The ACCESS training programme: A new labour market focus for education?

Liz Gordon
Vol 8, Number 2, p.83
The ACCESS training programme commenced on 1 April 1987. It replaced all previous state-funded training and job creation programmes, aiming to provide a cohesive, vocationally-oriented and relatively cheap response to high levels of unemployment. In this paper I want to do two things. First, I will consider the ideological discourses surrounding the ACCESS Training Programme. ACCESS is presented and evaluated as a programme to promote labour market skills, and yet has been markedly unsuccessful in placing its graduates into work. Second, I want to examine the future of ACCESS in light of its pending relocation into the new Ministry of Education. This new Ministry has been instructed to include a new ‘labour market focus’, not only within ACCESS programmes but across the whole range of educational institutions.