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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 1999): Education - UK - Training

BLUNKETT PRESSED ON SKILLS COUNCILS

J. Pike

Financial Times, July 7th 1999, p. 8

Reports that the Education Secretary is facing pressure to grant discretionary elements of at least 10 percent in the budgets of his proposed local learning and skills councils. The extent to which the government's reforms of work based further education and training allow local autonomy remains the critical factor in winning private sector support for them.

BRIDGING THE GAP : NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR 16-18 YEAR OLDS NOT IN EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT OR TRAINING.

Social Exclusion Unit

London : TSO. 1999 (Cm 4405)

More than 160,000 young people aged 16 to 18 are not in school, training or work and a high proportion are criminals, drug users or teenage parents. A further 161,000 are in "dead-end" jobs with no training or chance of promotion. Report proposes a package of measures to remedy this situation, including :

  • a US style teenage graduation certificate to reward young people achieving a basic standard of education by the age of 19;
  • a 'youth card' for all 16-18 year olds still in education to cut cost of travel and books;
  • education maintenance allowances worth up to £50.00 per week for teenagers in education or training after 16;
  • a revamped youth support service offering personalised advice;
  • a computerised register of 13 - 19 year olds, including a record of educational achievement.

CBI URGES MINIMUM EDUCATION STANDARD

A. Pike

Financial Times, July 19th 1999, p. 9

CBI proposes that all under 25 year olds should be given a publicly-funded entitlement to achieve A-Level standard, or its vocational equivalent, through full-time education or apprenticeship. Those who failed at the first attempt should be able to try again through part-time education or subsidised training in employment.

DISCOURSES ON COMPETENCE : A CASE STUDY OF STUDENTS' EXPERIENCE OF HIGHER LEVEL NATIONAL/SCOTTISH VOCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

R. Canning

Journal of Education and Work, vol. 12, 1999, p. 201-213

The introduction of competence-based national vocational qualifications in the UK marked a radical departure in vocational education policy, and has subsequently provoked widespread criticism. Students studied in this research echo the concerns raised by early critics of S/NVQs, in particular the lack of in-depth coverage of underpinning knowledge and the emphasis on mechanistic learning. For the majority of students, attending an S/NVQ was a chore and an exercise in paper collection that, at best, proved they were competent to undertake their present role.

MANAGING THE CHANGES INHERENT IN DEVELOPING THE LEARNING SOCIETY : ISSUES, CHOICES AND STRATEGIES

G. Gordon

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 7, 1999, p. 141-148

As students want their qualifications to have international portability and recognition, lifelong learning will need a supportive, coherent climate involving government, institutions, employers, trade unions, professional and voluntary bodies, the media and other shapers of attitudes, opinions and values.

SKILLING THE UNSKILLED : A QUESTION OF INCENTIVES?

S.C. Walter and B. A. Weber

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 20, 1999, p. 254-269

Demonstrates the limitations of a labour market policy almost exclusively concerned with retraining the unemployed when those still in employment (the potential unemployed) have little or no incentive to change their attitude towards continuous education.

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