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Skills and Skilled Work: An Economic and Social Analysis

Skills and Skilled Work: An Economic and Social Analysis (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Skills are frequently in the news and in the public eye in every country. Stories highlight concerns about education and literacy standards, grades, learning by rote, and university students being unprepared for work, as well as debates surrounding internships and apprenticeships, and social exclusion through skills policy. The recent financial crisis has forced education and training to take a back seat, and has caused an increase in youth unemployment. Skill and skilled work are widely considered important for promoting both prosperity and social justice. But how do we define skill? Skills and Skilled Work brings together multiple perspectives- economics, sociology, management, psychology, and political science- to present an original framework for understanding skills, skilled work, and surrounding policies. Focussing on common themes across countries, it establishes the concept and measurement of skill, and investigates the role of employers, workers, and other social actors. It considers a variety of skill problems and how a social response from the government can be understood.

Based on the findings of economics, management science, and theories of social determination, it develops a rationale for social intervention beyond market failure. This book weighs up both the prospects and the limitations of what can be achieved for societies with a better emphasis on skills and skilled work, and it promotes the study of skill in modern economies as a distinct sub-field.

Francis Green is Professor of Work and Education Economics at Centre for Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies (LLAKES), Institute of Education. After graduating in Physics at Balliol College, Oxford University, he studied Economics at the London School of Economics, before writing his PhD thesis at Birkbeck College. He has taught economics at the universities of Kingston, Massachusetts, Leicester, Leeds, and Kent. His research focuses on skills, training, work quality, and industrial relations issues. He has published more than a hundred articles and nine books, including his most recent book 'Demanding Work. The Paradox of Job Quality in the Affluent Economy', (Princeton University Press, 2006). He regularly provides consultancy advice and reports for UK government departments and a range of international organisations, including the OECD, World Bank, and the European Commission.

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