Better Use of Skills in the Workplace

Why It Matters for Productivity and Local Jobs

image of Better Use of Skills in the Workplace

This joint OECD-ILO report provides a comparative analysis of case studies focusing on improving skills use in the workplace across eight countries. The examples provide insights into the practical ways in which employers interact with government services and policies at the local level. They highlight the need to build policy coherence across employment, skills, economic development and innovation policies, and underline the importance of ensuring that skills utilisation is built into policy development thinking and implementation.

Skills utilisation concerns the extent to which skills are effectively applied in the workplace to maximise workplace and individual performance. It involves a mix of policies including work organisation, job design, technology adaptation, innovation, employee-employer relations, human resource development practices and business-product market strategies. It is often at the local level that the interface of these factors can best be addressed.



Executive summary

OECD countries face two intertwined policy challenges: a long-term decline in productivity has occurred over the last two decades, while the gains in economic growth have increasingly accrued to those already at the top of the distribution of income and wealth. The impacts of this phenomenon are felt most at the local level, where economic welfare and well-being outcomes re-inforce each other. In response, skills have emerged as a key policy solution. Promoting the increased use of skills can help employers move towards higher value-added employment and maximize business performance. More productive jobs tend to be of higher quality and have higher wages, thereby improving social and economic outcomes at the local level.


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