Degree level for third of workers

May 26, 1995

The Government has called on universities and colleges to help achieve the higher level national education and training targets unveiled this week.

It wants at least 30 per cent of the workforce to have an academic, vocational, professional or management qualification at National Vocational Qualification level 4 (broadly equivalent to a degree) or above by the year 2000.

It is backing efforts to build assessment of so-called "core" or transferable skills, such as communication and numeracy, into the education and training of most young people.

The upgraded targets are a key plank in the Government's strategy for creating a highly motivated and well-qualified workforce to compete in the international market, outlined in its Competitiveness White Paper published on Monday.

They are the result of wide-ranging consultation carried out by the National Advisory Council for Education and Training Targets.

Peter Davis, NACETT chairman, said the targets reflected increasing demand for higher level technical, professional and managerial qualifications, particularly among businesses engaged in international markets.

Gillian Shephard, Secretary of State for Education, said increasing flexibility of provision in the further and higher education sectors would help achieve the higher level targets.

NACETT's report on the consultation suggests that greater collaboration between higher education and employers and a significant increase in the availability of NVQs at levels 4 and 5 will also be needed.

Targets for the year 2000

For the workforce

30% qualified to NVQ level 4 or above

60% qualified to NVQ level 3, Advanced GNVQ or 2 A level standard

For young people

l 75% to achieve GNVQ level 2 competence in communication, numeracy and information technology by age 19; and 35% to achieve level 3 in these core skills by age 21

85% to achieve 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, an intermediate GNVQ or an NVQ level 2 by age 19

60% qualified to NVQ level 3, Advanced GNVQ or 2 A level standard

For employers

70% of all firms employing 200 or more , and 35% with 50 or more employees, to achieve the Investors in People training standard.

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