Education and Employers Taskforce launched to boost skills among young people

A new taskforce geared towards strengthening partnerships between employers and education in a bid to equip young people with the skills needed for the world of work has been launched.

The Education and Employers Taskforce, launched by schools secretary Ed Balls and business secretary Peter Mandelson, aims to boost the number of education-employer partnerships.

The government is pumping £1.5m into the initiative over the next three years and will focus on building effective links between every primary school, secondary school and college with a local business.

Senior business figures will advise the independent charity, which will be jointly chaired by Bob Wigley, chairman of Yell Group, and Anthony Salz, executive vice-chairman of NM Rothschild.

In addition, a new group of Diploma ‘Employer Champions’ was formed – high-profile industry insiders who encourage and support the long-term involvement of employers in the diploma (a new qualification in which there are up to 10 subjects to choose from).

A group of trustees – including NHS workforce director Clare Chapman – will oversee the taskforce and act as ambassadors for its work.

Balls said: “These partnerships make a real difference to young people. Employers also have a lot to gain; they will be helping to build a skilled future workforce that is interested and trained in their industries.”

Two online guides – one for employers and another for teachers – had been launched to explain how to forge partnerships with one another.

The move follows the launch of the government’s Backing Young Britain campaign, which also aims to strengthen relationships between education and employers.

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