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.



The Choctaw Tribe of Mississippi

Managing Skills for Workforce Transformation

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) provides a case study for the development of local workforce skill strategies to address high rates of unemployment, poverty, and the lack of employment opportunities in a rural area. The MBCI has approached skill development by using a method of self-reliance and selfdetermination as well as participating with other organisations for collaborative partnerships. The results have been remarkable, with poverty and unemployment rates dropping significantly since the early 1970’s from highs of 80% to a low of 2% in 2007. The focus for workforce development is on technology intensive manufacturing as well as the hospitality industry, aimed at upgrading the skills of workers, while also training those without skills. The emphasis is also on tribally-owned and managed enterprises to foster self-reliance.


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