Electronic CV planned for every citizen

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The Independent Online
AN ELECTRONIC curriculum vitae detailing the achievements and experiences of each person from their cradle to the grave is to be considered by the Government.

Everything from exam results to the captaincy of the school cricket team or adult education qualifications in plastering or cake icing could be included in the new record, proposed in a report to the Department for Education.

Each person would be given a number so that they could be tracked through the system in a scheme designed to underpin the Government's promise to promote lifelong learning.

If individuals are willing to make their "profiles" available, says Tony Higgins, chief executive of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, who prepared the report, it could become the biggest "dating agency" for jobs and higher education in the world.

Today, Mr Higgins will outline his scheme at a conference sponsored by The Independent and Independent on Sunday: "We are into lifelong learning. So we aim for a database of every single citizen in the UK, which will hold all their educational and other achievements."

The database might be used as proof of qualifications for entry to university or employment or as a check on the state of someone's student loan.

To begin with, the new "profiles" would include exam results and other qualifications from the age of 16, such as vocational qualifications, GCSEs and A-levels, "key skills" in communication and numeracy and achievements in activities such as music and sport. Eventually they might also contain pupils' test results from the age of five. New qualifications would automatically be fed into the database by the awarding bodies.

Universities and employers consulted by the universities' admissions body, Ucas, were concerned about the need to protect confidentiality. The report will point out that individuals would own their own profiles and would decide whether they wanted them released.

Ministers are already consulting on the idea of giving everyone a number, possibly based on their national insurance number, which would be attached to their profile.

The very fact that the profiles exist, the report will say, would give people an incentive to continue learning throughout their lives. It envisages a future in which people dip in and out of education. It will say that universities, and possibly employers, could lay out in a precise electronic format the qualifications and personal qualities they want, helping to match people to jobs and courses.

Mr Higgins says: "If the proposal are adopted, they will fundamentally change attitudes and practices so that we shall have a more socially cohesive and better educated population, with all the economic and cultural benefits that that would bring."

Personal profiles, page 6

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