Inter-American Centre for Knowledge Development in Vocational Training
Developing and running an establishment skills survey. VOLUME 5
Guide to anticipating and matching skills and jobs. Volume 5
The importance of skills for individuals, enterprises and society as a whole is well accepted. Further, there is robust empirical evidence showing that skill gaps and skill shortages can be highly damaging. Timely and reliable labour market information on the current skill endowments of the workforce and how they will develop in the coming years is essential to prevent problems.
The main issue, however, is the difficulty in measuring and forecasting skills: a leading strategy to tackle such challenges is undertaking employer/establishment skills surveys (ESSs), collecting information on enterprise skill needs and workforce development strategies. An ESS is a mechanism that helps to define the type, level and composition of skills that individuals need to perform the work demanded by enterprises. It can also help investigate future skill needs and analyse the relationship between enterprise characteristics and the creation of skills needs. Such information can empower policy makers to design much better training and labour market policies and enterprises to develop modern human resource management strategies.
This guide provides information to help those institutions running an ESS,to consider what is necessary in each phase of its development. Though not a substitute for the necessary knowledge and expertise to run it, the guide can be used as a tool to monitor the ESS, implementation by consulting firms, national agencies, universities or similar institutions. It provides hints and methodological discussions on the main issues in each phase of survey development, the decisions that have to be made and what the results of each phase should be.