The 10 PFI questions on Human Resource Development relate to:

  • Human resource development policy framework

  • Basic schooling

  • Higher education

  • Training programmes

  • Health

Labour market laws and regulations

  • Core labour standards

  • Balancing multiple objectives of labour market regulations

  • The role of foreign workers

  • Labour market adjustment

  • Labour market regulations and workforce adaptability

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Overview

Human resource development (HRD) policies comprise four main elements: educational attainment, workforce skills, population health and labour market laws and regulations. Each of these areas is thus a key driver in creating a favourable environment for both domestic and foreign enterprises to grow through new investment and to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. Their relative roles and the overall importance of HRD depend on individual country circumstances, particularly the economic structure.

The quality of HRD policies cannot be seen simply as the sum of the four areas outlined above but must also take into account the interaction among them. Attempts to boost workforce skills through vocational training without considering their interaction with basic educational attainment or flanking labour market policies are likely to be ineffective. Human resource development requires a comprehensive strategy that takes full account of the linkages between, for example, improved population health on educational attainment and, depending on employment policies, on labour productivity.

This chapter deals with how human resource development policies can contribute to an environment that is attractive to domestic and foreign investors and can enhance the benefits of investment to society. A premise of the chapter is the linkage between government and private investments in education, training and population health with other kinds of investment: increased investment in human resource development attracts higher capital spending by enterprises, provided the general business environment is appropriate.

The chapter examines and distils the lessons from how government human resource development policies, including labour market policy, bear on business investment decisions and the key features that determine their success from a wider development perspective.