Creating options and competences for productive transformation: a learning strategy

Presentation by Irmgard Nübler, Coordinator - Productive Transformation and Industrial Policies Programme, ILO

Presentation | 15 March 2013
Social capabilities determine the options and boundaries for productive transformation in a specific country context. The specific knowledge base of a society, and the nature, diversity and complexity of knowledge are important “carriers” of social capabilities. Formal education in schools shapes the social knowledge base and the particular educational profile of a country’s labour force. Education therefore is considered an important determinant of the productive transformation paths a country can follow. A cross-country study shows empirically that different education structures result in different productive transformation patterns and different dynamics in industrial and technological catching up. High-performing and sustained processes of productive transformation and job growth require a comprehensive learning strategy which challenges education, training and industrial policies to create a social knowledge base with a wide options space for structural change. At the same time, policies are challenged with developing those skills required in labour markets for the efficient use of existing technologies and production factors.
The presentation addresses the following guiding questions:
• What is the challenge of industrial policies in the light of country-specific capabilities?
• Which education structures are most conducive to rapid catching up and high dynamics in economic transformation?
• How can education policies foster an expansion of the options space and of competences for productive transformation?
• What is the possible role of social capabilities in explaining the middle income trap?

Workshop on "Boosting economic dynamics and job growth: the potential of industrial policies" organized by the ILO and the Geneva Office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) 4-5 March 2013.