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Skills for Growth

BIS have published a White Paper Skills for Growth: a national strategy for economic growth and individual prosperity looking at the future priorities of the skills system.  

We have gone through the paper and pulled out some key points for you, but there is an awful lot of information in the paper and it is worth taking time to read it in full.  But for those of you who don’t have the time …. read on.  This summary does not include all of the proposals.

The White Paper puts a bit of flesh on the bones of proposals which have already been put forward and interestingly adopts some of the Conservative ideas about reducing quangos and refocusing funding. All good stuff really. There isn’t really anything objectionable or unexpected but it is good to have clarification.

Promoting skills for economic prosperity

  • Aim for three-quarters of people to participate in higher education or complete an advanced apprenticeship or equivalent technician level course by the age of 30.
  • Employment and other outcomes will be considered as a measure of success, not just qualifications.
  • Introduction of a national scorecard to measure skills progress - supply of skills matches demand, skills delivered have economic value for employers, adults improve employability and progress.

Expanding the apprenticeship system

  • Double advanced apprenticeship places for young adults.
  • Development of an apprenticeship scholarship - from autumn 2010 for 1,000 young adults to receive £1,000 each further progress with higher education.

Response to demand from businesses

  • Focus the budget on areas of the economy which drive growth and jobs.
  • Clear strategy setting role to the Regional Development Agencies.
  • Pilot of a Joint Investment Scheme with Sector Skills Councils in areas key to economic recovery, with a cash match from employers
  • Fifth competitive bidding round of the National Skills Academies programme.

Empowering adults to equip themselves for future jobs

  • Introduction of skills accounts from 2010 for all adults who access publicly funded training and all young people when they turn 19. From 2011 skills accounts can be used at any college or private or third sector training institution approved by the Skills Funding Agency.
  • Top rated colleges and training institutions will be funded to offer more places than would otherwise have been the case.
  • Adopting the UKCES proposal for public rating system (traffic lights) for every college and every course.

Watch out for the White Paper on employment and skills due shortly for more information.

Raising recognition of the value of investing in workforce skills

  • Promotion of skills and apprenticeship opportunities through procurement.
  • Right of employees to request time to train.

Improving quality and simplifying the skills system

  • Simpler funding and monitoring for the best colleges and training institutions.
  • Reduce the number of separate publicly funded agencies by over 30 over the next three years.
  • LSIS to become a sector owned body - bringing together LSIS and non-Sector Skills Council elements of LLUK by 2011.
  • Cease public funding for Standards and Verification UK.
  • Move funding for quality improvement and workforce development to colleges and providers to decide whether and from where to commission support.
  • UK Commission to oversee Investors in People standard from next April (IiP UK will cease to operate as a separate organisation).
  • QCDA will not play a role in adult qualifications from 2010.
  • Reduction in the number of separate Sector Skills Councils by 2012.
  • Review of Regional Skills Partnerships by RDAs.
  • Re prioritising funding - using some Train to Gain funding for 2010-2011 for advanced apprenticeships.
  • Removing the flexibilities from Train to Gain for repeat qualifications and short qualifications.
  • Continuing priorities for literacy and numeracy, first full Level 2 qualifications, first full Level 3 for 19-25 year olds and other areas.

Visit the BIS website to download the White Paper.


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