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Skills Development and Training in SMEs

image of Skills Development and Training in SMEs

The report discusses the results of the OECD “Leveraging Training and Skills Development in SMEs” (TSME) project which examines access to training by SMEs across seven regions in six OECD countries: New Zealand, Poland, Belgium, UK, Turkey and Canada. The book analyses the policy issues related to both low access by SMEs, and how to recognise the increasing importance of informal training and skills development methods. The book looks at how both formal and alternative ways of training and skills development interact and identifies impacts at three levels; for the firm and employees; for the industry; and for the local area where the firm is located.

The report pays special attention to the development of entrepreneurial skills and the emerging area of “green skills”. This focus is not just because ‘green skills’ represent the next new training opportunity – the de-carbonisation of economies that will occur over the coming decades represents an industrial transformation on the scale of the microelectronics revolution - but in many ways the response to the green economy is at an emerging stage- this means we have the opportunity to implement lessons from previous successful practices into a skill development area that will have enormous reach.

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Skills and training ecosystems

The focus of this chapter is the results of workshops and study visits to the case study areas, intended to determine the skills needs, issues around developing training and competencies, the role of networks in skills development, and the outcomes of skills and training development activities. Combined with the survey results, a skill ecosystem (clusters or networks between firms and skill development institutions) is mapped for each of the case study regions, illustrating the levels of interaction between small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the organisations in their area considered by them to be important for their skills and training development.A synthesis analysis was then undertaken, comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences across the different regions. Of particular note was the finding that skills and training development policies need to be individually focused for their local area. Policy implications, based on the results of the research data, note that a key challenge for policy makers is how to combine a diverse range of policy instruments across a wide range of portfolios in order to manage an assorted bundle of ecosystems. The importance of regional networks and locally appropriate policies are emphasised.

English

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