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Where would you place the boundaries of training and learning?


This is a question which has been taxing TrainingZONE considerably over recent months. Businesses have increasingly sought proof of the return on investment in staff from their training budget expenditure. Government policy appears to focus specifically on employee skills with an implicit assumption that learning = training = skills (= vocational qualifications?). Meanwhile the new force to be reckoned with - UfI - is giving out varying messages. Both elements of the original University for Industry name have been dropped in favour of the more anonymous acronym; and the public face will be known as the LearnDirect (itself a rebranding of Learning Direct). On the one hand, UfI is generating a network of welcome learning resource centres, which presumably will work closely with the new network of Learning and Skills Councils ('skills' focus again), whilst any half-awake follower of Euro2000 cannot fail to have noticed the campaign to "Get Your Kit On" which directs individuals to LearnDirect in order to re-engage in sport!

It seems to us that the core message is mixed. Our policy is to promote the broader vision of inclusive learning: one where both organisations and individuals are engaged in learning (not training, and not just skills). We see the need for the emergence of a 'learning spirit' in the workplace. The TrainingZONE Advisory Board meets at Westminster this week and this issue of boundaries is central to the agenda; we hope to generate a policy document shortly. However, we would also welcome your views of this issue: just where would you place the boundaries of training and learning?

Tim Pickles
Managing Director

We'd welcome your Comments below to help inform this debate.


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