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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2005): Education - UK - Training

Employer-university 'partnerships': a key problem for work-based learning programmes

F. Reeve and J. Gallacher

Journal of Education and Work, vol.18, 2005, p.219-133

Work-based learning programmes in UK higher education are characterised by a curriculum derived from the workplace rather than traditional disciplines, a learning process which incorporates real work activities and fewer (or no) modules requiring attendance at the institution. Many of these programmes have been developed with the participation of employers, but work-based learning remains marginal within universities. Authors suggest that partnership working between employers and universities has failed to take off due to: 1) lack of interest from employers; 2) cultural differences between the potential partners; and 3) the emergence of a quality agenda in higher education, which is reducing the influence of employers.

Truancy blights vocational scheme

M. Green

Financial Times, June 13th 2005, p.4

A scheme offering disaffected children training in industry has resulted in high truancy rates, education inspectors said today. But the enormous popularity of the programme and the improvements detected by the report from Ofsted will encourage ministers, who believe a drive to give more vocational training to 14-16 year olds is the way to improve behaviour and tackle drop-out rates.

A vision too far? Mapping the space for a high skills project in the UK

C. Lloyd and J. Payne

Journal of Education and Work, vol.18, 2005, p.165-185

Policy-makers throughout the developed world claim to be committed to the creation of a high-skills, knowledge-driven economy nourished by a culture of lifelong learning. Authors argue that Germany and Scandinavia offer the best working models of such a society, and discuss whether the UK could move towards such a model. These Northern European countries have achieved a consensus between the state, employers and unions that has supported high investment levels, generous welfare provision, limited social inequality, strong labour rights and a broad distribution of high-level skills. Authors explore the barriers to transferring this model to the UK.

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