The long term skills policy framework for employers and adults, the recommendations for a culture of learning and the ambitious basic skills and Level 2/3 targets contained within the Leitch Review report are likely to be enthusiastically welcomed by colleges.

The greater push for higher level skills and the proposals for a new demand-led funding route are an indication of the government's commitment to the task of driving up the country's skills base, and provide an opportunity for the Further Education sector to play a pivotal role in our nation's ability to compete on a global stage.

The skills pledge proposal for employers and the recommended partnership between employers and the government to drive up skills levels is a very positive move "“ colleges need to grasp this opportunity to develop responsive and flexible provision to help employers meet their obligations and develop a workforce with enhanced skills and increased productivity.

The Action for Business network of colleges in the South East is already engaging with employers effectively and I am confident that both the South East network, and other employer-focused networks of colleges around the country, will be able to rise to the challenge. The drive to deliver a highly skilled flow of individuals into the workforce will undoubtedly be met, whether through school leavers or re-trained adults. After all, this is not only our heritage but, fundamentally, where colleges excel.

The proposed new role of the Sector Skills Councils in approving qualifications through simplified processes is a positive move, and will enable examining and lead bodies, education institutions and even employers themselves to develop qualifications linked to training which are matched more closely to the needs of industry sectors.

Judged as a whole, the Leitch Review shows that skills training and acquisition are going to be central to the future success of the country, and that colleges have a massive part to play in the delivery of the goals and targets.

Dr Russell Strutt, Principal, Central Sussex College.

Related FE News articles:

ALP Welcomes Leitch Report "“ 07/12/06

"It Is An Enormous Opportunity" "“ 06/12/06

"Don"t Give Employers Taxpayers" Money" "“ 06/12/06

Concerns Over Leitch Report "“ 06/12/06

"We"ve Still Got A Way To Go" "“ 06/12/06

"It Is A Radical View" "“ 06/12/06

Breaking News "“ Lord Leitch's Final Report Published "“ 05/12/06

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Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

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