UK plc needs to stop seeing itself as a second-class citizen when it comes
to education and training, according to the head of UK Skills.
Acting chief executive Graeme Hall, said the UK
needs a world-class workforce if it is to compete globally, but it needs to
rethink its attitude on training to create one.
Part of the problem is that under the NVQ system, people aim for competence,
and not excellence, he said.
"With NVQs, you can have many goes [until you
are successful], but it doesn’t happen like this in the real world. We need to
move to excellence."
Hall said organisations may be spending more on training, but they need to
check whether their programmes promote areas such as accuracy, getting things
right first time, meeting deadlines, innovation and teamworking.
"We must do this as a country, our competitors do."
Hall rated the Koreans, Swiss, French and Australians as world leaders in
training. In the World-Skills awards held every two
years, they consistently win medals.
"Your readers should look at whether they set high enough standards
within their organisations," said Hall. "Are they getting the best
value for money?"
UK Skills is an independent organisation, funded through the Department for
Education and Skills, which champions skills and learning for work through
competitions, awards and events. It also runs the National Training Awards, and
can put organisations in touch with agencies to advise
on training needs. www.ukskills.org.uk
By Quentin Reade