Headlines: June 21st, 1999

A report by the OECD acknowledges the achievement of the UK lifelong learning approach. A team of experts from the OECD visited the United Kingdom as part of a review of arrangements for the transition from education into working life in 14 OECD countries. They were impressed by some aspects of UK provision and concluded that the UK is creating a genuine system of lifelong learning from which other countries can learn. They also pointed to areas in initial vocational education and training which appeared weaker compared to other countries and the need to focus on re-engaging young people who have dropped out of the system.

From 1 September a Learning Gateway will provide assessment, guidance, support and vocational preparation for employees aged 16 and 17 who have left school or college with few if any qualifications. This will meet the young person needs to access a mainstream learning opportunity including National Traineeships. They will be entitled to paid time-off during normal working hours to study or train.

The report says employers want individuals “to take charge of their learning and development”. This is essentially what the Government’s plans for Individual Learning Accounts and the University for Industry will enable them to do.