The local solution? The Schumpeterian workfare state, labour market governance and local boards for training in Kitchener, Ontario

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5 Scopus citations


This paper examines the concept of local labour market regulation within the context of the restructuring of training provision by federal and provincial governments in Canada as part of the development of what JESSOP, 1993, terms the Schumpeterian workfare state (SWS). In particular, drawing on COX and MAIR'S, 1988, 1991, concept of local dependence, it will emphasize the need to examine the institutions regulating labour markets at different spatial scales - especially at the local level. The paper examines the development of local boards for training and adjustment in Ontario with special reference to preliminary findings from a case study of the implementation of one such local board in the Kitchener region. An important feature of these boards is that, at both provincial and local levels, labour and management are given equal representation while minority groups and women are given significant say over the form and content of training delivery. It will be argued that, while this attempt by the Ontario Government to institute such boards based on a social democratic/co-determination model derived from the experiences of Germany and Sweden is in many ways progressive, these have inherited a legacy of adversarial industrial relations, poor training provision by the public and private sectors, and a severe economic recession. Furthermore, given significant differences in the institutional history of local labour markets there has also been considerable unevenness in the training and form of local board implementation. Thus, in Kitchener, while the implementation of the local board has been more advanced than in other areas of the province, there have been problems in achieving a consensus on the delivery of training and determining the spatial boundaries of the proposed boards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-427
Number of pages15
JournalRegional Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Institutions
  • Labour markets
  • Local boards
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences


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