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Felstead, Alan; Green, Francis (2008)
Publisher: Futureskills Scotland
Languages: English
Types: Book
Subjects: H

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Raising work skills continues to attract the interest of policy makers and researchers alike. However, evidence on work skills in Scotland has often been gathered from UK-wide surveys which lack a specific Scottish focus. This report presents evidence on work skills in Scotland drawn from data collected for the 2006 Skills Survey which contained a Scottish boost. The survey generated a high quality, and reasonably large, representative sample of working individuals living in Scotland aged 20-65, consisting of 2,000 respondents. A total of 1,415 of these were based in the area covered by Scottish Enterprise and 585 respondents were located in the Highlands and Islands. The survey's aim was to gather information on the skills used at work via questions directed at workers themselves. This report explains how several different aspects of work skill can be measured using the information gathered and examines the distribution of job skills among those in work. The report also describes changes that have taken place over the last decade, by making comparisons across three separate, but comparable, surveys carried out in 1997, 2001 and 2006. The report also compares Scottish work skills with those found in other parts of the UK (or for trend analysis, Britain). The report focuses on the distribution and trends in the following: Broad skill measures including the qualification level required on entry into jobs, the training time for the type of work individuals carry out and the learning time needed to do jobs well (Chapters 3); The use of computer skills and their level of sophistication (Chapter 4); The use of other generic skills, such as problem-solving and communication skills (Chapter 5); Employee task discretion, that is the level of control employees have over the detailed execution of work tasks and hence the extent to which employees' judgement and skill is required (Chapter 6); Employee attitudes to work and skill development, the opportunities for training and learning, and the consequences of, reasons for and costs of employee development (Chapter 7).\ud Findings are extensive and include comment on the following: The pattern of broad skills; The pattern of computing skills; The pattern of other generic skills; Skill trends; Discretion at work; and Training and learning.
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