Who would disagree with the notion that economic

Who would differ with the impression that economic prosperity is closely linked to a system of high quality instruction and preparation? That said nevertheless, what do we intend by economic prosperity and high quality instruction? Does high quality instruction mean greater entree to higher instruction, increasing the opportunities of pupils in pre-18 instruction to be able undertake university grades, and therefore increasing the figure of university topographic points available? Should this end be pursued even at the disbursal of the more specific quality of instruction that is offered to pupils who attain university topographic points? Or is a high quality instruction system one that more specifically targets kids and pupils abilities, a system that offers a diverseness of educational waies, that do non all lead to university instruction? From a somewhat different angle, does high quality instruction entail, for illustration, a system of post-16 instruction much more attuned to the demands of employers? And what of economic prosperity? Is economic prosperity simply equivilent to indexs of economic growing? Or do we intend by economic prosperity something more complex, affecting non merely employment and income degrees but economic security?

This essay will do a modest effort to reply these inquiries. I shall get down by sing the altering nature of the British economic system, reasoning that the transmutation from a fordist to a post-fordist economic system has meant a extremist alteration in the nature of work, capital and production. I shall so explicate how the cognition and skills demands of employers has non merely changed as a consequence but raised the bets in footings of the quality of instruction recieved by existent and possible employees. The new economic system I shall reason does non merely demand a different type of instruction but a much greater accent on educational criterions than earlier. Furthermore, I will explicate how the globalization of markets and companies has placed more force per unit area on the educational systems of peculiar nation-states to vie with other nation-states. Finally, I shall so briefly discourse the educational and economic philosophies/policies adopted by the last Conservative and current Labour authorities and measure how effectual they have been in footings of exciting economic prosperity.

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From a Fordist to a post-Fordist economic system

For much of the 20th century the British economic system could be characterised as a fordist economic system. Put merely this meant that it was driven by fabricating inudustries whose production was to a great extent dependent upon manpower. More specifically, it was a system of production that that standardized the degree Celsius It could be argued that a fordist economic system did non depend upon a system of high quality instruction and preparation. It surely required the acheivment of a basic criterion of numeracy and literacy. But to a great extent this was so that workers could follow managerial direction and finally possibly make managerial category. Other than that the educational system could be geared towards moral instruction or the instruction of national individuality. Although it was non simply concieved for this intent, the comprehensive instruction system was to some extent able to run into the demands of a Fordist economic system. At the same clip the University system could concentrate on the classical subjects.

Over the past few decennaries at that place has been a extremist transmutation of the old Fordist economic system into a post-Fordist economic system ( Brown and Lauder: 173-175 ) In Britian, it could be argued, this transmutation has been particularly rapid due to the steep diminution of the fabrication sector. The fabrication industries have been replaced by the service sector industries of retail, touristry, design and media ect. And the worker operation and direction of these industries is communicative instead than mechanical. They are driven by high-speed, high-intensity consumer reactivity, which means that the value of human capital is measured by communicative ability and cognition. A recent observer forcefully summarises this point: ‘Knowledge itself, hence, turns out to be non merely the beginning of the highest-quality power, but besides the most of import ingredient of force and wealth. Put otherwise, cognition has gone from being an adjunct of money power and musculus to being their very essence. ‘ ( Brown and Lauder: 174 )

This transmutation has been fueled by, so is argueably equivilent to, globalization. In other words, the development of new communications engineerings


and the de-territorialisation of economic activity has had a twinfold consequence on how human capital is measured ( Aranowitz and DeFazio: 194 ) High value human capital now equates to the ability to understand, maintain up with, manipulate and respond flexibly to new developments in communicating. And the celerity of the development of communicating engineerings intensifies this whole equation exponentially. Furthermore, the richest comapanies are no longer tied down to a individual national work force. Partially as a consequence of new communicating engineerings and the greater accesibility of jet-fueled transit, companies are more able to turn up their production, head-offices, design squads and selling strategians wherever in the universe best suits their peculiar demands. These demands might non merely be cost-directed. They may besides be guided by certain accomplishments and cognition demands measured against efficiency. Furthermore, the value of human capital is non merely measured nationally but globally. This has besides altered the ways in which we might mensurate economic prosperity. Many statistical measurings of economic prosperity can be slightly decieving. Britain has become the fourth richest economic system in the universe but what does this intend? How much of that wealth is distributed amongst the population? And even if we refer more specifically to per-capita wealth we are non needfully on more secure land. There are many other factors to take into history such as revenue enhancement and lodging costs, which have become of all time more complex in recent old ages. And this has been farther complicated by the widely noted, increasing ineffectualness of the province ‘s capacity to transport out societal and economic technology so as to countervail any inordinate inequalities.

