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Skill Formation and Restructuring within the UK Printing Industry.

Stuart, Mark Andrew (1999) Skill Formation and Restructuring within the UK Printing Industry. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.


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This study examines the dynamics of skill formation through a case study of the UK printing industry. The analysis presents an integrated assessment of the key factors shaping skill demand, supply, acquisition and deployment within the industry. Particular attention is given to the inherited traditions of training provision embedded in the industry’s national training agreement, the production and human resource management (HRM) strategies of employers, trade union policies and concerns, and the role of evolving labour market strategies for the industry. Following an embedded case study design, the study utilises complementary empirical techniques to explore the dynamics of skill formation at the national, local and workplace level. Empirical data are presented on the relationship between restructuring processes, the dynamics of skill formation and firms’ HRM policies and practices. The findings show the way in which investments in training and development are shaped, and influenced, by patterns of industrial and organisational restructuring, and how these processes of restructuring are themselves mediated by national, and local economic and sectoral developments. Whilst the printing industry’s historic structures and mechanisms for skill formation appear to be in a state of atrophy, there is little evidence to suggest that firms are supplanting traditional industry provision with well developed internal labour markets and career paths. At a conceptual level, this study challenges accounts which seek to understand policy debates concerning training interventions and skill upgrading strategies in isolation from the detailed realities of enterprise restructuring within specific firms and industries. The thesis identifies the need for an analysis that highlights the inherent tensions in the training system between capital, labour and the state, and reveals the way processes of skill formation are inserted into, and played out in, the contested environment of the industry, the local labour market and the workplace.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Leeds University Business School
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.550074
Depositing User: Digitisation Studio Leeds
Date Deposited: 01 May 2012 09:25
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:24
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2295

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