The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has warned that overskilling is continuing to persist in the education sector


The centre released The Persistence of overskilling and its effects on wages, examining the effects of overskilling on school, vocational education and training and university graduates over several years and its impact on their wages.


The report found that overskilling is persistent, and individuals who have been overskilled in the past three years are significantly more likely to hold a job where they are overskilled than their peers who are in positions where they making full use of their skill set.


However, this difference varies a great deal by education level, with it being 33.4 percentage points for university graduates, and over 50 percentage points for VET diploma and certificate III/IV graduates.


“We find evidence that overskilling can last for years and that it can be a trap similar to long term unemployment. It clearly shows the importance of finding a job that is well-matched to people’s skills”, said Professor Mavromaras, from the National Institute of Labour Studies, at Flinders University.


The study found that university graduates were the most likely to sustain the worst wage losses.


In comparison, the pay of VET graduates is largely unaffected by overskilling, as are the wages of workers who haven’t finished school.


“Put simply, the stakes are higher for university graduates to find the job that best matches their skills, particularly those aspiring to the better paid jobs”, said Professor Mavromaras.


Copies of The persistence of overskilling and its effect on wages are available