Reviews the experiences from seven countries to determine how to achieve better coordination between the efforts of policy makers at the national and local levels to broaden workforce development efforts.
"Today labour market institutions need to become major economic players, not just at national level but also at local level, through interacting with economic development to build competitive and sustainable communities” (p.18). In the United States, the Department of Labor has sponsored the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) "to support the development of a regional, integrated approach to workforce and economic development and education. The ultimate goal of WIRED is to expand employment and advancement opportunities for workers and catalyse the creation of high-skill and high-wage opportunities" (p.78). This report goes on to explore the workforce development policies that have been enacted in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, and Korea, and concludes with recommendations for improving competitiveness and workforce development in these countries. (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

• “Inject flexibility into management. It should be possible for the local level to decide on and provide strategic orientations in the implementation of public programmes and services, in addition to pursuing predetermined objectives” (p. 50). • “Establish an overarching management framework that embeds local flexibility. Workforce development policy should be managed in a way that supports greater local differentiation while still paying attention to aggregate impacts at the national level” (p. 50). • “Build strategic capacity. Enhancing local capacities becomes particularly important in this context, as strategies for human resources development must be integrated and matched to the economic reality on the ground. The staff of labour market institutions should have a strong knowledge of local business practices, local economic conditions, industry developments, and appropriate methods to identify skill gaps and deficiencies in local economic sectors” (p.50). • “Build up local data and intelligence. Building an understanding of economic and labour market conditions demands, as a prerequisite, refined databases gathered and managed locally and expertise in a wide variety of fields. The capacity to gather data locally and organise them in a way that enables strategic planning exercises is critical” (p. 50). • “Improve governance mechanisms. Labour market institutions should collaborate effectively with business, trade unions, civil society, higher education institutions, research centres, economic development agencies and local authorities. There is no governance mechanism that fits all institutional frameworks, but partnerships have a certain value in bringing different stakeholders together to develop appropriate and realistic strategies” (p.51). • “Improve administrative processes. Aligning policies through institutional reform such as decentralisation is a difficult challenge. In large countries with complex distributions of power, a perfect match may always seem just beyond reach. A wide-scale review of how administrations function, co-operate and manage policies is needed to support better collaboration between different administrative layers and between different policy institutions. This is particularly important given that the new, broader goals for human resources development cut across a number of different policy areas” (p.51). (Abstractor: Author)