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Chief appointed for Sector Skills Development Agency

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Margaret Salmon, currently a director of the University for Industry (UfI) and a non-executive director of Kingfisher, has been appointed as the first chair of the new Sector Skills Development Agency.

The Agency, which will operate from April this year, will oversee the government’s drive to increase skills and productivity in industry and business throughout the UK. It will develop, fund, support and monitor the new network of Sector Skills Councils. It will have a business-led Board and will operate throughout the UK as a company limited by guarantee and a non-departmental public body. Board members will be appointed in late March/early April 2002.

Adult Skills Minister John Healey said: "Margaret brings an impeccable business background to the issue of workforce skills and has in-depth knowledge of the issues facing the new Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA). Her proven track record in skills and training issues will help the government and its learning partners forge a new relationship with the diverse range of business sectors that support our economy. I hope the Agency under her leadership becomes a focus for leading a renaissance in vocational and technical skills. The SSDA will have a crucial role to play in helping the UK close the productivity and skills gap with our major competitors. Increasing skills across the present and future workforce is vital to raising our productivity performance."

Margaret Salmon commented: "A highly skilled workforce is the key to success in today's highly competitive world economy. The Sector Skills Development Agency will play a pivotal role in ensuring that all sectors of British industry, commerce and public services are equipped with the skills they need to compete. I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead the Agency through its formative years and look forward to working closely with the new Sector Skills Councils to help improve business performance."

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