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Adult training policy with respect to basic skills: economic and social issues

In: Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 5

Listed author(s):
  • Derek Bosworth


    (University of Warwick, Institute for Employment Research)

  • Genna Kik



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    The UK is far from unique in having a problem with low levels of basic skills amongst a group of its working age population. However, the rates of innumeracy and illiteracy identified by the Moser Report, 1999 and the Skills for Life Survey, 2003 were viewed as unacceptably high for an advanced industrialised nation with aspirations to be at the forefront of the knowledge-economy revolution. Targets have been set to bring the UK in line with acceptable basic skill levels (the Leitch Review) and a remedial Skills for Life programme of education and training has been introduced that will have cost 10.3 billion Euros by 2011. The present paper provides an analysis of the underlying basic skills problems, the government’s response and the perceived trends in improvements towards the established targets. It then goes on to discuss a number of problems and barriers that will hinder the achievement of the government’s goals. Finally, it considers the question of the basis on which these basic skills goals are set and questions whether they are justifiable on either economic or equity grounds. The latter, in particular, touches on a number of sensitive social issues, which are raised as an issue for debate, rather than for solution within the context of the present paper.

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    This chapter was published in:
  • María Jesús Mancebón-Torrubia & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & José María Gómez-Sancho & Gregorio Gim (ed.), 2010. "Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación," E-books Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación, Asociación de Economía de la Educación, edition 1, volume 5, number 05.
  • This item is provided by Asociación de Economía de la Educación in its series Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 5 with number 05-26.
    Handle: RePEc:aec:ieed05:05-26
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    1. Anna Vignoles & Augustin De Coulon & Oscar Marcenaro-Gutierrez, 2011. "The value of basic skills in the British labour market," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(1), pages 27-48, January.
    2. Elena Meschi & Anna Vignoles & Augustin de Coulon, 2008. "Parents Basic Skills and Childrens Cognitive Outcomes," CEE Discussion Papers 0104, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
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