Monday, 12 November 2012

Education and skills policy for the knowledge economy: insights from territorial innovation models and territorial knowledge dynamics

Laura James (LLAKES Centre, Institute of Education, University of London) published in European Planning Studies Volume 20 Issue 11 (November 2012)


This article explores the conceptualisations of learning that underpin conventional education and skills policy for the knowledge economy and those which underpin territorial innovation models (TIMs) and the territorial knowledge dynamics (TKD) approach.

The TIM literature has been very influential in the area of regional development policy and frequently discusses concepts such as learning, knowledge creation and skills or competencies.

Despite this, it has had little impact on skills and education policy-making in the UK or elsewhere in Europe.

This article uses the UK as a case study and explores the implications of TIMs and TKD for national education and skills policies in the context of the knowledge economy. In conventional skills policy, learning for the knowledge economy has been conceptualised primarily as individuals acquiring credentialised knowledge or skills through formal education and training, which are then transferred into the economy as they move through the labour market.

This article argues that TIMs offer a quite different perspective on learning for the knowledge economy, which focuses on the relationship between firms, regions and institutions. More recently, the notion of TKD has been developed, particularly through the FP6 EURODITE project, and represents the extension and update to the TIM literature.

This article argues that the TKD concept has important implications for the development of appropriate education and skills policies for the knowledge economy in European countries.

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