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OUR PUBLICATIONS > Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works

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Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works

October 1, 2014

Authors: Mona Mourshed, Diana Farrell and Dominic Barton

Institution: McKinsey Center for Government

Full reference: Mourshed, M., Farrell, D., & Barton, D. (2012). Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works. (n.p.): McKinsey Center for Government.


The report looks at the passage from education to employment, with the current lack of jobs for young people and at the same time lack of candidates in possession of the necessary skills, what the challenges are. and what can be done to improve it. Two main sources of data were created and used for this study: first, an analysis of more than 100 education-to-employment initiatives from 25 countries, and second, a survey of young people, education providers and employers in nine focus countries with diverse contexts: Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The report presents extensive quantitative findings in text and visuals across all stages and aspects of the education-to-employment transition. It also provides a series of insights and recommendations for improving particular segments.

The six ‘highlights’ from the report, as presented in its executive summary, are:

1 There are big differences in how employers, education providers and youth view the same situation because of lack of interaction
2 Obstacles exist at all three stages of the education-to-employment journey: enrolling in post-secondary education, building skills and finding a job
3 The education-to-employment system at present does not work for most of either employers or young people
4 Successful existing initiatives share two main features: first, education providers and employers are actively engaged in each other’s sphere, and second, they start working with young people early and intensively and do not treat the ‘enrolment in education – building skills – finding employment’ journey as separate stages and linear
5 Three major improvements are needed to make the education-to-employment system more effective: better data gathering and dissemination, multiple stakeholders within industry working together, and system integrators within countries, regions and industries responsible for the high-level education-to-employment work
6 Scaling up of solutions is needed in terms of resources, hands-on learning and investing in training for both universal and specialised skills


Read the report here.

A complementary report focussing on Europe can be found here.