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Level 2 Skills Under Scrutiny


Half a million more adults need to improve qualifications to meet government targets for Level 2 qualifications, according to new research.

Improving the qualifications of Britain’s workforce is a key plank of the government’s post-16 education and training policy. The target is to increase the number of economically active adults who are qualified to at least Level 2 (five GCSEs at grades A*-C or the equivalent) by 3.6 million between 2001 and 2010.

However an analysis, carried out on behalf of Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA) by Frontier Economics, shows that to hit the target 100,000 adults a year from now until 2010 - will need to achieve Level 2 qualifications, roughly doubling current trends.

The report, Modelling progress towards the Level 2 target, said that improvements in GCSE grades will not be enough to hit the target and that policies such as the National Employer Training Programme and free tuition, will need to deliver a substantial change in performance.

Mick Fletcher, LSDA Research Manager, said: "The research indicates that, without any of the recent interventions proposed in the Skills Strategy, the target would not be met, as natural trends will not automatically produce the extra numbers. So it is vital that we monitor the impact of these new measures to see if they are helping to achieve the target."

In response to the report the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), which is responsible for initiatives such as National Employer Training Pilots, said it was committed to meeting the targets.

David Way, the LSC's Director of Skills, said: "We believe the roll-out of the National Employer Training Programme and the Level 2 Entitlement are essential if we are to achieve the Level 2 target. These initiatives are of critical importance not only in helping individuals get the skills they need for employability, but also to improve the productivity of employers and to support economic prosperity locally, regionally and nationally."


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