a real difference to the skills of your future workforce by getting involved in
the new Learning and Skills Council, entreats Nick Reilly, chairman and
managing director of Vauxhall
some time most businesses will find they cannot get applicants with the right
skills for the jobs they need to fill.
they find that young people lack the basics – or have qualifications which bear
little relevance to the skills they need in the workplace.
are we in this situation? It is partly because presently businesses are not
fully able to influence in an effective way how public funding is targeted in
the area of post-16 education and training.
is the time to change this. The Government is radically changing the way it
funds post-16 learning to give business a new and central role.
April 2001, the new Learning and Skills Council (LSC) will take on the current
Training and Enterprise Council (Tec) network role in funding work-based
training (which includes Modern Apprenticeships).
LSC will also have responsibility for funding FE colleges and local authorities
in respect of school sixth forms. It will therefore be a powerful public body
with an annual budget of over £6bn.
most decisions taken by the LSC will be made at local level, by its 47 local arms,
each of which will have boards made up of at least 40 per cent business people
why should businesses get involved? The success of the Learning and Skills
Council will depend to a large extent on the business people who will sit on
the national and local boards.
are looking for talented and motivated people from a wide variety of business
backgrounds – and not just large employers. Small businesses are the backbone
of our economy and their voice must be heard too.
local Learning and Skills Councils will take important decisions about post-16
education and training in their own area.
markets are predominantly local; and most small and medium-sized companies
recruit directly from this local market for all their staff.
is business people who understand the needs of the local economy, what skills
gaps there are, and what type of effective training is required.
and improving links between business and schools will be another way that the
local LSCs will drive up the availability and quality of training for young
support for schools can have a huge positive impact on raising standards,
developing key skills and preparing young people for adult and working life.
success of our businesses is tied in with the success of the Learning and
want to encourage people with a proven track record in business to play their
part as board members.
structure of a powerful new organisation is being put in place. We must make
sure that the people who take up the positions that have been reserved for
business, make the most of that opportunity.
urge business people to apply for board positions on the new Learning and
Skills Council, and supply the drive and commitment to making learning work for
our economy in the future.
Reilly chairs a group of business people set up to encourage business
involvement in the new Learning and Skills Council. Information on how to
apply, and electronic application forms, are available at www.getonboard.org.uk or telephone the
LSC appointments team on 0114 259 3716.