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The skills economy and its development: examples and lessons from a rural region

Huggins, Robert ORCID: 2001. The skills economy and its development: examples and lessons from a rural region. Policy Studies 22 (1) , pp. 19-34.

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This paper is a study of the skills economy of the rural region of Mid Wales, and the subsequent policy responses that could be activated to stimulate job creation and upgrading through skills development and training. A skills economy approach incorporates the means by which the expectations of employers, employees and those outside the workforce influence the existing and potential skills base of a region. Such an approach differs from traditional labour market studies, being focused more on longterm aspects and based on skill deficiencies and gaps, rather than merely shortages. The paper addresses the underlying culture of learning and attitudes towards training, from the perspective of the training supply and the demand expressed by employers, employees, the unemployed and the inactive. It highlights that the socio-economic climate of a rural economy dominated by transport difficulties, depopulation and agricultural crises needs to be addressed by the training provision made available. However, the unwillingness or inability to invest in learning and training is shown to be highly apparent from both the employer and employee perspective. It is shown that the development of new awareness and skill raising activities, to encourage both businesses and individuals to capitalize upon their latent skills capacity, are crucial to enhancing the Mid Wales skills economy. These activities should be developed at a number of differing levels, ranging from the direct promotion of increased productivity, to facilitating excluded individuals in the development of basic employability and 'job-getting' skills.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
ISSN: 0144-2872
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 08:42

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