Skills on top of the agenda

09 December 2008

Cambridge Assessment is partnering with the influential think tank the Fabian Society on its Skills Forum, a programme of events looking at the skills agenda – the Government’s response to concerns about the UK workforces’ lack of skills, and lack of investment by UK employers in developing and implementing training for employees.

The series kicked off with a breakfast seminar addressed by new Higher and Further Education Minister David Lammy MP. As well as the Minister, there was a range of voices from the educational world present.

A key theme that emerged was the 'value' of qualifications. It was suggested that some employers are resistant to engaging in certificated training because they perceive it as carrying an extra cost to them and as something which makes their employees more likely to leave.

Against this view, the point was made that employers cannot afford to be without properly qualified staff. It was said that employers who were reluctant to provide proper training were making themselves increasingly unattractive to current and potential employees.

While the Government's qualifications policy is increasingly 'hands off', this has not always fed through to practitioners who can still find themselves tangled in red tape. Cambridge Assessment's participant was keen to make the point that in the past many of the best qualifications and courses of study had arisen out of collaboration between employers, educators and awarding bodies.

Visit the Fabian website.