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Title: The State, skill formation and productivity enhancement in the construction industry: The case of Singapore
Authors: Debrah, Y.A.
Ofori, G. 
Keywords: Construction industry
Political elites
Skill formation
Skills testing
Skills training
Issue Date: 2001
Citation: Debrah, Y.A.,Ofori, G. (2001). The State, skill formation and productivity enhancement in the construction industry: The case of Singapore. International Journal of Human Resource Management 12 (2) : 184-202. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The paper examines the links between skill formation processes and productivity improvement in the construction industry in Singapore. It critically examines the essential features of Ashton and Sung's New East Asian Skill Formation Model. This model, which is derived from the theory of the developmental State, points to the dominant role of the State and, for that matter the political élites, in the skills-formation process. It asserts that the State determines the skill needs at the national level and takes steps to ensure that those skills will be available in the economy when they are needed. Using Singapore as an example, Ashton and Sung show how an East Asian government has made effective use of skills training to achieve competitiveness. In spite of the significant strengths of this model, we argue that it does not tell the whole story. Consequently, this paper focuses on some neglected aspects of the skills-formation process in Singapore and argues that the Singapore government's skills-formation approach is not monolithic and that different approaches have been developed for different industries. The approach adopted for a particular industry depends on the characteristics of the industry and the government's priorities. Evidence is drawn from the construction industry to support this argument.
Source Title: International Journal of Human Resource Management
ISSN: 09585192
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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