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Implications of globalization and economic restructuring for skills development in sub-Saharan Africa


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  • Johanson, Richard K
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    This paper discusses the role skills development can play in avoiding the problems of globalization and structural adjustment and realizing their benefits and what can be done to position countries to capture the employment and wage benefits of globalization. The author argues that higher and more evenly distributed levels of education will help mitigate wage inequities that have been widened by globalization. However, until new cohorts of educated workers enter the workforce, investment in additional training for the current workforce may provide a substitute, although the lower the average education attainment, the less perfect the substitute. Investments have to be sustained for new labour force entrants. The important points are that, first, the training must be recurrent or continual to update the skills of workers os as to enable them to stay abreast of new technologies. Secodn, the training must not be too narrow, because adaptability is another key to success in the modern world. Building capacity for lifelong recurrent training and for training for displaced workers is also an important institutional measure.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by International Labour Organization in its series ILO Working Papers with number 370119.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: 2004
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Working paper :
    Handle: RePEc:ilo:ilowps:370119

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    Keywords: vocational training; skill; globalization; structural adjustment; Africa south of Sahara; training system; informal economy; financing; formation professionnelle; qualifications; mondialisation; ajustement structurel; Afrique au sud du Sahara; système de formation; économie informelle; financement; formación profesional; calificación; globalización; ajuste estructural; Africa al sur del Sahara; sistema de formación; economía informal; financiamiento;


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    1. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    2. Biggs, T. & Shah, M. & Srivastava, P., 1995. "Technological Capabilities and Learning in African Enterprises," Papers 288, World Bank - Technical Papers.
    3. Brown, Phillip & Green, Andy & Lauder, Hugh, 2001. "High Skills: Globalization, Competitiveness, and Skill Formation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199244201, September.
    4. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
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