Wednesday, 2 January 2013

An analysis of the impact of the 2008–9 recession on the provision of training in the UK

an article by Alan Felstead and Nick Jewson (Cardiff University, UK) and Francis Green (Institute of Education, University of London, UK) published in Work Employment & Society Volume 26 Number 6 (December 2012)


This article examines the impact of the 2008–9 recession on training activity in the UK. In international terms, the UK is assumed to have a deregulated training market which is sensitive to changing economic conditions.

However, national datasets and qualitative interviews suggest that, despite the severity of the recession, employers cut training expenditures by a small amount and the impact on training participation rates was minimal.

Contrary to the starting assumption of a deregulated training market, the article shows that employers in the UK do not have a completely free hand and that a combination of market intervention and business requirements obliged most of them to sustain training despite the recession.

These constraints included: compliance with legal requirements, meeting operational needs and satisfying customer demands. However, the recession prompted many employers to find ways of maintaining training coverage to meet these obligations, or as several respondents put it, ‘train smarter’.

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