VET and HRD research in European countries > Overview

United Kingdom  [2]  Context of EU policies and programmes

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The UK government and the administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland participate in the full range of European programmes and initiatives relating to education, training and lifelong learning. Therefore the latter have a substantial impact on the VET/HRD research agenda across the UK.

Key challenges for VET in the UK are highly consistent with the Lisbon aims. Successive UK reform programmes aim to develop an effective skills agenda so as to:

  • achieve cross-government action to tackle skills gaps and shortages;
  • act on the demand side to encourage employers to use skills to develop more ambitious and innovative business strategies;
  • motivate learners to continue in and return to learning, and tackle low skills;
  • make VET responsive to employers’ needs;
  • raise the status and quality of initial VET to achieve: a coherent 14-19 phase of learning; a broader range of courses and programmes; high quality vocational options; higher levels of participation and lower levels of early school dropout; higher levels of qualification, etc.
Taking the UK as a whole, the longer-term strategy is to develop qualifications and learning programmes that engage a wide range of learners, supported by transparent systems of credit and qualifications frameworks. Scotland has already implemented such a framework, the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework; England, Wales and Northern Ireland are in the process of developing a credit-based Framework for Achievement. All these are underpinned by substantial research activities, which feed into the policy measures across the UK.
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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report United Kingdom (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO