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Britain's continuing failure to train: the birth pangs of a new policy

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Frank Coffield


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This article provides an account of the latest official attempt in the UK to generate both a new analysis of the underlying causes of under-investment in workforce development and a new policy to rectify the weaknesses. The account is based on the participation of the present author who was a member of the Performance and Innovation Unit's (PIU) Academic Panel on workforce development during 2001. First, the establishment and remit of the PIU are briefly introduced, and the methods and outcomes (so far) from the particular project on workforce development are then described and assessed. At the very least, this article may help to dispel the erroneous speculations about the work of this PIU team (on workforce development), which have already been published in the educational press (e.g. Beckett 2001). The separate normative worlds of policy-makers and researchers are then explored; and finally, some general conclusions are drawn from the author's experience about the competing models of Britain's future, which lie behind the policy debates and which are likely to have relevance beyond the specific field of workforce development.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Coffield F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Education Policy

Year: 2002

Volume: 17

Issue: 4

Pages: 483-497

ISSN (print): 0268-0939

ISSN (electronic): 1464-5106

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/02680930210104275


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