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Training in the public sector in a period of austerity: the case of the UK

Jewson, Nick; Felstead, Alan; Green, Francis; (2015) Training in the public sector in a period of austerity: the case of the UK. Journal of Education and Work , 28 (3) pp. 228-249. 10.1080/13639080.2014.900169. Green open access

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Abstract

This article examines what has happened to training in public sector organisations in the UK in a period of austerity. It draws on individual-level data collected over the period 2000–2012 and establishment-level data collected from employer surveys carried out between 2005 and 2012. To understand these data further, 75 qualitative interviews with public sector employers were carried out between mid-2010 and early 2012. This article finds that while training incidence remained relatively high in the public sector, establishment-level control over planning and funding fell faster than in the private sector. Nevertheless, the public sector ethos of serving the community along with the tradition of the public sector as a ‘good employer’ meant that the training system within public sector organisations remained largely intact, even when the availability or frequency of some courses was reduced. The result was that limited training funds were made to go further by reducing the frequency of courses, prioritising courses immediately relevant to front-line services, tightening the application of eligibility criteria among potential trainees and economising on training delivery – summed up by one respondent as ‘training smarter’.

Type: Article
Title: Training in the public sector in a period of austerity: the case of the UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/13639080.2014.900169
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2014.900169
Additional information: © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Routledge. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/3.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.
Keywords: training, public sector, recession, austerity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1473251
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