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High skilled workplaces, technological change and employment: Can educational reform do it?

Souto-Otero, Manuel ORCID:, Brown, Phillip ORCID: and Freebody, Simon 2023. High skilled workplaces, technological change and employment: Can educational reform do it? International Journal of Educational Research 122 , 102265. 10.1016/j.ijer.2023.102265

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Human capital, and related theories such as skills biased technological change, argue that skills development is a central strategy for individuals to succeed in an increasingly global and digitalised labour market. One of the main shortcomings of these theories, however, is their focus on the individual and their detachment from the organisational context in which workers operate and deploy their skills. In this article, we incorporate this context in the analysis, and explore the importance of the company characteristics in sheltering workers from unemployment when technological change occurs in their firm, using rich establishment-level data. Our results suggest that 'high-skilled' workplaces do not protect workers against automation. By contrast, the results point to the importance of companies' competitive strategies and management perceptions in sheltering workers from automation. The findings underline the relevance of social relations in the analysis of the future of work, and question accounts that focus exclusively on skills and educational reform to protect workers and create inclusive labour markets.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
L Education > L Education (General)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1873-538X
Funders: SkillFutures Singapore
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 October 2023
Date of Acceptance: 10 October 2023
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2023 10:15

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