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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2010): Education - UK - training

Employer engagement within 14-19 diploma development

A. Laczik and C. White

Research in Post-Compulsory Education, vol. 14, 2009, p. 399-413

In 2005, the UK government announced the development of a suite of employer-designed diplomas for 14 19-year-olds linked to different industrial and commercial sectors. This article reflects on some of the achievements and challenges of this type of employer engagement initiative by drawing on three pieces of research: a review of Diploma development and two employer consultation studies belonging to the latest phase of Diploma development - the Diplomas in Humanities and Social Sciences, and Languages and International Communications. The article suggests that meeting the needs of employers in qualification design is problematic as employers are a heterogeneous group bringing a range of different views, ideas and contributions to the process. Furthermore, the article points to a possible mismatch between policymakers' expectations from employers at the macro level, and what in fact happens at the local, micro level owing to personal and economic circumstances, companies' demands and the economic climate.

No suitable replacement for E2E

L. Higgs

Children and Young People Now, Feb. 23rd-Mar. 1st 2010, p. 9

Entry to Employment (E2E) courses, which prepare young people for work or further learning, are being phased out from September 2010 and will be scrapped by 2013. The courses will be replaced by Foundation Learning, which will offer learners a flexible route to Entry Level and Level 1 qualifications. Young E2E participants receive a non-means tested Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) payment of 30.00 per week, but young people on Foundation Learning will not be automatically eligible for this cash. There is concern that stopping

EMA will make it impossible for some young people to attend any course.

K. Orr

Research in Post-Compulsory Education, vol. 14, 2009, p. 479-489

The New Labour government identified the further education (FE) sector as a vehicle to deliver its central policies on social justice and economic competitiveness in England, which has led to many initiatives that have increased central scrutiny and control over FE. The author argues that this has revealed a gap between policy initiatives and practice even in colleges where reforms are ostensibly successful. In order to illustrate this gap and how it is maintained this paper considers one specific reform: the statutory obligation for teachers in English FE colleges to undertake 30 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) annually. This paper argues that a symbiosis of performativity has evolved where the government produces targets and colleges produce mechanisms to 'evidence' their achievement separate to any change in practice which, in turn, maintains the gap between policy and practice.

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