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Maxine Turner left school without a single qualification. Maxine is speaking at Mowbray Gardens Library in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, where a group is gathering for lessons taught by the Workers Educational Association (WEA), the largest voluntary sector provider of adult education.
There have been endless policy announcements and glossy strategies about improving vocational skills and helping people to retrain. But how does that really translate at the sharp end? It's tough enough for people with qualifications - imagine what it's like without any exams and your only work experience is in jobs that no longer exist.
There are repeated comments about the threat of social isolation in areas where there are shrinking numbers of shared places to be together.
"People lived, drank, worked together. But those communities aren't there anymore," says Maxine. The need for retraining is profound. In Rotherham, 12% of the working-age population have no qualifications - in Surrey it's 4%, in parts of London it's too low to be measured. It's a problem that is markedly worse across the north of England compared with the south.
Read the full article about job training in England by Sean Coughlan at BBC.