Skill Development for International Competitiveness

What skill-development strategies should developing countries adopt to compete successfully in the international markets of the 21st century? This innovative new book provides a blend of theory and case studies which shed new light on this important question. It approaches the question from two angles. It considers, first, how skill development affects a country's international competitiveness and, secondly, what a government should do to develop a country's skills. It concludes that development of skills is necessary for a country to make the transition from primary exports to manufactures and from labour-intensive to skill-intensive manufacturing. For this purpose, it is argued an education system that recognizes the return to improvements in quality, and a training system that internalizes externalities and prevents market failure are needed. Issues explored include: the arguments for an activist skill-development policy (with particular emphasis on education of girls and women); the transition from cheap labour to skill-based competitiveness; human resources and structural adjustment; and different approaches to training for countries and enterprises at different levels of technological development. Skill Development for International Competitiveness will be of interest to academics, students and researchers in the fields of development studies, development economics, the economics of education and training and labour economics. Policymakers and planners responsible for policies on human resource development and employment and overall development strategy will also find this a vital source of information.