Business pundits argue that industrialized states must move away from low-technology
products with poor profit-margins which can be produced more cheaply in low-wage countries.
Similarly, developing countries aiming to join the ranks of the advanced nations must acquire
a capacity for producing sophisticated products and services. High-technology products require
long-term research, expensive and sophisticated production equipment and precise quality
procedures. Above all, they require skilled human resources capable of performing effectively
in this environment.
At the organizational level, enterprises need people with appropriate skills, abilities
and experience. These qualities can be bought from outside the organization through
recruitment, consultancy and subcontracting, or grown by training and developing
existing employees. This section focuses on the second approach.(...)
Human resource development is a strategic approach to investing in human capital. It
draws on other human resource processes, including resourcing and performance assessment to
identify actual and potential talent. HRD provides a framework for self-development, training
programmes and career progression to meet an organization's future skill requirements.
HRD at the environmental level
Human capital development in the form
of education and skills training can be an effective response to constraints
imposed on the job market. Specific skills may be in short supply - even
during periods of considerable unemployment - and technological developments
outdate some skills and require entirely different competences.
There is a considerable variation between education and training levels in different
countries. For example, technology and production have long been regarded as high-status
activities in Germany. Success in these areas demands a high level of technical training
amongst the workforce. As a consequence, German businesses place a higher value on technical
merit than, say, those in the UK.
There is a risk to Europe’s prosperity if the supply of graduate science and technology skills
does not match market needs.
Vocational education and training
Whereas the level of technical
qualification in the UK appears to be low, the reported training activities
of organizations is much higher. This discrepancy can be explained by the
historical absence of recognized basic and intermediate-level vocational
certification. Similar problems have occurred in other countries such as Australia. A number
of schemes have been introduced to counter the situation:
on the HRM Guide Australia site.