More than £2bn a year is being wasted by the government on programmes to promote skills and further education for adults. And the programmes have had no positive impact at all on the countrys economic productivity.
Thats the conclusion of
An Adult Approach to Further Education 
. The new research paper is by Alison Wolf, Professor of Public Sector Management at Kings College London, and is published today by the leading free market think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs.
Professor Wolf argues that:
Approximately a third of the budget around £2bn a year is being entirely wasted owing to monumental levels of administration, the promotion of valueless qualifications and the creation of vast numbers of quangos to handle further education. Professor Wolf makes no specific recommendation about how these savings can be used but they amount to the equivalent of providing around 300,000 apprenticeships, paying 10% of the overall cost of Crossrail (in year one) or the savings could be used to reverse the proposed increase in employers National Insurance contributions..
Compared with quangos in higher education, those in further and adult education spend ten times as much as a proportion of their overall budget on administration. A total of 21 different quangos have had responsibility for the funding and content of post-compulsory education and training since 2006. Approximately 75% of the Learning and Skill's Council's costs are a direct result of misconceived and micro-managed programmes.
The governments flagship policy of seeking to increase economic productivity through improving the skills of adults in the workplace has been a total failure with no gains to overall productivity. The evidence suggests the governments most heavily promoted pro