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New vocationalism

In 1976, the Labour Prime Minister, James Callaghan, made a famous speech at Ruskin College in Oxford, in which he argued that the education system was not producing pupils with the right skills that were needed for the modern economy. Comprehensivisation had tended to result in all pupils attempting academic qualifications, but many jobs required practical and technical skills, rather than knowledge of Shakespeare or history. The speech inspired new educational developments that resulted in a wave of new vocational qualifications being introduced in the 1980s, such as GNVQs and BTECs.

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