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Teacher, leave those kids alone...

BBC NEWS | Education | Why skills are the new education

The blunt message from this week's long-awaited UK skills audit, the Leitch Report, which was fully endorsed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his pre-Budget Report. ...The UK is "on track to achieve undistinguished mediocrity" if it fails to upgrade the skills of its workforce by 2020.

It is perhaps part of Britain's problem that the chattering classes are not very interested in skills

His case is that unless we dramatically improve our work-related education, our economy will shrink and our standard of living will fall.
Too many people stop learning far too young. Participation levels in post-16 education and training are below the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) average.

This affects productivity. According to Leitch, the average French worker is 20% more productive per hour than their British counterpart. In Germany they are 13% ahead.
With Gordon Brown talking about keeping all young people in education or training until 18,..

the Education Secretary, Alan Johnson, told the Lifelong Learning UK annual conference this week, "we must eliminate all failure".
The message is stark: Underperforming colleges must improve or lose their funding. The Further Education Bill takes new powers to close failing colleges in much the same way as happened with schools.

Employers are the new blue-eyed boys. ...Some hoped the government would require employers to provide, or fund, the training their workers will need, not just in their current job but throughout their careers.

Asked about that this week, Alan Johnson admitted employers might now be in "the last chance saloon".

Yet, while compulsion remains a possibility, Johnson noted that the evidence from abroad suggests that forcing employers to train does not worked. ...

Compare and contrast to this also from today...

Al Fin: This Isn't Working Out Part I

Modern societies treat their children as if they are incapable of bearing the least responsibility until they have finished at least twelve to sixteen years of schooling--sometimes up to twenty-five years of training or longer. This is a huge mistake that is bringing a destructive rot to society from the inside out.
Have you ever wondered why there do not seem to be people like Benjamin Franklin around anymore?

At twelve he was bound apprentice to brother James, a printer. After a few years of that, and disliking his brother’s authority, he ran away first to New York and soon after to Philadelphia where he arrived broke at the age of seventeen. Finding work as a printer proved easy, and through his sociable nature and ready curiosity he made acquaintance with men of means. One of these induced Franklin to go to London where he found work as a compositor and once again brought himself to the attention of men of substance. A merchant brought him back to Philadelphia in his early twenties as what might today be called an administrative assistant or personal secretary. From this association, Franklin assembled means to set up his own printing house which published a newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette, to which he constantly contributed essays. At twenty-six, he began to issue "Poor Richard’s Almanac,"...

Many college students today lack the reading skills that children in the early US possessed before they ever started school. Are children and college students today really that much stupider--or is the way they are treated today making them seem that way?"


One other thing. In the olden days people could go out and set up their own firms easily. Local carpenters, bakers, etc. Nowadays it's all big firms and most of it is automated so they don't need the skills any more. Things have changed and we need to change with it.

I want people that can read and write before I take them on not after I have trained them. We need to go back to the basics for the first years of a childs education. Teach the the 3Rs and instill basic morals. Then move on to more advanced stuff as well as the wishy washy stuff they seem to teach nowadays. My son was been taught cookery. Why? He can learn at home and at the level he was getting taught he would barely have been able to keep himself alive. A few fancy dishes. Plus I can't see a GCSE in cookery as a skill for the bulk of firms. Just a number and not too hard either. I have six GCSE's. No Maths, English or Physics though. They were too difficult.

Got to agree. Training on the job just isn't practical if the first day you have to teach them to wash their hands and how to write their names!

No small company can afford staff now, unless they stay under the 5 person limit. Retail has changed massively, and profits are cut to the bone in most areas by online sellers working two or more jobs, as well as the "real" job they do during the day, so they are happy to make £5 on every £1000 or £100 sale, as it is no effort, and, usually, tax-free extra income for them. Meanwhile, those with staff, PAYE, VAT, rates and rent, H&S, and now, apparently, 3R teaching, are forced out of the market.

Any wonder why there are streets full of empty shops in most cities? Even big retail parks are having trouble, and there are few small businesses with premises left.

As for setting up, these days you can gamble your house, and then find the local supermarket just crushes you flat when they realise they can cover your rather profitable niche, by importing the gear from China at 30% of what you pay. Once you go under, they put the prices back up above yours, naturally.

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