The New economic system and investing in instruction

This last point, possibly less evidently, can be used in support of the increasing importance of instruction. For it could be argued that instruction becomes the lone effectual manner in which it can chasten economic inequality and its effects. If there is limited range for increasing employment degrees through its ain occupation creative activity strategies and merely limited capacity to supply other societal services so higher quality instruction may be the best alternate. But there are other more direct grounds why the British authorities might be inclined to increase the quality of instruction it provides


to kids and pupils. This has to make with the altering nature of employment and economic activity outlined above. The cardinal ground should be obvious. In the new cognition economic system occupation searchers and employees need to be, on norm, much more effectual bearers of movable cognition ( Aranowtz and DeFazio: 195 ) . In the high value occupations they besides need to transport a cultivated ability to react to a more extremely sophisticated and ever-changing economic and cultural environment. This requires non merely knowledge in the antique sense of the acquisition of time-less scientific and practical Torahs but communicating accomplishments or more specifically the cultivated capacity for critical thought. A system of high quality instruction so would be one that provides pupils with these abilities. Understood in these general footings the proviso of this type of instruction is non purely vocational. For these accomplishments are relevant for all degrees of active engagement in modern-day society.

Indeed, they are particularly relevant for cultural engagement in a globalised universe. But whilst cultural engagement ought to be viewed as an of import result of high quality instruction it is non our concern here, which is purely economic. With this concern in head globalization besides has really important branchings for province investing in instruction. If as we suggested above economic activity has become more multinational, with companies able to take between different production and direction locations so certainly this increases the competition between national instruction systems. No longer are employment chances merely dependent upon the industrial strength of the state within which occupation searchers reside. It must besides be dependent upon the accomplishments base of the work force that companies choose their employers from, which is dependent upon the degrees of preparation that might hold received and the educational system from which they graduated.

British instruction policy and economic prosperity

Making the wide connexion between high quality instruction and economic prosperity is easy plenty. However, it is much more hard to set up a direct correlativity between investing in peculiar types of instruction and economic prosperity. One manner of researching this correlativity is to see the educational and


economic policies of British authoritiess over the past few decennaries. During the term of the old Conservative authorities, economic policy was geared towards de-regulation and increasing economic fight. This New Right attack was the ground for illustration that the British authorities chose to choose out of the societal chapter in the Maastricht pact in 1992. The statement given was that this pact would enforce a heavy load on employers, therefore increasing the cost of using workers and therefore cut downing their fight compared with comapnies runing outseide the European Union. Particular concern was levelled at the rapid growing of the so called ‘Tiger economies’ of south east Asia who had entree to a low pay work force. This fitted into an overall instruction policy based upon the rules of fight ( Brown and Lauder: 176 ) In order that British industry and consumers were able to bring forth economic activity free from intrusive ordinance and a heavy revenue enhancement load, the old welfarist attack to societal policy, including instruction, which involved high revenue enhancement to pay for a standardised instruction system was abandoned. In its topographic point a more market antiphonal instruction system was introduced which, it was thought, would better the overall quality of instruction offered and later lend, presumptively, to economic prosperity. The method of presenting market mechanisms into the instruction sector was parental pick.

