Handbook of the Politics of Labour, Work and Employment
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Handbook of the Politics of Labour, Work and Employment

Edited by Gregor Gall

Providing a thorough overview of the political nature and dynamics of the world of work, labour and employment, this timely Handbook draws together an interdisciplinary range of top contributors to explore the interdependent relationship between politics and labour, work and employment. The Handbook explores the purpose, roles, rights and powers of employers and management, workers and unions, states and governments in the age of globalised neo-liberalism.
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Chapter 21: Training and development – whose interests are being served?

Mark Stuart


This chapter reviews the interests that may be served and the benefits that may accrue from training and development for different stakeholders. It often appears that training and development serve common interests and deliver benefits for all. Employees, citizens, employers, representative bodies (such as unions) and the state all have an interest in training and development and the acquisition and deployment of skills. Heavily influenced by the tenets of human capital theory, policy discourse largely assumes that different parties will be willing to invest in training and development for clearly derived gains. For the state, human capital formation contributes to economic growth, prosperity, social inclusion and community cohesion. For employers, investment in training contributes to the efficiency, adaptability and commitment of their human resources and, ultimately, an organisation’s competitive position. For individuals, training, learning and the acquisition of skills can improve job prospects, career progression and lifetime earnings. These assumptions are interrogated.

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