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

A LOT TO LEARN FROM UNIONS

Anon.

Labour Research, vol. 88, July 1999, p. 21-23

Unions are now fully recognised by government and employers as key players in the successful delivery of workplace training and education.

MAKING EMPLOYABILITY WORK: AN AGENDA FOR ACTION

Confederation of British Industry

London: 1999 (Human resources brief; July 1999)

Outlines an eight point action plan to help people of all ages become more employable so that they can survive in the knowledge-driven economy. Recommendations include:

  • helping individuals take more responsibility for their own learning, through Individual Learning Accounts;
  • embed employability more effectively within the school curriculum and the qualifications framework, including 'economic citizenship', the full range of key skills, and modern language skills;
  • improve the availability and quality of careers guidance for adults;
  • press ahead with reforms to make work pay;
  • provide flexible pensions and other financial products that allow people to maintain their employability and financial security over a flexible working life.

MANAGING AMBIGUITY: BETWEEN MARKETS AND MANAGERIALISM: A CASE STUDY OF 'MIDDLE' MANAGERS IN FURTHER EDUCATION

D. Gleeson and F. Shain

Sociological Review, vol. 47, 1999, p. 461-490

Paper examines the role that middle managers play in the process of filtering market reform in the post-incorporated further education sector. In a climate of rapid and unpredictable change, in which struggles over the meaning, identity and ethos of FE have been to the fore, it is argued that middle managers play a crucial role in mediating change in the education workplace. In doing so, they are actively involved in the reconstruction of professional and managerial cultures in the sector.

ON FIRM FOUNDATIONS

I. Mackinnon

People Management, vol. 5, July 29th 1999, p. 29

Describes two innovations planned by the Basic Skills Agency to improve literacy and numeracy in the workplace. One is to design quality standards for training organisations that provide basic skills in the workplace. The second is to use basic skills 'brokers' who will go into companies to offer practical advice.

REACHING NEW STANDARDS: ANNUAL REPORT OF THE CHIEF INSPECTOR, 1998-1999

Training Standards Council

Oxford: 1999

Reports that nearly half of the 300 training providers inspected in 1998-99 were awarded at least one unsatisfactory grade. Over one-third of them received a low grade for quality assurance. There were general weaknesses in the initial assessment of trainees; in co-ordination between training at work and off the job; in standards of assessment and verification of awards. Overall, inspectors were left with an impression of uneven quality across the sector, from the marvellously good to the dismally poor.

RECIPE FOR SUCCESSION

E. Rana

People Management, vol. 5, August 1999, p. 32-37

Under government proposals for the reform of post-16 training and education, a single centralised national Learning and Skills Council will replace TECs by April 2001. The national council will control a budget of £5 billion, distributing cash to around 50 local LSCs. Business leaders are concerned that:

  • employers will be in a minority on LSC boards at both national and local level;
  • a training levy may be introduced;
  • the best people in the TECs may leave for other jobs.

SENT TO COVENTRY?: CHALLENGING EXCLUSION THROUGH COMMUNITY-BASED TRAINING AND CAPACITY BUILDING INITIATIVES

J. Watts and R. Farnell

Local Economy, vol. 14, 1999, p. 133-143

Paper reports on an employment training project undertaken in Coventry with partial funding from the European Social Fund. It involved community organisations, the community education section of the local authority and the university. The approach to training was developed in tandem with community capacity building aims. The partnership achieved a measure of trust, mutual accountability and open decision-making.

SLASHING JOBS TO SAVE BUDGETS

Anon.

Labour Research, vol. 88, Aug. 1999, p. 11-14

Further education college budgets have improved over the past two years but are still under strain, despite an escalation in job cuts among teaching staff.

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