Policy Studies, vol. 30, 2009, p. 473-494
The belief that skills are key to economic competitiveness, productivity growth and social inclusion/justice has been central to New Labour's political project since its election in 1997. The UK government has tended to fashion a distinctive policy narrative, wherein education and training are presented as the primary mechanism for tackling a range of economic and social problems. This position has recently been endorsed by the Leitch Review of Skills. Since devolution responsibility for education and training has passed to the Scottish Parliament and Government, which have developed a distinctive and different approach to the issue of skills. In England, policy-makers have focused narrowly on boosting the skills supply and matching overseas levels of qualification stocks within the national workforce, while their Scottish counterparts are increasingly stressing the need for skills to be utilised effectively at work. They are looking for new ways of linking skills policy to a broader business improvement, innovation and economic development agenda.
Children and Young People Now, Nov. 5th-11th 2009, p. 12
The government has revealed that there will be a new Level 2 qualification for early years, social care and learning development support services. The Level 2 Certificate is intended to be a stepping stone to the new Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce and not an end in itself. It will be available from September 2010 alongside the diploma, which will replace all existing Level 3 qualifications for the relevant sectors.
Working Brief, Nov. 2009, p. 12-13
Current skills and employment services are not sufficiently integrated with one another and neither is aligned to labour market needs. Customers, i.e. employers and individuals, are not informed, empowered or trusted sufficiently to drive demand, performance and quality. This article outlines the work that the UK Commission for Employment and Skills has been doing to simplify the system and empower the customer.