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Addressing the skills gap in regeneration and economic development in Cumbria


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There has been considerable discussion recently regarding processes by which regeneration practitioners acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to innovate in the delivery of the sustainable communities agenda. This paper highlights some key literature regarding how knowledge is developed and shared and the role of networking in disseminating such knowledge. The findings of a ‘skills audit’ conducted in Cumbria in the North West of England are used to illustrate the ways in which local institutional structures and partnership arrangements can enable or inhibit processes of knowledge exchange. Although ‘skills gaps’ are identified, issues related to the coordination of projects are also noted. Evidence indicates that the acquisition of ‘tacit knowledge’ through interacting with others in networks is recognised as an important mechanism for enabling innovation by removing the obstacles to knowledge exchange created by institutional barriers.

Keywords: Cumbria; Skills audit; innovation; institutional structures; knowledge management; regeneration

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • Journal of Urban Regeneration & Renewal is the essential peer-reviewed journal for all professionals concerned with physical, economic and social regeneration of urban communities. It publishes in-depth articles and real world case studies on the latest strategy, policy making and current and best practice in the field. Guided by its expert Editor and Editorial Board, each quarterly 100-page issue does not publish advertising but rather in-depth articles written by and for urban regeneration professionals analysing current and best practice in the planning, consultation, funding, delivery and long-term management of regeneration programmes, as well as the latest policy making, developments and research in the field.

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