A B S T R AC TThis article examines two inter-related issues. First, the tendency for UK skills policies to act as a substitute for other social and economic measures. Second, the problem of current conceptualisations of skills policy creating narrowly-drawn, technicist interventions that are frequently incommensurate with the scale of the problems which they purport to tackle. The article suggests that current policy formation processes, particularly in England, are being deployed in a manner that seeks to close off consideration of other potential avenues by which contemporary social and economic problems might be addressed. The case is made for a wider framing of both policy possibilities and avenues for relevant research to support such policy development.
K E Y WO R D S
jobs / skills / social equality
IntroductionThis article examines two inter-related tendencies for skill to displace other foci for action in both the social and economic spheres and policy thinking on skills to support narrowly-defined, reductionist and non-integrative lines of policy development. In particular, the article stresses the danger that skills 565
This article focuses on demands and interventions to improve or maintain job quality. There is need for better understanding of what can be done, by whom and with what impacts. The article provides a framework for reflection focused on interventions within and outwith the workplace. Drawing on secondary data, it outlines the renewed policy and academic interest in job quality, examines the multi-level reasons for intervention, the factors that shape this intervention and evaluates the loci of intervention. On the basis of the evidence to date, it argues that there is scope for intervention and that intervention can be effective.
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