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

Jewson, Nick, Felstead, Alan ORCID: and 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

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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’.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Uncontrolled Keywords: training, public sector, recession, austerity
Additional Information: Online publication date: 25 March 2014.
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1363-9080
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 26 February 2013
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 20:44

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