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Skill formation, immigration and European integration: the politics of the UK growth model

Coulter, Steve (2017) Skill formation, immigration and European integration: the politics of the UK growth model. New Political Economy, 23 (2). pp. 208-222. ISSN 1356-3467

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13563467.2017.1370446


While a reluctant European player now heading for the Exit, the UK was also an enthusiastic adopter of several key EU economic policies – namely, the skills and technology policies of Agenda 2020 and labour mobility. These initiatives worked with existing British policy, and structural biases, to exacerbate the already bifurcated structure of UK capitalism – between the high-paid technology and financial services sector on the one hand, and low-cost, low-wage sectors on the other hand. In particular, and central to the argument of this paper, immigration from Eastern and Central Europe after 2004 helped to sustain low-cost manufacturing and services industries by undermining firms’ incentives to invest in training. This combined with endemic failures in the UK’s skills system, which is heavily geared towards producing graduates with general skills but neglects the needs of mid and lower segments of the labour market. EU integration, therefore, exacerbated cleavages over skills between high- and low-productivity sectors and may have contributed to social divisions that led to Brexit

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Informa
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2017 12:09
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:35

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