Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Local skills strategies



The OECD LEED Programme is launching a project analysing local skills strategies in place in OECD member and non-member countries, as part of a wider
OECD Skills Strategy.

LEED is seeking experts in the field to contribute case studies
examining a joined up approach to local skills development in a selected locality.


Background / Issues / Outputs / Contact



The labour pool is now one of a region’s most important assets – in terms of ideas, innovations, talents, skills, specialisations, culture, methods and approaches to work (OECD, 2005). At the same time, being skilled has a strong influence on the life chances of individuals.

The global economy has been going through its worst economic crisis of the past 50 years and the OECD expects unemployment to remain high and economic growth to be slow in many countries. However, this is not a time to stand still; the global economy continues to evolve and advanced economies will need to capitalise on their competitive advantage in order to remain successful longer term. Skills will be essential to this process.

As well as putting in place strategies at the national level, some localities have developed skills strategies at the local level to improve the skills level of their citizens and match skills supply with skills demand. It is not just the supply of skills which needs to be addressed, but also the demand for skills and the utilisation of skills in the workplace.


Issues to be addressed

The focus of successful case studies should be on joined up approaches to skills development at the local level, involving partners from a number of different sectors (for example education, training, economic development, migration and employment) and different types of actor (e.g. between education providers, local businesses, employment agencies, NGOs, social innovators and economic-development actors). Ideally selected strategies will be balanced across supply and demand for skills (see figure below).


Case studies:

  • discuss the rationale and context for developing a joined up skills strategy in the community, the mechanisms used for identifying local skills needs and how the evidence base for skills policies was established/improved.  
  • explore how the skills strategy in the selected locality has been developed and translated into action regarding the supply, upgrading and utilisation of skills locally, focusing on integrated approaches across governments and between agents and institutions involved at the national and local level. It would be helpful to look at employer engagement in the process, such as providing better training and in harnessing the skills of their staff.  
  • consider the role of financing. It would be useful to include information on the financial investment in skills made by the local stakeholders, and give examples of ways in which the local authorities have made investing in learning more cost effective.  
  • include critical analysis to examine the impact of the strategy. Outcome data should be provided where available.  
  • identify barriers to implementation and good practice in overcoming these. They should look at which policies have been used, examples of what has and has not worked and obstacles to further improvement.
  • provide recommendations, lessons for policy makers and examine the potential for transferability


Selected case studies will contribute to the LEED Programme’s input into the OECD Skills Strategy.

The OECD Skills Strategy forms part of the OECD’s broader effort to support recovery, employment and growth, and will build on the rich knowledge base developed across the organisation. 

A complete Skills Strategy, providing a framework and principles to guide countries’ skills policies, will be launched in early 2013. 



For further information contact


Related Documents