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What happens to young people with learning difficulties in a global knowledge economy? How do we stop those with special educational needs being seen as social problems or simply as consumers of resources? Governments in developed countries are driven by the belief that in a global economy all citizens should be economically productive, yet they are still not clear about the relationship between the education of low attainers and the labour market. Low Attainers in a Global Knowledge Economyexamines this international phenomenon, exploring how those with learning difficulties are accomodated in a world economy where even low-skilled jobs require qualifications. Through an examination of countries who converge on the issue of the low attaining population whilst otherwise differing considerably on political, economic and culture dimensions, it considers thorny issues at the forefront of education policy and provision: Increasing competitive stratification within education systems leaving a large number of young people without the resources to participate as productive citizens and workers. The impact of governments who have put competition in the labour market at the heart of policy and require all young people, whatever their capacities, to 'learn to compete'. Social control of potentially disruptive groups, social cohesion and the human rights agenda. The expansion of a special education industry driven by the needs of middle class, aspirant and knowledgeable parents, anxious about the success of their less able' children. Written by an internationally renowned scholar, Low Attainers in a Global Knowledge Economysynthesises a range of complex, highly topical issues and suggests how those with learning difficulties need to be on a transition to nowhere' and might with government and employer support contribute to a flexible labour market.