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De-Skilling, Re-Skilling, and Up-Skilling

Skill is a property, the capability to accomplish something, which requires practical knowledge and ability and is acquired with practice. De-skilling, re-skilling, and up-skilling are each processes through which the skill demanded of practitioners by specific activities, tasks, or situations is changed or redistributed. A process of de-skilling involves something demanding less skill of the people accomplishing it. For example, the replacement of handlooms with mechanized looms in the early nineteenth-century British textile industry demanded less-skilled human labor to accomplish the production of woven cloths. Re-skilling generally refers to processes through which someone develops new skills. Its dominant use has been to describe processes through which workers made redundant from one skilled trade, such as in manufacturing, are re-skilled to be competent practitioners of a ...

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