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Randstad and SEO launch research report Into the Gap

Randstad and SEO launch research report “Into the Gap”

The qualitative mismatch in EU and US labor markets

Effective and modern employment markets benefit from a long-term perspective. The current economic state of affairs has altered employment projections but the underlying trends have not changed: population growth continues to slow down, the impact of aging is growing, the demand for higher educated people rises and there is a permanent demand for elementary workers. In fact, even with the current surpluses on the labor market, across sectors shortages and surpluses coexist. Industries like healthcare, science and engineering already have trouble finding people with the right skills a clear mismatch between supply and demand. This is one of the findings of “Into the Gap. Exploring Skills and Mismatches”, the latest research report conducted by Randstad and SEO Economic Research.

“Into the Gap” was launched yesterday in Brussels during a seminar at the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the EU. Speakers on the panel included Zolt&aacuten Kazatsay, Deputy Director General Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Veronica Nilsson of the European Trade Union Confederation, and Philippe de Buck of BUSINESSEUROPE.

Ben Noteboom, CEO of Randstad Holding comments: “Finding people with the right skills is increasingly difficult in a constantly changing world. We see discrepancies between the educational choices people make and the needs of the labor market, influenced by globalization and technological developments. Some traditional industries like agriculture or manufacturing continue to diminish and will have less jobs available. But people working in these industries will not immediately have the right set of skills to be able to work in emerging sectors such as IT and healthcare. Closing this gap will benefit employers, employees and society as a whole.”

Transition is key
Effective labor markets are characterized by fluid transitions which contribute to productivity and economic growth: people entering the labor market, either after finishing their education or from unemployment, and moving from one job to the next. This increased mobility leads to more transitions which in turn lead to fewer mismatches and less unfilled vacancies. Mismatches occur when people are either under- or overqualified for a job (level of education) or if their field of studies and experience do not match the developments in the labor market.

To restore the dynamics on the labor market, recommendations from Randstad include formulating policies to stimulate direct work-to-work mobility and encourage mobility between all sectors in the economy, also geographically. In addition educational and training provisions need to be improved. Private and public employment agencies can be used as transition agents.

Furthermore there should be a balance between cleaning up budget deficits and growth programs to encourage job creation. Sectors with shortages need room to grow. Policy makers should take a fresh look at employment protection regulation, unemployment benefits, training on the job and pensions. Finally, modern labor relations can play a leading role in support of job creation.

The complete report, an executive summary and a presentation about “Into the Gap” are available at


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