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The training illusion

Britain's obsession with vocational training is wrong-headed. It has produced only one clear winner-the CBI

In education and training policy, Britain’s new cross-party consensus is complete. Both main parties trumpet the importance of education for economic growth. Both distrust most teachers and all local authorities and believe in central control of qualifications and the curriculum. Both defer to the ideas of business, and neither party recognises that the self-evident truths of the late 1990s rest on about as much evidence as the despised progressive orthodoxies they replace.

We are so used to discussing education in terms of economic relevance that any other reference strikes us as curious. It is not only Cardinal Newman or von…

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