Lost in translation? Skill policy and the shift to skill ecosystems

Pauline Anderson, Chris Warhurst

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution


    With government aware that the UK economy has relatively low skill levels compared to other OECD countries, boosting the supply of skills has long dominated UK economic policy. This policy thinking is underpinned and legitimised by reference to economist Howard Becker's (1964) human capital theory, and has resulted in economic policy in the UK resting on supply-side interventions in the labour market to boost skills. New thinking rejects static notions of equilibria and centres on the concept of 'skill ecosystems', which are akin to dynamic living organisms with interconnected parts, actions and needs. In this chapter, the authors outline this shift in thinking and indicate how the concept has been lost in its translation into policy initiatives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationComplex New World: Translating New Economic Thinking into Public Policy
    EditorsD. Nash, T. Dolphin
    Place of PublicationLondon
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Publication series

    NameNew Era Economics


    • skill ecosystems
    • complexity theory
    • public policy


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