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Chief Executive appointed for Learning and Skills Council


Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett has appointed John Harwood, the current chief executive of Oxfordshire County Council as the new chief executive of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

Harwood's background does not immediately suggest any involvement in learning and training-related projects - he has been a local government deputy or chief executive since 1979, although he sits on local Business Link and TEC committees. Nevertheless, Bryan Sanderson, chair designate of the LSC says that "I also place great value on the insights into post 16 learning that John will bring to our work together".

John Harwood said: "My experience both in London and Oxfordshire has made me acutely conscious of the importance of post 16 learning in providing an effective workforce in general and in enhancing the lives and careers of individuals. It is fundamental to the future of our economy and society. Just as one cannot build an agrarian economy without farmers, one cannot build a knowledge economy without a learning society.

When Harwood takes up his £120,000 p.a. appointment in the Autumn, he will have four years to prove whether he can sew the seeds of success in increasing the standards and range of learning opportunities for all.

For the latest update on progress in bringing the Learning and Skills Council to life, visit


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