Designing Local Skills Strategies

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Higher-level skills are increasingly demanded by the knowledge-based economy. But with rising mobility and demographic change, it is no longer so simple to invest in a skilled workforce for the future. Actions are needed on a variety of fronts, including attracting and retaining talent, better integrating disadvantaged groups into the labour force, and upgrading the skills of low-paid workers. Much of the responsibility for these actions falls squarely on the shoulders of local policy makers.

Drawing from a wide array of case studies, this book analyses best-practice local strategies for increasing workforce skills. And it also takes a close look at the opportunities and challenges presented by international migration. The in-depth case studies in this report range from Shanghai’s “Highland of Talent Strategy” to new “career ladders” which help immigrants escape low-skilled, low-paid employment in New York. National and local-level recommendations on local skills development are provided, for both OECD and non-OECD countries.



Addressing Skills Shortfalls in Mackay, Australia

The region of Mackay in Australia has experienced unprecedented growth and wealth creation since 2004, putting significant pressure on company development. In response, manufacturing companies in Mackay have formed an industry cluster named “Mackay Area Industry Network” (MAIN) with the purpose of addressing skills shortages quickly and effectively. The result was the MAIN CARE programme – a programme designed to recruit, select and manage apprentices in the workplace. The main success of the scheme has been improving retention rates within the apprenticeship programmes which previously had high drop-out rates. This chapter situates the approach within wider skills strategies in Queensland, and assesses whether an employer-led approach can fully integrate hard-to-reach groups into the workforce development system.


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