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Unions, the Skills Agenda and Workforce Development

Stuart, Mark and Huzzard, Tony LU (2016) In Oxford Handbook on Skills and Training
Abstract
This chapter explores the relationship between unions and skills at the workplace. We argue that the significance of the skills agenda is broadly concomitant with a shift in the labour process beyond mass production into newer trajectories, variously described as post-Fordism, post-industrialism, flexible specialization and new production concepts. Unions are increasingly equating their members’ learning (and skills) as much as with enhancing their employability as with broader emancipation or entry into a trade. Through focusing on the contrasting cases of the UK and Sweden we show how the recent pursuit of the skills agenda has gone hand in hand with a strategic reorientation of unions, in response to more challenging bargaining... (More)
This chapter explores the relationship between unions and skills at the workplace. We argue that the significance of the skills agenda is broadly concomitant with a shift in the labour process beyond mass production into newer trajectories, variously described as post-Fordism, post-industrialism, flexible specialization and new production concepts. Unions are increasingly equating their members’ learning (and skills) as much as with enhancing their employability as with broader emancipation or entry into a trade. Through focusing on the contrasting cases of the UK and Sweden we show how the recent pursuit of the skills agenda has gone hand in hand with a strategic reorientation of unions, in response to more challenging bargaining environments and a declining membership base. We also argue that different approaches by unions to skills can be explained not only by national and sectoral factors but also by agency and voice mechanisms. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
unions, skills, employability, agency, new production regimes, UK, Sweden
in
Oxford Handbook on Skills and Training
editor
Buchanan, John; Finegold, David; Mayhew, Ken and Warhurst, Chris
publisher
Oxford University Press
ISBN
9780199655366
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6176df9f-89ab-4562-8bcb-9b7f99482a23 (old id 4858452)
date added to LUP
2014-12-15 17:26:02
date last changed
2016-10-26 12:35:29
@misc{6176df9f-89ab-4562-8bcb-9b7f99482a23,
  abstract     = {This chapter explores the relationship between unions and skills at the workplace. We argue that the significance of the skills agenda is broadly concomitant with a shift in the labour process beyond mass production into newer trajectories, variously described as post-Fordism, post-industrialism, flexible specialization and new production concepts. Unions are increasingly equating their members’ learning (and skills) as much as with enhancing their employability as with broader emancipation or entry into a trade. Through focusing on the contrasting cases of the UK and Sweden we show how the recent pursuit of the skills agenda has gone hand in hand with a strategic reorientation of unions, in response to more challenging bargaining environments and a declining membership base. We also argue that different approaches by unions to skills can be explained not only by national and sectoral factors but also by agency and voice mechanisms.},
  author       = {Stuart, Mark and Huzzard, Tony},
  editor       = {Buchanan, John and Finegold, David and Mayhew, Ken and Warhurst, Chris},
  isbn         = {9780199655366},
  keyword      = {unions,skills,employability,agency,new production regimes,UK,Sweden},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xc15c668)},
  series       = {Oxford Handbook on Skills and Training},
  title        = {Unions, the Skills Agenda and Workforce Development},
  year         = {2016},
}