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Chairman Appointed for New Commission for Employment and Skills


Sir Michael Rake, international chairman of KPMG and chair designate of BT, is the inaugural chair of the new UK Commission for Employment and Skills, the government has announced.

Education and Skills secretary Alan Johnson said Sir Michael "has a unique blend of skills, experience and credibility with business that this new Commission will need."

Work and Pensions secretary John Hutton added: "Sir Michael has been the driving force behind KPMG’s award winning corporate social responsibility programmes in the UK, tackling educational and social disadvantage. He will bring energy and experience to lead this new organisation which will assess our progress towards achieving the stretching targets we have set for 2020."

The commission, which is expected to start work in April 2008, is set to play a critical part in securing a highly skilled, productive workforce and increasing employment levels, particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It will:
• advise ministers on strategy and policies relating to employment and skills;
• assess progress towards achieving national employment and skills ambitions for 2020;
• and have responsibility for the performance of Sector Skills Councils, advising ministers on re-licensing.

The establishment of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills was a key recommendation of the independent report by Lord Leitch 'Prosperity for All in the Global Economy – World Class Skills'.

Sir Michael Rake said: "I have recently returned from a business trip to China where the potential competition issues for the UK and Europe are only too evident. Skills and sustained employment are at the heart of business growth and economic success. I am proud to pick up the challenge and ambitions set by Lord Leitch and the Chancellor and drive forward this new organisation".


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