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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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Training in SMEs in the Montréal and Winnipeg urban regions, Canada

This chapter looks at a study carried out among 80 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in two Canadian cities, Montréal and Winnipeg, based on a survey and case studies, which show the importance of innovation among Canadian SMEs. These innovations in turn create new demands for skill development, both through formal training and in informal activities. The outcomes of the study show two significant trends. First, an uneven development of learning activities among SMEs is related not only to the size of firms, but also to their orientation towards innovation and shared productivity measures. Second, because they do not have enough internal resources and flexibility to drive productivity growth through learning and training by themselves, SMEs need some form of group based mechanisms to solve this structural problem. However, it is noted that participation of unskilled employees in both formal and informal learning remains an important challenge for the great majority of SMEs.

English

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