Non-Fiction Books:

High Skills

Globalization, Competitiveness, and Skill Formation



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High Skills by Philip Brown
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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.

Author Biography

Phillip Brown is a Research Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University, UK. He trained as a teacher and youth worker before going to University College, Swansea in South Wales to study for a Ph.D. After working as a researcher at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, he took a lectureship in Industrial Sociology at the University of Kent. Andy Green is Professor of Education and Co-Director of the Centre for the Wider Benefits of Learning at the Institute of Education. He previously taught in further education colleges in London and the USA and was Senior Lecturer in Education History and Policy at South Thames Polytechnic (1988-90) before joining the Institute of Education in 1990. He has acted as a consultant for a range of national and international bodies including the DFEE, the DTI, the National Skills Task Force, OECD, and CEDEFOP. Hugh Lauder is Professor of Education and Political Economy in the Education Department, University of Bath. He taught in London schools between 1970 and 1976 and was Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand from 1979-90. From 1990-5, he was Professor of Education at Victoria University of Wellington.
Release date NZ
September 1st, 2001
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
figures and tables
Oxford University Press
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