Training Too Much?

A Sceptical Look at the Economics of Skill Provision in the UK

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There is still a consensus that British workers are unskilled in relation to their foreign counterparts and a considerable increase in government expenditure on training is needed if our relative economic performance is to be improved. This consensus exists even though it is difficult to find any positive correlation between the resources a country devotes to training and its rate of economic growth.

State expenditure on training has risen from less than £1 billion in 1978 to nearly £3 billion by 1991 without any thought being given to the economic principles which should govern such expenditure. As a result, a large government-funded training industry has emerged, depending significantly on increased contributions from the taxpayer. If there has been a market failure in training, is it legitimate to argue th