Britain set to fail on training

31st May 1996 at 01:00
Britain will fail to hit key national targets on top-level education and training, according to predictions published by the Government's own training advisory body, writes Lucy Ward.

A report from the National Advisory Council for Education and Training Targets confirms suspicions widely held by employers and educators that the goals set by the Government for 2000 are far out of reach.

The study published this week finds that the UK's target of 30 per cent of the workforce having a higher-level vocational, professional, management or academic qualification "is only likely to be reached several years into the next century". At present, only 23 per cent make the grade.

Cautiously describing the target as "challenging", the report says significant improvements will be needed not only in the skills of the existing workforce but also of those currently in the education system if the goal is to be met.

The target for higher-level qualifications - the equivalent of a degree or national vocational qualification level 4 - is one of three lifetime learning targets established by NACETT on the Government's behalf in order to boost the UK's flagging performance on training. Labour has said it is also committed to meeting the targets.

While the NACETT study, carried out by the Institute for Employment Studies at the University of Sussex, offers gloomy predictions, its analysis of the UK's current global position is more upbeat. It places Britain third in the league of higher level qualifications, behind the United States and Japan.

However, another study also out this week says Britain has slipped to 27th place in a world league table on investment in education and training.

Global rankings published in the World Competitiveness Yearbook of the International Institute for Management Development show the United Kingdom has plummeted nine places down a league of 46 countries since 1989.

In terms of overall competitiveness, it has fallen from 15th to 19th place over the past year, overtaken by countries including Chile and Luxembourg. Britain's weakness on investing in people is the key factor behind the slide.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now