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Making England a nation of learners


An ambitious drive to make England a nation of learners was unveiled today by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), the new organisation responsible for the planning and funding of post-16 education and training.

The LSC Corporate Plan launched today is a strategic framework which sets out how the LSC aims to increase participation in education, particularly beyond compulsory school age, and raise the achievement of both young people and adults.

Its mission is to put the needs of learners first and raise skills levels to match the best in the world by 2010 to ensure the country’s continued competitiveness.

Estelle MorrisWelcoming the publication of the LSC Corporate Plan, Education and Skills Secretary Estelle Morris said:

“The LSC Corporate Plan is a milestone in the delivery of post-16 education. I am pleased that the Council has arrived at a set of challenging objectives so quickly, following a wide consultation with learners and businesses.

“The challenge is huge – we need to encourage more young people to stay in learning, increase demand for learning among adults and improve the skills of our workforce. We also expect the Council to work with providers to improve standards in teaching and training along the way.

“The targets the Council has set itself on boosting participation and attainment are tough but realistic. I have already set out how important it is that learning does not end with GCSEs. Work my Department is doing to improve the vocational routes open to students and the advice offered to young people through the Connexions service will help tackle the barriers to staying on in learning.

“The Council also has a vital role to play in promoting employability by equipping people with the skills the labour market is crying out for. Local LSC skills audits will help meet employers’ needs by anticipating skills shortages and tackling them where they arise. The Council will also actively encourage employers to develop the skills and expertise of their own employees.

“I am also pleased to announce today that the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) will invite initial outline bids from consortia of higher education institutions, further education colleges and other partners to establish New Technology Institutes. The institutes, which we intend to start running from autumn 2002, will help meet growing regional needs for people with in depth knowledge of computer skills and other advanced technologies, and will improve collaboration between business and higher and further education to deliver the skills companies so desperately need.”

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