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.



Michigan Regional Skills Alliances

A Statewide Initiative to Address Local Workforce Needs

The Michigan Regional Skills Alliance (MiRSA) Initiative, launched in 2004, offered thirteen local regions one-year start-up grants to develop local strategies to increase the skills and labour market success of individuals, and provide a collaborative approach through which local employers would benefit from a more skilled workforce. The state’s labor market information agency helped applicants by providing a cluster-type analysis of the local labour market and forecasts of employment trends and occupational needs. The implementation strategies varied by region and were based upon the identified needs of the targeted businesses as well as the collective thinking of the local partnership. This chapter reviews the success of the initiative, evaluating how it has impacted on working practices in the state.


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