Society is undergoing transformation on an unprecedented scale. Globalisation and technological developments ranging from machine learning to robotics and artificial intelligence are radically changing skills required by the labour market, and, along with it, how and what we learn at school, at home and at work. Employees are grappling with increasingly complex non-routine tasks, more teamwork and performance measurement, and a greater focus on leadership, problem-solving and creativity. Lifelong learning has become critically important, not only to us as students, employees, citizens and consumers, but also to businesses, and to society’s capacity for resilience. And as the population ages and we retire later, we face the challenge of remaining employable throughout longer working careers.
Learning and Work focuses on research that can help us understand what these technological and demographic changes mean for education and employment. It centres on four issues: school, study and career choices; skills and tasks; lifelong learning, employability and performance; and incentives, control and performance. This research is multidisciplinary, drawing on dialogue and co-creation with business, schools, policymakers and regional and national governments, and deploying new research methodologies and strategies for data collection and analysis.
The Learning and Work team comprises some 50 senior researchers and nearly 40 PhD candidates drawn from economics, educational research and development, accounting and information management, finance, quantitative economics, marketing and supply chain management, organisation and strategy, as well as the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA). Cross-faculty collaborations enlist the insights of disciplines including psychology, neuroscience, epidemiology, medicine and data science.
From changes in HR and recruitment practices to the way our career choices are shifting, and from the role played by our personalities in how we carry out our jobs to the effect of the physical environments we work in, Learning and Work aims to shed light on the issues and unfolding patterns that have an impact on us all.
A changing society calls for changes in workplace training programmes, and also affects schools
By focusing on skills, learning and worker performance, our research group aims to help society's transition to a knowledge economy
If youre passionate about your work, they say, you've got the best job in the world. ROA's Didier Fouarge gives every appearance of being passionate not only about his job, but about everyone else’s, too. His research on the skills needed in the labour market of the future, and the information students need about career choices, focuses on issues relevant to us all.
Part of the tri-state Euregion, Limburg is famously 'at the centre of Europe', but counter-intuitively, its graduates rarely look across the border for work. ROA PhD candidate Inge Hooijen studies demographic shifts, regional migration and the mobility behaviour of university graduates with the aim of learning what these factors will mean for Limburg's growing economy.
Every six weeks the Learning and Work research theme holds poster sessions in Ad Fundum at the School of Business and Economics. At these events, three or more academics from across the faculty present their latest research. It's a great way to get to know each other. Curious to see what the sessions cover? Get an impression here, or email Steffen Künn at s.kuenn[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl
“Being under-skilled is associated both with higher levels of need for recovery over time and with the risk of losing employment, but not with early retirement intentions,” conclude Fleur Gommans and co-authors in an International Labour Review paper drawing on the Maastricht Cohort Study. Achieving sustainable employment, they say, requires the monitoring of under‐skilling throughout workers' careers.
More students in the southern Dutch province of Limburg take exams in the German language, across all levels of education, than their peers anywhere else in the Netherlands. They also achieve higher grades in their German-language studies than the national average, according to analysis by Lex Borghans and Trudie Schils that received front-page coverage in De Limburger.
"Schools in Limburg are missing out on millions", according to a 15 March 2018 report in De Limburger about new research by Lex Borghans, Ron Diris and Trudie Schils. Their study revealed that the Dutch province of Limburg received less than its fair share of gewichtenregeling from a national programme aimed at supporting pupils from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
Learning and Work seminars, School of Business and Economics, Maastricht
Our regular Tuesday seminar series (from 12:00 to 13:00 at Tongersestraat 53) features researchers from different disciplines, with focuses on both academic and policy issues. For more information about forthcoming seminars, email Ron Diris at r.diris[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl or Barbara Belfi at b.belfi[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl
4 September | Hale Utar, professor of economics at Bielefeld University, will speak on "Firms and Labor in Times of Violence: Evidence from the Mexican Drug War" in room C-1.09.
PAS Festival, 7 September 2018, Maastricht University, Maastricht
Didier Fouarge, professor of labour economics at ROA/SBE, will speak on the subject of workforce skills at Maastricht's annual festival of pleasure, arts and science. His lecture, which will be delivered in Dutch at 19:30 and in English at 20:15, is entitled "The Employee of the Future: Skills in Demand"/"De Werknemer van de Toekomst: Vaardigheden waar Vraag naar is". Admission is free and the lecture is open to all.
Workshop: Dynamics of Skills Supply and Demand, 16-17 November 2018, Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht
Maastricht University Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) and the Learning and Work research theme will host this two-day workshop, which is free to attend. Invited lectures will be given by Professor Eric Hanushek (Stanford University), Professor Anna Salomons (Utrecht University) and Dr Zsófia Bárány (Sciences Po). The call for papers on one of six related themes closed on 25 May 2018. More information
Learning is one of our inborn instincts and behaviours; in these hyper-accelerated times, pausing for thinking about what you do (reflective thinking) can help you to know what you know (meta-cognition) and to close the gap to what you need to know (effective learning)
The importance of non-cognitive skills in education and the labour market is increasingly recognised, but it remains difficult to grasp and measure the skills that are particularly significant. Achievement tests are typically seen as measures of cognition, but test-taking behaviour can also be used to extract those non-cognitive skills that are important in later life