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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2003): Education - UK - Training

THE BEST DAYS OF YOUR LIFE? YOUTH POLICY AND BLAIR'S NEW LABOUR

P. Mizen

Critical Social Policy, vol.23, 2003, p.453-476

New Labour has sought through investment in education and training to equip young people with the skills needed for the knowledge economy and so render them employable. However this focus on education for young workers masks the steady government withdrawal of traditional sources of support available to the young, such as access to social security benefits and free university education.

EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND

Work and Pensions Committee

London: TSO, 2003 (House of Commons papers, session 2002/03; HC680)

The European Social Fund aims to improve the employability of individuals across the European Union, especially those who have most difficulty in entering the labour market. It supports projects that are involved in employment, training, and ways of countering social exclusion. Report recognises two persistent concerns about the Fund:

  • the weight of bureaucracy associated with administration of grants;
  • uncertainty about future funding in the light of EU enlargement.

HARDEN UP SKILLS STRATEGY

Anon

Labour Research, vol. 92 Nov.2003 p14-15

Unions have already broadly welcomed the government's plans for workplace learning outlined in its skills strategy white paper. They have two main reservations about it:

  • the government's continuing reliance on employers to train their workers on a voluntary basis;
  • the lack of statutory entitlement to paid time off to study for level 2 qualifications (equivalent to five GCSEs)

LIFELONG LEARNING: POLICY AND PRACTICE IN FURTHER EDUCATION

G. Leader

Education and Training, vol45, 2003 p.361-370

This review identifies three themes underlying the tensions that exist within the current arrangements to support lifelong learning in the further education sector (FE):

  • it reflects on widening participation and the positioning of FE since the publication of the Kennedy Report in 1997;
  • it considers the debate surrounding social inclusion and the influence of a complex range of factors on lifelong learning opportunities;
  • it evaluates the issue of accessibility and the implementation of initiatives to remove barriers to access for particular groups such as the disabled.

The review concludes by assessing the politicisation of learning, its relationship to the knowledge economy and the need for an effective national lifelong learning strategy.

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