VET and HRD research in European countries > Overview

United Kingdom  []  Summary

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In the UK there has been a noticeable increase in research activity, reflecting the growing use of education and skills as a means of ensuring social cohesion, and this has been particularly evident at regional levels. The Work Foundation in their recent report reached the conclusion that “Britain suffers from a legacy of low levels of basic skills for many”, but that because of this the UK has moved to remedy these deficiencies. Current themes addressed in VET/HRD research and development projects have, among others, included social inclusion and skills, social mobility, mass higher education and learning in the workplace, the impact of skills on performance and the meaning of skill all of which are briefly summarised in section 3. The major institutions involved in VRT/HRD research and developments in the UK are the Treasury, the DTI, DWP, DfES, LSC, LSDA, SSDA, RDAs, NFER, CIPD, TUC and host of other university departments and government agencies listed in section 4. The chief funding drivers for research have been the Economic and Social Research Council, the Treasury, the DTI, regional development agencies and a number other institutions discussed in section 5. Professional research associations and networks such as the BERA, BECTA and CERUK and covered in section 6. The UK government has recognised the importance of evidence-based research and that it adds value to education and training and in so doing increases the UK’s competitiveness. Moreover, it is predicted that the major challenge in the future will be for VET researchers to forge links with regional economies, economists seeking to improve the UK’s productivity and management and human resources specialists with an interest in high performance work organisation. VET/HRD contact people and references to VET/HRD research resources are listed in sections 8 and 9 respectively.
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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report United Kingdom (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO