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By Andre Kraak

Debates approximately sturdy governance are more and more curious about the coordination failure that happens whilst a number of enterprises are required to behave in live performance with one another, and this monograph appears at simply any such case within the South African government's efforts to "join up" education and paintings to provide a skilled labor force.  

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Industry-specific skills require some interaction between the education and training system and industry for the training to be appropriate and up to date in supplying the skills required. This may be achieved through the dual system in Germany or the polytechnic system in Singapore. For general skills, education at only a minimum level is required for the lower end of the flexible labour market. For employers, 48 Debating High Skills Policy(5) 3/9/06 2:01 AM Page 49 G L O B A L I S AT I O N , S K I L L S F O R M AT I O N A N D I N T E G R AT E D P O L I C Y workers with higher-level skills present major problems because their skills are portable and they may easily be poached, a fundamental problem that has dogged British industry.

However, while we have already mentioned some of the component elements of skills formation – the VET system and its relationship to the labour market – recent work by Estevez-Abe, Iversen and Soskice (2001) has taken this type of analysis forward in two ways: it has placed the issues of the firm, competitiveness and product markets at the centre of an analysis of the different types of skills that can be produced, and it has shown how different kinds of skill utilisation produce different forms of social protection and inequality in society.

Product market strategies and the identification of firms that could move up the value chain I should say immediately that this section is indebted to Geoff Mason at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). Rather belatedly, the British government has recognised the need to raise the demand for skilled work. The focus here has been on the idea of a low-skills equilibrium, and especially the more recent research by Oxford and Warwick Universities’ centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE), which has argued that many firms make a good profit out of lowskills work and have no need to raise their skills levels, thus reinforcing the low-skills equilibrium.

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