ESRC calls for skills strategy in workplace

May 30, 2003

Government policies on skills and innovation will not create an economy capable of competing effectively in the global markets, according to a new report.

Robert Taylor, media fellow with the Economic and Social Research Council's Future of Work Programme, argues that only a more radical approach to workplace change will improve performance and raise labour productivity levels.

In High Road/Low Road - Skills and Innovation in Britain's Workplaces , he says: "The language of the government and industry about the importance of transforming the country into a high-skill information and knowledge economy may be inspirational, but the gap between its perceptions and the reality we face... remains very wide."

He says that no serious attempt has been made to relate the need to promote skills and innovation to the modernisation of companies and the way jobs are organised or restructured.

"Too much of the present approach remains top-down, ad hoc and fragmented.

It is over-managerial in its tone and substance and concerned primarily with the implementation of supply-side external labour market measures.

What is lacking is the development of a comprehensive skills and innovation strategy that is more in tune with the encouragement of workplace reorganisation and institutional change," Mr Taylor argues.

Peter Nolan, ESRC programme director, says that the emphasis on the production of low-skill and low-value products and services remains a powerful one.

"The barriers remain formidable to the construction of a vibrant, technologically advanced and knowledge-intensive workforce," Professor Nolan says.

The report says new forms of public intervention are required, including stronger support for businesses to provide high value-added goods and services through selective use of public-sector purchasing.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 10 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Business Development Officer YORK ST JOHN UNIVERSITY
Lecturer in Linguistics YORK ST JOHN UNIVERSITY
Associate Professor/Professor EDINBURGH NAPIER UNIVERSITY

Most Commented

Brexit, EU referendum

Joanna Williams voted Leave, and has been left disappointed by the academy’s reaction to the EU referendum result

Elly Walton illustration (7 July 2016)

Researchers in the liberal arts seem to have made it their mission to communicate in the most obscure fashion, says Zachary Foster

Daniel Mitchell illustration (14 July 2016)

Frank Furedi says the mournful mood on campus and the disparagement and silencing of Leave supporters betray an isolated scholarly class

Michael Parkin illustration (7 July 2016)

Rising immigration-related costs and lack of employer support send an unwelcoming message to international staff, says Jason Danely

People walk past second hand books for sale

Shift may be evidence that researchers feel they are increasingly judged on citations and journal impact factors