High Skills : Globalization, Competitiveness, and Skill Formation: Globalization, Competitiveness, and Skill Formation

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OUP Oxford, Sep 20, 2001 - 320 pages
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Economic globalization has led to intense debates about the competitiveness of nations. Prosperity, social justice, and welfare are now seen to depend on the creation of a 'high skilled' workforce. This international consensus around high skills has led recent American presidents to claim themselves 'education presidents' and in Britain, Tony Blair has announced that 'talent is 21st-century wealth'. This view of knowledge-driven capitalism has led all the developed economies to increase numbers of highly-trained people in preparation for technical, professional, and managerial employment. But it also harbours the view that what we regard as a 'skilled' worker is being transformed. The pace of technological innovation, corporate restructuring, and the changing nature of work require a new configuration of skills described in the language of creativity, teamwork, employability, self-management, and lifelong learning. But is this optimistic account of a future of high-skilled work for all justified? This book draws on the findings of a major international comparative study of national routes to a 'high skills' economy in Britain, Germany, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States, and includes data from interviews with over 250 key stakeholders. It is the first book to offer a comparative examination of 'high skill' policies -- a topic of major public debate that is destined to become of even greater importance in all the developed economies in the early decades of the twenty-first century.
 

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Contents

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Page 4 - In the progress of the division of labour, the employment of the far greater part of those who live by labour, that is, of the great body of the people, comes to be confined to a few very simple operations ; frequently to one or two.
Page 4 - The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects too are, perhaps, always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become.
Page 5 - This knowledge and skill are in great part the product of investment and, combined with other human investment, predominantly account for the productive superiority of the technically advanced countries. To omit them in studying economic growth is like trying to explain Soviet ideology without Marx.

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