Government Policy towards Inservice Training
In the present chapter inservice training remains the central theme, but the particular focus shifts to government legislation in this area, especially to Britain’s path-breaking Industrial Training Act of 1964. While the Act occasioned widespread domestic and international interest, and generally favourable comment at the time, more recently some considerable amount of disillusion with the working of the Act in practice and consequent calls for reform have been expressed. General government micro intervention in the economy is justified traditionally in terms of market failure stemming from the presence of monopoly, the existence of externalities or the desire to provide public goods, with so-called ‘merit’ wants constituting an additional reason for government action. Government intervention in the realm of inservice training represents an attempt to counter those sources of market failure which are thought to lead to underinvestment in training and, consequently, shortages of skilled manpower. Moreover, the form of state intervention may vary widely, ranging from full-scale provision of the goods or service by the State, direct financial regulation (via subsidies and indirect taxation), to regulation by legislation. Traditionally in Britain the methods of persuasion, dissemination of information and legislation in the realm of industrial training have been preferred to the more overt forms of intervention via direct state finance and provision of training. However, in more recent years a greater reliance on the latter forms of intervention has been evident.
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