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The third Skills in Focus event took place in the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow, on Friday 1 June 2012, hosted by Paul McKelvie OBE, Chair of the Skills Committee. The Skills in Focus series is intended to stimulate informed debate around current and future skills issues.

The event featured a presentation on Effective Skills Utilisation from Professors Chris Warhurst and Patricia Findlay. Chris Warhurst is Professor of Work and Organisational Studies at the University of Sydney and is an internationally recognised expert on the labour process, labour market and employment policy. Patricia Findlay is Professor of Work and Employment Relations at the University of Strathclyde and is a leading expert in work and the management of the employment relationship.

The event attracted senior representatives from across the skills landscape. The organisations represented included AGCAS, Scotland's Colleges, Scottish Enterprise,  Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Trades Union Congress, Jobcentre Plus, Scottish Council for Development and Industry and the NHS. There was also representation from individual Scottish businesses, colleges, universities and local authorities. The diverse nature of the audience demonstrated the importance of the topic and contributed to a wide-ranging debate.

The presenters gave expert briefings on effective skills utilisation. They summarised the policy trajectory from a reliance on the supply of skills to a more balanced debate around skills utilisation. They also highlight the debate and activities in other countries - notably Germany, Sweden, Finland and Australia. They propose the need for a broad stakeholder group to engage government, practitioners and researchers to tap the potential in Scottish workplaces.

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