The statutory minimum wage and tax system should be developed to privilege individuals and companies who invest in training, according to leading educationist Sir Christopher Ball.
Sir Christopher told delegates at a training conference last week that a statutory minimum wage should be linked to learning at national target level three.
He said: "Only those who could demonstrate the achievement of these targets would qualify for the national minimum wage.
"Such an arrangement would create a powerful incentive for personal learning and motivate people to achieve level three for themselves."
Tax incentives, either on the basis of corporation tax or national insurance, should also be introduced for encouraging employers to seek Investors in People recognition, Sir Christopher said.
A possible arrangement would be giving a company a 3 per cent reduction in tax after securing IiP status.
These comments came just two days after Peter Davis, chairman of the National Advisory Council for Education and Training Targets, warned employers that they needed to demonstrate a more widespread and sustained commitment to investment in training if the United Kingdom was to maintain, let alone improve, its competitive position.
Sir Christopher announced these proposals as part of a new national campaign for learning which will be formally launched next year by the RSA.
He said: "Our aim is to change the culture, to persuade people that they should care about their personal learning in the same way that we are all gradually learning to care about the environment and our own health, and to help them understand that learning pays."