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Katy Jones

How can local skills strategies help low earners?

How can local skills strategies help low earners?

Paul Sissons and Katy Jones
07 February 2014

Weak demand for skills among employers is associated with a greater prevalence of low-wage work, increasing the risk of poverty. This research commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looks at how local skill strategies which help increase employer demand for skills can improve the prospects of low-wage workers. It finds: 

  • Locally, low demand for skills can result in a low-skills equilibrium – where the labour market is characterised by weak demand for skills from employers but also limited availability of skills among the workforce. It can also result in the local population under-using their existing skills.

  • In England, the dominant approach has been to focus on the supply of skills. Many other countries have been more proactive in trying to influence demand among employers. However, there are currently some attempts to devolve power and funding for skills to employers and local areas, such as the Sheffield City Deal.

  • Policy needs to address both supply and demand for skills. The most successful local economies have a skilled workforce and competitive firms which make good use of these assets.
  • Read the summary here

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