There are several failing of the New Right attack, two of which should concern us here. The first is that it is certainly improbable that the UK would of all time be probably to vie with the south east Asiatic economic systems in footings of a low cost work force ( Brown and Lauder: 176 ) . Furthermore, the New Right attack misunderstand the nature of globalization and how companies have sought to run in a globalised universe. Mult-national companies are certainly more likely to establish their production in states with a low-wage work force and set up their central offices or design squads ect in states with a extremely skilled and educated work force. This certainly means that there ought to be an accent on high quality instruction to vie with other comparable provinces. But did the debut of market mechanisms within the British instruction system increase the quality of instruction offered. This is hard to mensurate precisely. The addition in the figure of people go forthing school with ‘A’ degrees and an addition in the Numberss making university is non neccessarily an indicant of


success. For illustration, the enlargement of the University system has non neccessarily intend an addition in the quality of instruction provided, especiallty if we take into history the student/lecturer ratio. Second, it could be argued that presenting more pick merely gives greater advantage to kids of in-between category households, which potentially has the consequence of cut downing the overall pool of endowment that the state produces ( Brown and Lauder: 176 )

The economic and educational policies of the New Labour authorities have non wholly reject the New Right Conservative attack. The New Labour authorities has continued with the accent on pick within pre-18 instruction. However, at the same clip it has significantly increased disbursement on instruction. Indeed, throughout its term in office ‘education, instruction, education’ has been the most familiar mantra of New Labour philosophy. Part of the justification for this accent is instruction is equality of chance. Education is seen a just manner to make a more classless society that more substantial ways of undertaking inequality, because it can supply equality of chance instead than substantial equality ( Hodgson: 2-6 ) . However, it is besides approximately reacting to the altering nature of the planetary, knowledge based economic by making a extremely skilled work force ( Allen: 5 )

This New Labour attack besides suffers from possible failings nevertheless, which highlight the ambiguity of the ‘neccessary’ nexus between high quality instruction and accomplishments preparation and economic prosperity. It is moreover something of a gamble to concentrate on supplying for a skilled and educated work force for the new cognition economic system because the demand for such a work force may be overestimated. It is already possible to place a wastage of endowment amongst university alumnuss. Many of these alumnuss, even from vocational grades and classs are unable to happen the high value work they may hold expected. Some are forced to take up low skilled work or a left either unable to happen high value work and unwilling to work for the minimum pay degrees that other immigrant workers would be willing to take up. Furthermore, it is non a given that western states such as Britain will everlastingly take other developing states in the production of extremely educated and skilled workers ( Brown and Lauder: 179 )


Finally, it is hard to turn out that high quality instruction non merely in the manner it is conceived by New Labour, but more by and large, neccessarily produces workers that are more likely to come on within the new economic system. It could be argued that the existent quality of instruction received by a occupation searcher does non allow him/her a neccessarily greater chance to happen work ( Woodhall: 220 ) . Many companies do non take into history the preparation or concrete accomplishments of a possible employee. Rather, employees, it has been suggested expression for ability and suitableness instead than knowledge. And these traits transcend classs or the position of educational establishments at which they were attained. Therefore, the comparative quality of instruction attributable to these classs isn’t the necessary determining factor in the relationship between quality of instruction and productiveness that we might believe it is.

In decision so it seems that we will finally hold to wait and see if the present authoritiess accent on high quality instruction will ensue in economic prosperity in Britain. Such is the complexness and insecurity of the globalised universe that the alumnuss of instruction and developing presently live in that necessary dealingss have been replaced by contingent 1s.


M AllenBusiness, Business, Business: New Labour’s Education Policy

Stanley Aronowitz and William DeFazio ‘The New Knowledge Work’ in A.H.Halsey et AlEducation. Culture Economy and SocietyOxford University Press: 2003

Phillip Brown and Hugh Lauder ‘Education, Globalization and Economic Development’ in A.H.Halsey et AlEducation. Culture Economy and SocietyOxford University Press: 2003

Maureen Woodhall ‘Human Capital Concepts’ in A.H.Halsey et AlEducation. Culture Economy and SocietyOxford University Press: 2003


A. HodgsonNew Labours Educational Agenda: Issues and policies for Education and developing from 14+

Henry M. Levin and Carolyn Kelly ‘Can Education Do it Alone? ’ in A.H.Halsey et AlEducation. Culture Economy and SocietyOxford University Press: 2003


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