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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.

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Policies and practices for improving skills utilisation locally

This chapter highlights why it is increasingly important for policy makers to focus on demand-side skills policies. Traditional supply-side approaches often overlook how employers are using skills in the workplace, which can undermine productivity and growth and weakens the demand for skills. Across the OECD, many countries are dealing with stagnant productivity growth while inequalities are simultaneously rising across a number of key employment and social measures. Policies to better use skills can create the conditions for enterprise growth and new economic opportunity and development but they remain under-developed across many countries. This chapter also highlights a number of areas, where policies can be targeted for better results on the ground.

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