Since the election in May, the new government has not been slow to follow up on the list of promises in the King’s speech. Many plans appeared to be very short on detail and it is now becoming apparent why. The vague statement “there will be more support for life-long learning” has materialised as a radical plan that has shocked the nation and many insiders alike today.
The plan to make education compulsory to the age of sixty was not expected and would seem to impose a heavy burden on the Higher Education system that is already reeling from the savage cuts of the previous administration.
Prime Minister Margaret May (53, no relation to the celebrated 20th Century rock guitarist) supported the Re-Education Minister with a statement from Downing Street: “We will all have to muck in and even I will be taking up a course in crop circle design during the coming months”.
A shortage of skilled labour is the motivation behind the move and this is not confined to England. Skill shortages are common across the twelve states of the Confederation. This is acknowledged as blunting the competitive edge of the Confederate States to a large degree. However, employers and unions alike are sceptical that the move will work.
TUC General Secretary James Reid (55) indicated that more leisure time was hard fought for from the late 20th century, “This move is designed to impose unrealistic burdens upon our members who already work too hard. Most employers expect employees to work longer hours with little or no extra pay through misuse of the ‘implied consent’ rule. This leaves many of our members fearing a loss of income if they do not comply”.