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More Than Just Jobs

Workforce Development in a Skills-Based Economy

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"Job placement” has been the traditional goal of labour and employment policies, but this report argues otherwise. To stay competitive in a globalised economy, governments must also strive to enhance the skills of workers, increase their productivity and provide upward mobility to immigrants and the disadvantaged. This report provides valuable insights into how labour policies can be expanded to meet economic development and social cohesion goals, while also reconciling national and local concerns.   Studies from seven OECD countries are presented (Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States), each analysing attempts to expand workforce development policies and bridge the gap between national and local initiatives. Included are various types of government/private sector partnerships in the United States, regional training in France and Australia’s efforts to customise policies to local needs. Based on the country studies, the report then makes specific recommendations and suggestions on how workforce development policies can be expanded and improved.

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A Broader Agenda for Workforce Development

There is currently a debate as to whether labour market policy would serve its economic and social goals better by concentrating on its core business or by widening its perspective. Should the goal of employment and training policy be purely the efficient functioning of the labour market, or should it serve wider economic and social purposes? In a globalised economy, labour market policy has a unique contribution to make in tackling a wide range of issues, from attracting and retaining talent to enhancing the competitiveness of local firms. Labour market institutions can have a significant impact in these areas given their unique capacity as a source of expertise, programmes and services and their presence throughout the national economy and at a number of layers within the administration. However to achieve this, a new broader goal for workforce development has to be set: The comprehensive management of human resources, so as to meet better the demands of a global economy through improving economic competitiveness and social cohesion.

English

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