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Andrew Weaver

Although widespread agreement exists on the general importance of workforce skills for economic growth and the regeneration of regional economies, much of the existing research is hobbled by imprecise measurement and the use of vague proxies for skill such as years of education. As a result, many of the existing policy recommendations on this topic consist of unhelpful exhortations to "get more education." In this chapter, the author argues that a critical need exists for research into the impact of precisely measured skills. The author further argues that in order to understand the potential and challenges of skill-related economic development policies, it is necessary to go beyond the assessment of individual skills by paying attention to both the institutions that produce skills and the interplay of supply and demand for skills. After a review of the current state of knowledge across multiple disciplines, the chapter concludes with promising avenues for future skill research.

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Paul Weaver, Jan Rotmans, John Turnpenny, Andrew Jordan and Alex Haxeltine