The International Literature on Skills Training and the Scope for South African Application
Abstract: This paper aims to introduce selected issues from the international literature on skills training into the South African policy forum. Reform of national strategies in skills production has characterised a number of industrial as well as certain developing economies in recent decades. Their experience is potentially valuable locally. The main lessons are that skills training resembles education in being partly a public good. The acquisition of skills parallels the acquisition of knowledge. Training opportunities do have to be rationed by some mechanism, either through the market or by rules internal to an organisation engaged in training, but the content of the competency learned is a form of knowledge. More competency with economic value that is acquired by one person does not mean less of it is available for acquisition by another. Nor, secondly, can non-payers be wholly excluded from the benefits of training financed by others. For example, there are separate gains for fellow workers, for employers poaching trained workers, and for investors in new technology. So certain economic decision-takers can free-ride on such investments in human capital. As classic examples of market failure they make clear that simple allocation through a market is not at all adequate for a national system of skills training. The second lesson is that problems of information, incentives and market power preclude the emergence of a training equilibrium in which individual workers and employers pursue their interests successfully and therefore efficiently. In practice most training takes place on the job, where it is difficult for an outside agency like the state to influence investment decisions directly. Sensible roles for the state are to supply needed information, to put in place positive and negative incentives where needed, to provide accreditation that is credible in the market, to set up a framework of regulation that fosters informational transparency and constrains skills poaching, and to invest in high quality prior education for trainees flowing into occupational markets. An additional state function is to provide workable policy devices like ‘temporary migration programmes’ that enable active skilled labour recruitment from source countries. International precedents exist that show the way in a number of these expedients.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Working Paper Series by the Development Policy Research Unit, July 2007, pages 1-92|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Private Bag X3, Rondebosch, 7701|
Phone: +27 21 650 5705
Fax: +27 21 650 5711
Web page: http://www.dpru.uct.ac.za
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- repec:ese:iserwp:2003-23 is not listed on IDEAS
- M Frybourg, 1988. "The Impact of Technological Change," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 6(2), pages 145-152, June.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 1998.
"The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1833, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1999. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 539-572, June.
- Acemoglu, D. & Pischke, J.S., 1997. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Working papers 97-24, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," NBER Working Papers 6357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bassanini, Andrea & Booth, Alison L. & Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria & Leuven, Edwin, 2005.
"Workplace Training in Europe,"
IZA Discussion Papers
1640, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- repec:nsr:niesrd:281 is not listed on IDEAS
- Wößmann, Ludger, 2008.
"Efficiency and equity of European education and training policies,"
Munich Reprints in Economics
19667, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Ludger Wößmann, 2008. "Efficiency and equity of European education and training policies," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 199-230, April.
- Ludger Woessmann, 2006. "Efficiency and Equity of European Education and Training Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 1779, CESifo Group Munich.
- Chiswick, Barry R., 2005. "High Skilled Immigration in the International Arena," IZA Discussion Papers 1782, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Stijn Claessens, 2006.
"Access to Financial Services: A Review of the Issues and Public Policy Objectives,"
World Bank Research Observer,
World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 207-240.
- Claessens, Stijn, 2006. "Access to financial services: a review of the issues and public policy objectives," Journal of Financial Transformation, Capco Institute, vol. 17, pages 16-19.
- Claessens, Stijn, 2005. "Access to financial services: a review of the issues and public policy objectives," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3589, The World Bank.
- Elena Arnal & Wooseok Ok & Raymond Torres, 2001. "Knowledge, Work Organisation and Economic Growth," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 50, OECD Publishing.
- Cörvers,Frank & Heijke,Hans, 2005. "Forecasting the labour market by occupation and education: Some key issues," ROA Working Paper 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
- James J. Heckman, 2005. "Lessons from the Technology of Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 11142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Finegold, David & Soskice, David, 1988. "The Failure of Training in Britain: Analysis and Prescription," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(3), pages 21-53, Autumn.
- Rodrik, Dani, 2004.
"Industrial Policy for the Twenty-First Century,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
4767, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2004.
"Training in Europe,"
Journal of the European Economic Association,
MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 346-360, 04/05.
- Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003.
"Human Capital Policy,"
IZA Discussion Papers
821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Mary Gregory & Miriam Beblo & Wiemer Salverda & Ioannis Theodossiou, 2009. "Introduction," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(suppl_1), pages i1-i10, April.
- Lisa M. Lynch, 2005.
"Job loss: bridging the research and policy discussion,"
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 29-37.
- Lynch, Lisa M., 2005. "Job Loss: Bridging the Research and Policy Discussion," IZA Discussion Papers 1518, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Nicholas Oulton & Hilary Steedman, 1994. "The British System of Youth Training: A Comparison with Germany," NBER Chapters, in: Training and the Private Sector: International Comparisons, pages 61-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 2005. "Is retraining displaced workers a good investment?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 47-66.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ctw:wpaper:07124. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Waseema Petersen)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.