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Chancellor urges greater links between business and schools


Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown has urged businesses to increase their contacts with schools by 'adopting a school' through work experience programmes, running work placements for teachers, allowing employees to visit schools to help run enterprise classes or by being business governors.

Speaking at the CBI Annual Conference yesterday, The Chancellor said it was vital to ensure that everyone knew of the opportunities to set up a business of their own and of the need to build a new 'enterprise culture': "I want every young person to hear about business and enterprise in school; every college student to be made aware of the opportunities in business - and to start a business; every teacher to be able to communicate the virtues of business and enterprise. I want businessmen and women going into schools and teaching enterprise classes; I want every student to have a quality experience of working in a local business before they leave school; I want every community to see business leaders as role models."

Unsuprisingly, the Chancellor placed a heavy emphasis on skills development in helping to achieve greater productivity within the economy: "Because productivity growth will come principally by managers and workforces addressing the obstacles to growth, the best thing Government can do in many areas is get out of the way. But there is a vital role for Government in the global market make best use of the 10 per cent more in real terms that we are investing in education this year alone, I urge managers and workforces to work together to examine how we can improve workplace learning and skills."

The Chancellor concluded his speech by emphasising the competition faced by most companies today, and the need to develop skills to develop to reflect this: "Continuous and rapid innovation in our technologies will compel unprecedented flexibility and adaptability in skills and knowledge.....we must equip ourselves to meet and master these challenges and we must raise our game to achieve the fastest rise in productivity of our competitor countries."


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