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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2011): Education - UK - training

Cable promises 100,000 new apprenticeships

M. Beckford

Daily Telegraph, Feb. 7th 2011, p. 8

The coalition government is increasing funding for apprenticeships by 222m to reach 1.4bn in 2011/12. It is hoped that the number of school leavers taking up apprenticeships will rise from 300,000 to 400,000 by 2014/15, with half aged over 19. Under the scheme, the government pays for apprentices to attend college while employers give them a job and pay them a wage. However, official figures show that 25% of apprentices drop out of training.

The community health apprentices project: the outcomes of an intermediate labour market project in the community health sector

J. South, K.L. Jackson and L. Warwick-Booth

Community, Work and Family, vol. 14, 2011, p. 1-18

Intermediate labour market (ILM) projects found in many high unemployment areas of the UK offer the people most disengaged from the labour market a period of temporary paid employment along with support and personal development. The approach is reliant on creating additional employment opportunities, often of value to the community, rather than replacing existing jobs. This paper reports on the qualitative outcomes resulting from the Community Health Apprentices Project, an ILM programme that was run in two neighbouring areas of Bradford. The Project was predicated on the understanding that the apprentices would bring their own life skills and local knowledge to placements and would thereby increase the capacity of organisations to work with local residents and to improve the health of the community. Findings show that both anticipated and unanticipated outcomes occurred in relation to increased skills for work, improved health and well-being and improved organisational capacity.

Globalisation, neo-liberalism and vocational learning: the case of English further education colleges

R. Simmons

Research in Post-Compulsory Education, vol. 15, 2010, p. 363-376

Further education (FE) has traditionally been a rather unspectacular activity. Lacking the visibility of schools or the prestige of universities, for the vast majority of its existence FE has had a relatively low profile on the margins of English education. Over recent years this situation has altered significantly and further education has undergone profound change. This paper argues that a combination of related factors - neo-liberalism, globalisation, and dominant discourses of the knowledge economy - has acted to transform FE into a highly performative and marketised sector. Against this backdrop, further education has been assigned a particular role based upon certain narrow and instrumental understandings of skill, employment and economic competitiveness. The paper argues that, although it has always been predominantly working class in nature, FE is now, more than ever, positioned firmly at the lower end of the institutional hierarchy in the highly class-stratified terrain of English education.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul: the price of standards-driven education

E. Ingleby

Research in Post-Compulsory Education, vol. 15, 2010, p. 427-440 This article presents research findings on mentoring within PCET ITT (Post-Compulsory Education and Training Initial Teacher Training). The research has identified that mentors and mentees consider that the role of the mentor is unclear. Moreover, mentors are unsure of the aims of PCET ITT programmes. The inconsistency of mentor training programmes appears to be exacerbating this uncertainty. The consequence appears to be that the professional boundaries within the mentoring relationship are uncertain. The research findings are related to the work of Bourdieu, Foucault, Habermas and Weber.

Young parents and their children: breaking the cycle of poverty

T. Riley

Working Brief, Issue 219, Dec. /Jan 2011, p. 16-17

Helping teenage parents to get an education that allows them to find employment is crucial to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty, but the lack of affordable childcare has been found to be a barrier to continued learning. Care to Learn, a programme funded by the Young People's Learning Agency which helps young parents continue with, or return to, education by covering the costs of childcare, is playing an important role in breaking this barrier.

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