jo Ritzen, president of the University of Maastricht. BK

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©OECD Observer No 280, July 2010

Economic data

GDP growth: -9.8% Q2/Q1 2020 2020
Consumer price inflation: 1.3% Sep 2020 annual
Trade (G20): -17.7% exp, -16.7% imp, Q2/Q1 2020
Unemployment: 7.3% Sep 2020
Last update: 10 Nov 2020

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