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Poor Schooling Wastes Training Funds


Too much public funding is being wasted on training workers in literacy and numeracy skills that they should have learned at school, the government says.

The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts report shows four fifths of 16-19 year olds had numeracy levels below level two, and 60% had literacy levels below level two.

According to government figures, this costs £457m per year.

“Public money intended for employment-related skills training should not have to be used to equip people with the basic skills they should acquire at school,” the report said.

“Schools should work with further education colleges to make learning more attractive to hard to engage teenagers, for example by combining practical vocational and life skills with literacy and numeracy qualifications that will help them gain employment.”

Anthony Thompson, head of skills at the CBI, said that it is the responsibility of government, not business, to equip workers with basic literacy and numeracy skills.

“It must make sure that the Learning and Skills Council delivers more for the £6.7bn it receives of taxpayers’ money each year. Further education colleges must focus on teaching the skills employers really need,” he said.


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