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Quality of employment

Dimension 6: Skills and training

Information on Dimension 6

Skills and training

Qualification plays an important role for the quality of employment in several respects. A good occupational qualification serves to find work easier. In most cases, qualified work is better paid and it is typically in an area with a lower accident or health risk.

A higher qualified job is also often connected with a higher job satisfaction. If the demands of a job do not fit with the qualification of the employed person, this can also lead to dissatisfaction and frustration due to overburdening or underchallenging demands.

Continuing training makes sure that the formal qualification that a person has achieved can keep up with changing demands for the job. Lifelong learning in a time of increasingly rapid knowledge change plays a more and more important role.

Persons in employment in highly qualified occupations

What is the proportion of persons in employment who work in occupations requiring a higher qualification? Examined are persons in employment aged 15 to 64 years who work as professionals, as specialists in highly qualified occupations (e.g. in the technology or health sector) or as legislators, senior officials and managers.

This includes occupations learned at universities of applied sciences, vocational academies or full-time vocational schools.
A typical feature of highly qualified occupations is that they require specialised knowledge in the field concerned. People largely have to structure their work flows themselves and often the work involves the supervision of employees.

Four in ten persons in employment have higher qualified occupations

Employed persons in highly qualified occupationsEnlarge picture

In 2016, 44.5% of the persons in employment aged 15 to 64 years worked in a higher qualified occupation. Those men and women were e.g. executives in companies or authorities, performed scientific jobs, or worked as programmers, engineers, doctors, social scientists, teachers, technicians, physiotherapists, detective superintendents or social education workers.


Women working more often in higher qualified occupations

Women worked more often than men in occupations requiring a higher qualification. 47.2% of the women in employment had such jobs, compared with 42.2% of the men. The higher share among women is due to the relatively large number of female teachers, education workers as well as medical and technical assistants. In contrast, the proportion of men was larger in managerial positions or among professionals.

Employed persons in highly qualified occupations1
in %
Age in years20162006
TotalFemaleMaleTotalFemaleMale

1 Persons in highly qualified occupations in ISCO major groups 1-3.

Source: Labour Force Survey.

15 to 2429.539.520.926.234.718.6
25 to 3447.754.741.843.449.738.1
35 to 4447.750.345.543.645.042.4
45 to 5445.144.845.443.344.142.7
55 to 6444.243.245.145.742.648.0
Total44.547.242.241.844.239.8

Higher qualified occupations becoming ever more important

Since 1996, the share of persons in employment with higher qualified jobs has increased markedly. In 1996, it had been 37.5% and 44.5% in 2016. This increase is caused by a growth in persons working as professionals (+5.4 percentage points) or as specialists in highly qualified occupations (e.g. in the technology or health sector). Both sexes contributed equally to that trend.

The share of young persons in employment with higher qualified jobs aged up to 25 years (who generally have not finished studies yet) rose considerably, too. It increased by 7.8 percentage points from 1996 to 2016. This is due to the growing number of occupations in the medical-technical or the educational sector requiring a higher qualification. Also, the proportion of young people among professionals increased slightly, which is probably a result of shorter study periods.


Information on the Indicator

Description or definition
Percentage of persons in employment (15-64 years) with occupations in ISCO major groups 1, 2, or 3 in all persons in employment (15-64 years).

Source
Labour Force Survey

Information to the interpretation
In the last few years, the methodology of the labour force survey has been continuously improved in terms of employment status coverage. Therefore comparisons over time are partly limited. Methodological changes affecting the results were performed especially in 2005 and, more currently, for the years from 2012. Consequently, the results for those years can be compared with the results for previous years to a limited extent only.

In the context of the current change, extrapolation has been based on the key population figures rolled forward from the 2011 Census conducted with reference day 9th May 2011, and the results from 2010 onwards have been revised.

A break in the time series may be visible in 2012 due to the introduction of the new International Classification of Occupations (ISCO-08).

For more information please refer to the quality reports and information on methods: Quality reports and Methods (only in German).

Continuing training

What is the proportion of persons in employment who attended events of continuing vocational training in the last four weeks? That proportion refers to the total of persons in employment aged 15 to 64 years. The only relevant criterion is attendance, irrespective of the number and duration of events attended.

Continuing training covers formal training courses to obtain an advanced qualification or for retraining. Courses of non-formal continuing training are included, too. Usually they are less comprehensive and do not provide a generally recognised qualification. They may provide various skills such as leadership skills, languages or software skills.

One in twenty participated in continuing vocational training in the last four weeks

Rates of continuous trainingEnlarge picture

Among the 25 to 64 year old persons in employment, 5.3% attended courses or seminars of continuing vocational training in 2016. The continuing training rate hardly differed between men and women. 5.7% of the women and 5.0% of the men indicated to have attended at least one continuing training event in the four weeks preceding the survey.

