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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2002): Education - UK - Training

BROWN SET TO BOLSTER ADULT SKILLS

C. Adams

Financial Times, Nov. 27th 2001, p.5

Article discusses a draft report on the government's plans to encourage adult skills training. One area mentioned in the article is financial incentives for small businesses to invest in training which include things like cash grants, vouchers, tax credits and loans. The draft report sets out why skills are so important to raising productivity. It blames economic, social and cultural factors for the UK's failings in this area.

COLLEGE TO TEACH PRINCIPLES HOW TO MANAGE

J. Kelly

Financial Times, Nov. 20th 2001, p. 4

A national leadership college is to be set up to improve the management skills of further education college principals. Ofsted inspections have revealed patchy management quality in the sector.

DEMAND AND DELIVER: CHALLENGES FACING THE LEARNING AND SKILLS SECTOR

C. Hughes

New Economy, vol. 8, 2001, p. 213-215

A new approach to workforce development is required from training providers which includes:

  • generic training modules customised for individual firms;
  • a direct relationship between customer and provider, avoiding planning intermediaries;
  • vocational education constituted as a business transaction not a government scheme;
  • business performance, not the purchase of courses, as the focus for workforce development.

IN DEMAND : ADULT SKILLS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Performance and Innovation Unit

London : 2001

Report proposes maintaining a clear focus on reducing the estimated 20% of the workforce who lack basic literacy and numeracy skills as the top priority, since without basic skills individuals may be trapped in insecure low paid jobs. In the longer run the aim should be to ensure that all adults have the opportunity to achieve a level 2 qualification, roughly equivalent to 5 GCSEs. Individuals and employers should be able to build on these foundations to develop the specific intermediate skills that are needed in local labour markets.

KEEPING ADULT LEARNING WORK FOCUSED

D. Boyer

Working Brief, No. 129, 2001, p. 8-10

There is a serious problem of low adult skills in Britain, compounded by a lack of demand for adult learning. Employers are reluctant to invest in work-based training. This is partly because they do not see it as their responsibility to equip the workforce with basic skills. There is also a reluctance to pay for more than very job-specific training, partly due to fear of poaching by other companies. Proposes encouraging employer commitment to training through tax breaks, without expecting them to pay for training those skilled below job entry level.

MODERN APPRENTICESHIPS: THE WAY TO WORK: REPORT OF THE MODERN APPRENTICESHIP ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Sudbury: Department for Education and skills, 2001

Proposes a target of 35% of young people entering a modern apprenticeship by 2010. The prime responsibility for promoting and delivering modern apprenticeships should be assigned to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). This body should develop a national framework for modern apprenticeships.

OPPORTUNITY FOR WHOM? THE PRIORITIES FOR POST-16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING

W. Piatt

New Economy, vol. 8, 2001, p. 216-220

Argues that the prospects of young working class people could be improved by focusing on measures to help them improve their A-level results and so enable them to progress to higher education. On the funding side, the extent of public subsidy for post-16 education should be directly related to the degree to which individuals can expect a healthy wage premium from their investment: the healthier the premium, the more the individual should expect to contribute themselves.

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