The constant message for the nation is learn or perish, Gillian Shephard, the Education and Employment Secretary, said at the launch of the Campaign for Learning in London this week. People will see that learning is necessary for their financial futures, she said.
Mrs Shephard said she was not yet satisfied with the interest shown by small and medium-sized firms in Investors in People. There was a long way to go to achieve the national targets and to bring about a culture change, she said.
Mrs Shephard announced that the Government would pledge up to Pounds 250, 000 for specific projects on top of the Pounds 135,000 it has contributed to the campaign, which is led by the Royal Society of Arts and backed by an alliance of business and educational organisations.
Mrs Shephard despaired of anti-intellectual attitudes: "I am depressed by those who play down the importance of educational excellence, of stretching our pupils and students and of learning in its own right."
But she was equally concerned about apparently educated people who voiced anti-vocational attitudes, assuming that training was only for the bottom 40 per cent, "a curious opinion when one considers the vocational education of doctors, lawyers and teachers".