New scrutiny over restricted qualifications

14th April 2000 at 01:00
SCOTTISH Enterprise was also grilled by the Parliament's enterprise and lifelong learning committee, which has been carrying out a review of local economic development and training.

Evelyn McCann, the agency's head of learning and enterprise, hinted that she expected the Government to lift the restriction that ties Skillseekers training to Scottish Vocational Qualifications. The Scottish Executive had been told on a number of occasions that some young people were not ready to proceed to SVQs.

Marilyn Livingstone, the Labour MSP who was head of the bsiness school at Fife College, has pursed this issue relentlessly during the committee's inquiry. She told Scottish Enterprise officials that Skillseekers was the only programme restricted to a single qualification.

Yet SVQs were not appropriate for the vast majority of Skillseekers because they concentrated on workplace skills and not on personal and social needs.

Ms Livingstone said that Crawford Beveridge, former chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, had suggested to the committee that SVQs were used "because they are easy to count".

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