Market-oriented skills development in SMEs: the skills ecosystem in Canterbury, New Zealand
New Zealand public policy aims to increase skill levels in the labour force, taking into account that businesses are predominantly small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs; two-thirds of New Zealand enterprises have zero employees, and almost two thirds of businesses that do employ staff have no more than five employees. There is considerable evidence that small and medium-sized enterprises generally face significant barriers to engagement with formal training programmes. Consequently, the LEED programme of the OECD initiated a project to identify ways of overcoming barriers to workforce development in SMEs. New Zealand participated in that project, submitting a case study on the Canterbury region. This paper explains the study’s conceptual framework and presents the major research results. It finishes with an analysis of differences in the data between highly innovative and less innovative SMEs. The large differences between the high and low innovation firms were in their participation in: marketing and promotion training; business planning training; research and development training; and job-specific technical skills (formal training). This suggests the innovative firms may be more driven by the search for new market opportunities.... [Show full abstract]
Fields of Research140201 Agricultural Economics
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