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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2007): Education - UK - training

Examining the full potential of the extended school

L. Orchard

Research in Post-Compulsory Education, vol. 12, 2007, p. 181-192

This paper describes a project based in a disadvantaged area which is aimed at helping children and their families achieve their potential. Parenting classes held at a community college (a comprehensive school with provision for adult education) have led to the development of a suite of courses leading to formal qualifications and employment in work with children. Most of the participants have been women. Even participants with a history of low educational attainment have gained qualifications which have enabled them to find a job working with children.

Further education provider specialisation: international experiences and lessons for England

M. Souto Otero

Research in Post-Compulsory Education, vol.12, 2007, p. 193-207

This article enquires why some countries have specialised their further education provision more than others, focusing on three types of specialisation: by subject, by geographical area and by age group. It is argued that the degree of specialisation in further education provision is shaped by student demand, inputs such as availability of specialised equipment and suitably qualified staff, the regulatory framework, and the presence of a local network of supporting clusters, in terms of both industry clusters and clusters of training providers. This analytical framework is applied to the situation in New Zealand, Germany and the Netherlands, and lessons for England are drawn. It is concluded that the UK's current specialisation profile suggests that greater efforts should be made to increase geographical specialisation, whereas action to stimulate further specialisation by subject and age group should be subject to caveats.

Local economic development initiatives and the transition from Training and Enterprise Councils to new institutional structures in England: partnership, discretion and local flexibility

M. Ramsden, R. Bennett and C. Fuller

Policy Studies, vol. 28, 2007, p. 225-245

Current British government economic development policy emphasises regional, sub-regional and local scale, multi-agent initiatives that form part of national frameworks to produce a 'bottom up' approach to economic development. These initiatives are expected to include private sector businesses, local and central government organisations, education and training providers, the voluntary and community sector, and public sector agencies. An emphasis on local, multi-agent initiatives was also the mission of Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs). Using new survey evidence, this article tracks the progress of a number of initiatives established under the TECs, using the TEC Discretionary Fund as an example. Survey evdence is used to confirm that many projects set up by the TECs continue to operate successfully under new partnership arrangements.

Raising expectations: staying in education and training post-16

Department for Education and Skills

London: TSO, 2007 (Cm 7065)

The central proposal presented for consultation is that:

  • All young people should participate in education or training until their 18th birthday
  • Participation could be at school, in a college, in work-based learning, or in accredited training provided by an employer
  • In order to count as participation, young people would be required to work towards accredited qualifications
  • Participation should be full-time for young people not in employment for a significant part of the week, and part time for those working more than 20 hours per week.

In order for the changes to succeed, suitable programmes of learning must be available for all young people, all must receive advice and guidance to help them to choose the right course, employers must offer training opportunities, and a registration system must be put in place to ensure no-one slips through the net.

World class skills: implementing the Leitch Review of Skills in England

Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills

London: TSO, 2007 (Cm 7181)

In order to sustain and improve the country's position in the global economy, the government has committed itself to making it a world leader in skills by 2020, benchmarked against the top quartile of OECD states. The government intends to approach the challenge by:

  • Motivating and supporting many more adults to improve their skills, including those who left school with few or no qualifications
  • Giving employers the opportunity to exert real influence over the content and delivery of skills and employment programmes.
  • Encouraging all employers in England to take responsibility for the skills of their workforce, by making a Skills Pledge to support their employees to become better qualified, with government help.
  • Reforming education and training to equip young people with the skills they need for adult life.
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