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Oh, what a lovely NVQ-level war

With all this talk of moving funding to the front line - the latest lifelong learning buzzphrase - I'm reminded of this country's clearest example of doing just that.

The latest work-based learning initiative is Basra TEC. Yes, that's Basra in Iraq. TEC in this case stands not for Technical College, or even Training and Enterprise Council, but Theatre Education Centre, run by the British army. The courses at Basra's new seat of learning will include preparation for promotion through the ranks and, perhaps reassuringly, the chance to study Arabic culture.

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