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If learning is such a high priority for the government, then why….

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HR Zone’s Editor says: If learning is such a high priority for the government, then why don’t we have a Department for Learning?

Ok, so it may be a little bit of nit-picking on my part, but anyone who read ‘View from the Hill‘ in last week’s HR Briefing may understand my confusion over the naming of the Department for Education and Skills.

A number of comments have been received this week, but my favourite so far comes from Roger Pattison of Roger Pattison and Associates, Chesterfield.:

As an ex employee of the MSC. I do think we are going round in ever decreasing circles. Clearly, the name you end up with is going to be confusing if it is designed by a committee, which no doubt this one was.

As for skills training and development, well I believe that skills start as a taught activity, then with practice and perhaps further training, but more so coaching, we learn to develop those skills beyond the basics. I do not believe a surgeon can become better if he does not do real operations.

Try getting hold of Ken Robinson’s “Out of Our Minds” which I have just reviewed for People Management. It is not only a very entertaining read but also reminds of what is wrong with our education and academic processes.

I agree with you that the name should be the Department for Learning. Why? Because, that is what we all have to do if we wish to stay ahead in anything we do today, not just in business, but also in our personal lives. From e-mail and the internet, to being better drivers, to programming the video, to marketing ourselves better for jobs, to understanding and coping with change, to acquiring the skills and knowledge that future performance requires of us in our jobs.

I have just had my coffee so maybe the caffeine rush has jolted something.

Lets hear the debate!

Does the name Department of Education and Skills accurately reflect what it does or should do?

One Response

  1. More confusion !
    I agree with Robert Pattison. As an ‘ex TECCY’ I have seen Adult programmes move through ‘Training For Work’, ‘Work Based Training For Adults’ to ‘Work Based Learning For Adults’ – Lord knows what ES is calling it now but I know nothing has actually changed for the clients/learners/trainees. Overnight (almost) young people on Govt funded programmes changed from being trainees to learners and the word ‘training’ and all it’s derivatives has disappeared from use; the victim of political correctness presumably. Young People ‘trained’ under TECS – and some very well too – whilst now they apparently ‘learn’.

    As a Trainer myself, I have stood in rooms and taught people, instructed people, trained people and coached them – I have never ‘learned’ them. However, all these activities have one thing in common when delivered successfully – they develop people’s skills – so let’s call it the Dept for Personal Development and stop confusing people with politically based claptrap.

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