Skills Pay

The Contribution of Skills to Business Success

Tamkin P, Giles L, Campbell M, Hillage J | Research Report RR5 | Sector Skills Development Agency | Aug 2004

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UK productivity has shown a relative decline since the late nineteenth century and as a consequence the UK has moved from being one of the most productive industrialised countries in the World to occupying only a middle-ranking position compared to its OECD neighbours.

This has caused policy makers to seek underlying causes and one of the most durable concerns has focused on skill levels in the UK. The most straightforward comparisons of qualification levels in the workforce for different countries demonstrate that the UK has lower skill levels than our competitor nations. This may therefore be a contributor to the productivity gap. More complex research has implicated skills much more convincingly.

We propose a model of human capability within organisations reflecting both the development and deployment of capability from both an individual and organisational perspective. Skills are one key element of this mix but need to be seen in context.