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.



Executive Summary

In a globalised economy, where both capital and labour are highly mobile and technology evolves rapidly, workforce development institutions have a key role to play in improving prosperity and living standards. An analysis of local drivers of growth shows that human resources are a fundamental source of economic development in a knowledge-based economy. Policy makers within the field of labour market policy and training have a major contribution to make, not only in providing the pool of skills that the economy needs locally, but also in fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and social cohesion. Labour market institutions may tackle a wide range of issues locally, from the attraction and retention of talent to solving skill deficiencies, integrating immigrants, incorporating the disadvantaged into training and employment, improving the quality of the workplace, and enhancing the competitiveness of local firms. They have a unique capacity to contribute in view of the scale of their programmes and services, and their presence throughout the national economy and at a number of layers within the administration.


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