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skillany competence possessed by someone; in an employment context it often refers to a combination of knowledge and manual dexterity amongst manual workers. JOBS are often categorized as skilled, semiskilled or unskilled according to the level of skills apparently required to perform them. However, many argue that there is a mismatch between skills that are actually necessary to perform certain jobs and the nomenclature of the job. Jobs classed as skilled may in reality require little skill (perhaps because of the introduction of new technology) whilst unskilled jobs may require more knowledge than is often recognized (tacit skills). It is therefore argued by some that skills are socially constructed. By defining certain jobs as skilled, entry to them can be restricted to those who possess certain recognized competencies or characteristics. If acquisition of these can be controlled then entry to the job can be restricted. In this way the rewards stemming from the job can be maintained at a high level. This has traditionally been the strategy of craft TRADE UNIONS and of PROFESSIONALS. See SOCIOLOGY OF WORK, TRAINING.
skillany competence possessed by a person, although in an employment context it often refers to a combination of knowledge and manual dexterity among manual workers. JOB or work tasks are often categorized as skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled according to the level of skills apparently required to perform them.
A key factor in upgrading skills is investment in TRAINING, both in terms of the provision of general education facilities by the government and, more specifically ‘on-the-job’ or vocational training facilities by firms and by the government.
The general level of skills of a firm's LABOUR FORCE is an important factor in increasing PRODUCTIVITY while, more generally, the skills of the labour force, as embodied in HUMAN CAPITAL, contribute to the achievement of higher rates of ECONOMIC GROWTH.