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International best practice on workforce development

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  • Release date: 23 January 2004
Compared with Britain as a whole, the demand for skills in Wales is not only low, but is actually declining.

Based on evidence of international best practice:

  • workforce development cannot be left entirely to the vagaries of the market; rather the market must be ‘shaped’ to some degree to deliver decent jobs for workers and profits for companies
  • there needs to be a clear vision of where Wales wants to be by 2010, based on a joined-up strategy and clear actions for driving up the demand for skilled work and moving business up the value chain
  • the most successful skill formation strategies depend on key stakeholders sharing a common understanding of, and commitment to the overall strategy for workforce development, supported with performance indicators
  • the vision should be linked to clear priorities for economic development based, this report argues, on the identification of business clusters or networks
  • there is a need to introduce the relevant mechanisms and programmes necessary to up-grade, on a consistent basis, the skills of the existing labour force to meet the future needs of the economy
  • Wales should move away from a ‘programme delivery’ approach and towards a more holistic approach through changes in work organisation to improve business performance.

The aims of the research are:

  • to develop recommendations for improving workforce development (WfD) in Wales, taking into account the UK Government’s recommendations for England
  • to identify other areas where further research may be required.
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