JANZZ.technology Releases a New and Improved Version of its Ontology

Every day, JANZZ.technology’s dedicated team of IT supporters and engineers work on improving the quality and extent of the ontology JANZZon!. Over the past couple of weeks, the focus was on growing the ontology’s reach by implementing even more languages and national occupation classifications.

Improvements on the ontology:

  • Implementation of O*Net completed
  • The Singaporean classifications SSEC 2015 and SSOC 2015 90% completed
  • Several thousands of skills added to the ontology in Arabic
  • Many occupations added to the Dutch classifications BO&C and SBC.

New additions to the ontology:

  • Chinese trad, and Chinese simplified, Swedish, Finnish and Japanese now available for ISCO-08 and selected national classifications such as the Finnish Ammattiluokitus 2010
  • Integration of the European classification for skills, competences, qualifications and occupations, ESCO

For more information on these developments, please contact us directly via email or via our contact form.

Old News, Current Problem: Over-Qualified Graduates in the UK

The lack of graduate jobs in the UK and the subsequent un- and underemployment of university leavers have been decried for years. New research now reports that over-qualification has reached saturation point, with woeful impacts on the UK economy.


According to a report commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), more than half the UK’s graduates are wasting their degrees in jobs that do not require a university qualification and are thereby driving lower skilled workers out of their jobs. Furthermore, the authors warn that the money invested in education is wasted, leaving young people crippled by debt as they enter an increasingly competitive labor market. Importantly, the discrepancy between the qualifications and skills of university leavers and those needed by the labor market has severe macroeconomic impacts, as it affects economic competitiveness and growth negatively, increases unemployment, undermines social inclusion, and generates significant economic and social costs.

“The assumption that we will transition to a more productive, higher-value, higher-skilled economy just by increasing the conveyor belt of graduates is proven to be flawed,” said CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese. “Simply increasing the qualification level of individuals going into a job does not typically result in the skill required to do the job being enhanced – in many cases that skills premium, if it exists at all, is simply wasted. This situation is unsustainable given that the government estimates that 45% of university graduates will not earn enough to repay their student loans.”

Indeed, the UK is trailing behind other European countries, leaving only Greece and Estonia with a higher underemployment rate. While countries such as Germany, Switzerland or Slovenia have underemployment rates of around 10%, a staggering 58.8% of students in the UK are not using the qualifications from their degree. The findings of the CIPD are supported by a claim from the Office for National Statistics in 2013 that half of recent graduates in the UK were in non-graduate jobs.
overqualification graduates europe

Graduates in non-graduate jobs, 2004 and 2010. The CIPD report noted a rise of underemployment in most European countries. Illustration: European Social Survey

In order to improve the bleak outlooks of graduates, the CIPD suggests raising the profile of alternatives to a degree such as apprenticeships and re-evaluating how employers invest in further training. The report thus applies a Malthusian logic to the issue of over-qualification, arguing that young people should rather pursue alternatives to a university education as the demand for skilled work on the UK labor market is saturated. Indeed countries, such as Switzerland, with a dual education system that fosters apprenticeships and other alternative educations perform significantly better in terms of matching qualifications with labor market demands.

The UK’s poor record is thus only the latest evidence of the skills mismatch and labor market frictions across Europe – a phenomenon investigated in the Nobel Prize winning research of Diamond, Mortensen and Pissarides. On the basis of this research, JANZZ.technology has developed a practical tool to recognize discrepancies between labor market demands and skills supplied by workers. Its solutions thus offer an effective way of gaining the necessary information in order to get better value out of an education system and to increase an economy’s productivity. As the CIPD has recognized, better information about degrees and their prospects might just be the first step to recovery.


Survival of the Fittest: Badly Educated Men Struggling to Keep Up

Badly educated men in rich countries are a species hit hard by the changing demands of the labor market. They have enjoyed unwarranted advantages in the labor market simply because of their sex for decades and centuries but now their fortune is changing.

The Economist emphasized in an article how men cluster both at the top and the bottom of US society. While 95% of Fortune 500 CEOs, 98% of Forbes’ self-made billionaires are male and 93% of world’s government heads are male, men are also far more likely than women to be imprisoned, killed in a homicide or commit suicide. Indeed, men finding themselves increasingly divided between the highest and lowest rungs of society are an issue that is played out not only in the US but also in much of the rest of the industrialized world.


Over the past decades, women have caught up intensively on education and are now earning 57% of degrees in OECD countries. Boys are 50% more likely to fail all three basic subjects in school: mathematics, reading and science. Book-smartness was not an essential qualification in the past but now it is hard to find even low skilled work without a basic school degree. While it is still hard for women to break the glass ceiling, they dominate 20 of the 30 occupations that are expected to grow fastest in the coming years (e.g. nursing, accounting, child care). Hence, the gap between the sexes can be expected to grow even more.

The issue is not only the lack of education or qualifications that causes many men to do poorly in the present world of digitalized, automatized and outsourced workflows but a refusal to think outside of traditional gender roles. There is no more real money in muscle work, work that badly educated men have traditionally exercised, as machines replace a great number of manual workers and foreign workers do the same job for a fraction of the money. Hence, it is literally not the strongest species that survives, as Darwin said, but the one that is most adaptable.

It is clear that the men at the bottom would need to reinvent themselves in order to catch up with the fast paced labor market. But where to start? JANZZ.technology offers with its cutting-edge semantic knowledge base of occupation and skills data a means to analyze skills gaps and to manage talent effectively. It can easily find what skills a person is lacking in order to exercise a certain occupation. Also statistical analyses of a whole community or society can be conducted by means of JANZZ.technology’s ontology in order to get to the bottom of issues in the labor market.