There are marked changes in skill requirements in today's modern societies, and major questions about the processes of skill formation remain unresolved. What do we mean when we talk about skills, qualifications and competencies? Are market economies and firms systematically under-investing in skills? This book addresses these questions by first looking at what we mean when we talk about 'skills'. Secondly, it looks at the institutions where skills are acquired, before finally considering the provision of and access to training. It provides an up-to-date review of theories and research on skill formation in psychology, economics, political science and sociology, and addresses issues of skill learning and measurement, institutional and policy differences between countries, the issue of skill formation across a lifetime and disparities between socio-economic groups.