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.
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:
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
cross-government action to tackle skills gaps and shortages;
the demand side to encourage employers to use skills to develop more ambitious
and innovative business strategies;
learners to continue in and return to learning, and tackle low skills;
responsive to employers’ needs;
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.