OECD project on leveraging training and skills development in SMEs

Thanks to Anne Green, Chair of the Observatory’s Economy & Labour Force Group, for contributing this post.

Logos of University of Warwick and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and DevelopmentResearchers at the University of Warwick—Anne Green from the Institute for Employment Research and Laura Martinez-Solano from Warwick Manufacturing Group—are involved in an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Local Employment and Economic Development Programme project on leveraging training and skills development in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

This is an international project focusing on analysis of SMEs in a selected territory.

SMEs are an important component in regional and national economies, and the project aims to identify training and skills development policies that promote growth, job creation and innovation.

The project is intended to inform OECD policy advice on how governments can best support SMEs in their skills development activities.


The UK element of the project, in which the UK Commission for Employment and Skills is the host country partner, focuses on SMEs in the West Midlands region.

The project will involve international comparison with regions from countries such as New Zealand, Poland, Belgium and Turkey. The project is designed to provide understanding of how SMEs’ approach to skills and training systems varies as well as best practice approaches at both the firm level and local skills ecosystem level.

There is a particular interest in exploring the role of skills and training ecosystems and whether the organisational interactions within the ecosystem have an impact on workforce development, in SMEs’ participation in training and skills development activities, and on increasing awareness of SMEs to skills upgrading activities

The project involves:

  • Electronic survey of SMEs in the West Midlands, which focuses on aspects of the skills and training issues outlined above
  • Selected case studies of particular SMEs in which aspects of skills and training are explored in more detail
  • Contextual analysis of data on the economy and on skills and training in the West Midlands
  • Workshop focusing on the regional training and skills development infrastructure

The workshop involving the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, UK Commission for Employment and Skills and regional organisations will be held at the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick on the morning of Tuesday 11th May 2010.

If you are interested in attending or finding out more, please email Laura Martinez at L.E.Martinez-Solano [at] warwick.ac.uk.

Anne Green, Institute of Employment Research, University of Warwick, tel: 024 765 24113, email Anne.Green [at] warwick.ac.uk.

Laura Martinez, West Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick, tel: 024 765 75950.

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