Risky Skills – Causes, and Impacts, of Investment in Scientific, Technical and Other ‘Narrow’ Skills

Birkbeck Centre for Innovation Management Research (CIMR)
Birkbeck, University of London
Friday 10th July 2015, 9.45 – 6 pm
Room: MAL B30

The supply of skills is a key factor in innovation systems and, more generally, of productivity growth (Nelson & Phelps 1965; Lawton Smith & Waters 2011). Investment in skills with a narrow or uncertain market – a category which includes many scientific, technical, and creative skills – is particularly problematic in that it exposes the investors (some combination of the individuals being trained, employers supporting training, and public and charitable bodies providing training) to risk (Filippetti and Guy 2012; Wang, Eccles, and Kenny 2013). The ensuing problem of providing specific skill is ramified in such areas as the migration both of students and of skilled workers (Iammarino and Marinelli, 2014); gender bias in career paths reliant on narrow skills, scientific research among them (Iversen 2005); labour market mismatch (Cappelli 2014; Meliciani & Radicchia 2014); organizations’ choices about training, career progression, and engineering processes so as to make greater use of general skills; in training and education policies; and the design of national institutions of social insurance and employment security (Estevez-Abe, Iversen, and Soskice 2001).

The invited presentations will be followed by a general discussion on the problem of the supply of narrow skills. Possible areas of focus include, but are not limited to, skill supply in these contexts:

  • Scientific labour markets
  • Regional or national innovation systems; science and technology clusters
  • Migration (inter-regional or international) of skilled workers
  • Migration for education and training
  • Gender discrimination
  • Training and education policy
  • Social insurance
  • Employers as both suppliers and demanders of narrow skills

Workshop Programme

9.45 – 10.00 Coffee and welcome
Prof. Helen Lawton-Smith (Director of the CIMR)
10.00 – 10.45 Dr. Davide Consoli (Ingenio CSIC-UPV)
Green Skills
10.45 – 11.30 Richard Scott (OECD)
Higher education institutions in the ‘knowledge triangle’: Re-examining the relationship between teaching, research and innovation activities
11.30 – 11.45 Coffee break
11.45 – 12.30 Prof. Valentina Meliciani (University of Teramo) and Dr.Debora Radicchia (ISFOL)
Spatial mobility and overeducation in the Italian labour market: the role of fields of study
12.30 – 13.15 Dr.Andrea Filippetti (LSE) and Dr.Frederick Guy (Birkbeck College)
Insurance shapes skill, skill boosts innovation: schooling, social insurance, and patents in OECD countries
13.15 – 14.30 Lunch Break
14.30 – 15.15 Dr.Tom Kemeny (University of Southampton)
International Trade, Wages and Risky Skills
15.15 – 16.00 Dr. Francesca Sgobbi (University of Brescia)
The role of occupation and education field in the relationship between adult education, training, and earnings
16.00 – 16.45 Prof. Helen Lawton-Smith (Birkbeck College) and Rupert Waters (Buckinghamshire Business First)
Scientific skills: replacement demand and skills gaps and shortages in the South East of England
16.45 – 17.45 General debate and future agenda
Chair: Dr. Federica Rossi (Birkbeck College)

Admission is free!
If you are interested to attend the workshop, please send an e-mail to Ning Baines at nsrikasem@yahoo.com