Learning council launches first annual statement of skills priorities

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) today launches England’s first annual statement of skills priorities, which sets out what needs to be done to improve skills and boost productivity in the UK.

The Skills We Need: Our Annual Statement of Priorities, sets out six goals and the actions the LSC will take during 2005/06 to accelerate the pace of change in learning and skills.

Mark Haysom, chief executive of the Learning and Skills Council, said the LSC wanted employers to invest in skills with confidence, rather than taking a gamble.

“Working with providers of learning and all our partners we will focus the investment of public money in delivering the skills needed by employers, adults and young people,” he said. “This is essential to address the growth in the higher levels of skills needed and to meet the needs of more than 2 million people who do not have the skills that their employers require. “

The priorities outlined in the annual statement include:

1 Make learning demand-led so that it better meets the needs of employers, young people and adults.

Actions include:

–    extend Employer Training Pilots

–    streamline ways in which employers find relevant training

–    implement initial priorities in Sector Skills Agreements

2 Ensure that all 14-19 year olds have access to high quality, relevant learning opportunities.

Actions include:

–    guarantee 16-18 year olds suitable learning opportunities

–    widen the choice of stronger vocational routes for young people

–    increase the number of apprenticeships

–    encourage more collaboration between training providers and employers

3 Transform Further Education so that it attracts and stimulates more business investment in training and skills development.

Actions include:

– transform further education through the ‘agenda for change’ programme which looks at employer responsiveness, improving quality, simplifying funding, making better use of reliable data, reducing bureaucracy and improving efficiency.

In addition, the priorities will focus on delivering the skills necessary for economic development, effective regional development and improving the skills of those who deliver public services.

Charles Clarke, secretary of state for education and skills, said: “The LSC’s Annual Statement of Priorities sets out a focus for the future and will allow the LSC to change attitudes about training and skills development in England.

“This change in culture is critical to transforming the whole performance of our country in so many different ways.”



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