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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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The United States: How Partnerships Can Overcome Policy Gaps

Partnerships are constantly evolving as they try to position themselves to meet the changing needs of businesses and workers in order to generate or retain jobs for their constituents. They can be powerful catalysts for improving workforce development and economic development programmes. In the United States, partnerships are formed vertically among the various levels of government and horizontally among government agencies and nongovernment entities. As a result, they devolve more responsibility for the design and provision of workforce services from central governments to local organisations, which can lead to service delivery systems that are more responsive. This chapter identifies key criteria for developing successful partnerships, and offers several examples in the United States that highlight the lessons learned and the challenges encountered.

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