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Companies given specialist training status


The Learning and Skills Council has announced the first five work-based Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs). This announcement follows the decision by the Government to extend the CoVE programme beyond the FE sector.

These new vocational training centres in companies will focus on meeting employers’ skills needs in priority areas such as engineering. These work-based training providers will build on the work of the 85 college-based centres which specialise in providing individuals with specialist skills in a range of new and traditional occupations from computing to construction.

Chairman of the Learning and Skills Council, Bryan Sanderson, said: "The focus on boosting the nation’s skills needs has never been greater and we are committed to supporting quality, specialised training wherever we find it – whether this is in schools, colleges or the workplace. Specialist schools are driving up standards in schools and college-based specialist CoVEs are doing the same for our young people and adults. These work-based centres will allow us to harness the expertise of providers outside the college sector in our bid to build a high quality vocational pathway from school to work that addresses the present and future skills needs of employers.

"Together with the new Sector Skills Councils, these work-based learning centres are a practical demonstration of our determination to boost the nation’s skills levels. By 2010 seven out of ten jobs will require a level of skills that currently only half of our young people currently hold. Partnership between Government, employers and learning providers is essential to provide businesses with the skills they desperately need and individuals with the skills to find work in a fast-changing economy.

"The five organisations announced today have identified that training their workforce is an essential part of their business. The more employers invest in training and developing their employees, the more secure and successful their businesses will be. I urge business to get involved in this venture."

The companies with Pathfinder Centres and their specialist areas are:
- Avon Vale Training (Trowbridge, Wiltshire) - engineering;
- BAe Systems (Preston, Lancashire) – aeronautical engineering;
- ITS training (Felixstowe, Suffolk)– international trade and logistics;
- NG Bailey (Leeds) – electrical and mechanical engineering; and
- South West Durham Training – general engineering.


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