Persons in employment aged 25 to 34 years attended continuing training courses more often (6.2%) than those in other age groups. Participation was lowest for the 55 to 64 year olds (4.1%), who are those who will withdraw from economic activity soon.

Full-time employees participate more often in courses or seminars of continuing vocational training than part-time employees. In 2016, the continuing training rate of full-time workers (5.7 %) was almost higher by half compared to the part-time workers (4.2%). In addition to vocational training there is also the possibility to participate in training on one’s own initiative. However, professional continuing trainings constitute markedly larger part (91.1%).

Rates of continuous training1
in %
Sex20062007200820092010201120122013201420152016

1 Persons in employment years who attended courses of continuous training in the last 4 weeks.

Source: Labour Force Survey.

Female6.76.87.06.76.66.66.56.16.06.06.3
Male5.55.75.75.55.35.45.55.25.15.15.4
Total6.06.26.36.05.96.05.95.65.55.55.8

Participation in continuing training over time

The longer-term development of people's participation in continuing education is monitored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in surveys of individuals. The surveys show that the proportion of persons in employment who participated in continuing vocational training in the previous twelve months rose from 37% to 48% between the early 1990s and 1997.

Afterwards, the participation in continuing vocational training decreased until 2003, although it was still by roughly a quarter above the level at the beginning of the 1990s. Between 2000 and 2010, participation in continuing education was just over 40%. Since then the continuing training rate has continuously raised and reached the highest level of 51% in 2014.


Information on the Indicator

Description or definition
Percentage of persons in employment (25-64 years) who attended events of continuing vocational training in the last 4 weeks in all persons in employment (25-64 years)..

Source
Labour Force Survey, AES Trend Report

Information for interpretation
In the last few years, the methodology of the labour force survey has been continuously improved in terms of employment status coverage. Therefore comparisons over time are partly limited. Methodological changes affecting the results were performed especially in 2005 and, more currently, for the years from 2011. Consequently, the results for those years can be compared with the results for previous years to a limited extent only.

In the context of the current change, extrapolation has been based on the key population figures rolled forward from the 2011 Census conducted with reference day 9th May 2011, and the results for the period 2011-2013 have been revised.

For more information please refer to the quality reports and information on methods: Quality and Methods (only in German).
BMBF (2012): Weiterbildungsverhalten in Deutschland. AES (Adult Education Survey) Trendbericht 2012 (only in German).

Under- and overqualification

What is the proportion of persons in employment whose occupational qualification meets the job requirements?
Ideally, the job requirements correspond to the employee's individual qualification. However, over- or underqualification may occur where, for example, there is an imbalance between the supply of, and the demand for specific occupational qualifications.

The large majority of persons in employment are adequately qualified

Match of professional qualifications and job requirements by occupationsEnlarge picture

In 2014, 86.0% of the persons in employment indicated that their current job corresponds to their qualification. In the remaining 14%, 11.8% of the employed persons indicated to be overqualified for the job. Only 2.1% of the persons in employment considered their qualification as too low. Thus, overqualification occurs over five times as frequently as underqualification.


Women are more often overqualified than men

Men were adequately qualified more often than women in 2014. Almost nine from ten men indicated that his qualification corresponds to his job requirements, while this applied only to 83.7% of the women. As regards underqualification, no difference between the sexes was revealed, whereas 14.1% of the women indicated to be overqualified for their job. Among men the proportion was just 9.8%. This means that the poorer match between qualification and job requirements among women as compared with men can be explained by the higher proportion of overqualified women alone.

Match of professional qualifications and job requirements 2014 in %
SexUnderqualificationAdequate qualificationOverqualification
Source: Microcensus (follow-up survey 2014).
Men2.188.09.8
Women2.183.714.1
Total2.186.011.8

About third of the people in elementary occupations are overqualified

A match between occupational qualification and job requirements is seen most often in higher-qualified occupations. In about nine of ten cases, managers, professionals, and technicians and associate professionals had an adequate qualification in 2014. A particular mismatch between qualification and job requirements is observed for people in elementary occupations. Over 35.8% of the people in this occupational group indicated to be overqualified for their job. The occupational groups of clerks and service providers also recorded an above-average proportion of overqualified persons (18.1%) as well as operators of plants and machines (16.3%). In addition, 12.7% of office workers and commercial employees said they were overqualified for their job.


Information on the Indicator

Description or definition
Percentage of employed persons (15-64 years) with under- or overqualification in all employed persons (15-64 years).

Concretely, the respondents were asked to indicate whether their current job correspond to their professional qualification.

Source
Microcensus (follow-up survey 2014)

Information for interpretation
Results are based on the self-assessment of respondents.

For more information please refer to the quality reports and information on methods: Quality reports and Methods (only in German).

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