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Tim Pickles



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Learning for Work is failing to deliver


A recent CIPD conference timed to mark the launch of their new report on ‘The Future of Learning for Work’ is particularly critical of the UK’s present plans to develop learning for work schemes, despite the recent reorganisation of Learning and Skills Councils and the plethora of funding schemes supporting this area.

Report authors and speakers at the event claim that the present learning for work programme demonstrates a lack of joined-up thinking and fails to match current trends in the labour market. Amongst the criticisms are:

  • a failure by many organisations to help their staff understand their role and their contribution
  • a failure to nurture self-management amongst staff
  • a failure to reach those most in need of more training
  • a limited ability to integrate skills policies with the wider agenda for social inclusion and higher productivity.

HR Zone says: Since its official launch in April, we remain somewhat sceptical of the contribution which the Learning and Skills Council is making. It is still very early days, but the (lack of) interest in the LSC input at the recent Hands on Training event seemed to demonstrate both apathy about its role and cynicism that ‘changing the name’ will change anything. Training and learning targets, learning for work, and other national schemes need a visible and tangible presence on the ground if employers are to take notice. An evaluation of the impact of ILS’s is awaited with interest.

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Tim Pickles


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