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.



Executive Summary

In order to prosper in today’s economy, local communities increasingly need to ensure that they adequately invest in education and skills. Higher-level skills, such as the ability to analyse and process complex information, be creative and communicate effectively, are all increasing in importance in the context of the knowledge-based economy. In addition, the recent economic downturn has shown more than ever the value of investing in skills as a means of retaining employment in difficult times. It is more and more likely that future jobs will demand higher skills levels, as low-skilled jobs are lost and redefined in the current restructuring process.


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