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Patricia Findlay

This chapter analyses skill in work through a broader political economy lens that allows for greater understanding of the competing and complementary priorities and experiences of multiple actors – individuals, employers and the state primarily – in relation to skills and the potential for approaches to skills in work to drive, or to thwart, individual economic and social progress. It begins by considering the challenges in defining, understanding and analysing skills and then examines the value of skills both in terms of returns to having skills and qualifications and in terms of the organisational processes and practices for skills valuation. Then it considers key trends in workforce and workplace skill and looks beyond the ‘possession’ of skills to consider how these are deployed in the workplace. Finally, it considers approaches to skills in distinct country and institutional settings and the possibility of a more progressive agenda for skills and the challenges.

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Patricia Findlay