Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance

Skill Utilisation: Towards a Measurement and Evaluation Framework

Policy makers throughout the developed world have long insisted that skills are central to economic success. However, there is a growing recognition that if skills are to deliver all that policy makers intend, they have to be taken up and utilised in the workplace. In the UK, skill utilisation is gaining prominence as an issue, particularly in Scotland, where 12 skill utilisation projects have recently been launched. If such policies are to function effectively, knowing what skill utilisation is, and how to measure its presence, is vital as is the ability to evaluate specific programmes. The paper offers some initial reflections on the construction of a measurement and evaluation framework. Particular attention is paid to definitional issues, including the problem of equating skill utilisation with the uptake of high performance working. Emphasis is placed on understanding why some projects succeed where others fail, building up the research capacity to support such work, and recognising that appropriate measures are likely to emerge through this process.

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