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Government Watch: October announcements – NTOs, funding, new Ministers …


This is the first in our new monthly series briefing you with the lastest news and reports from the UK government as they affect the training and development world.

31 October
Oral Questions were put to Secretary of State for Education and Employment David Blunkett and Under-Secretaries of State Tessa Jowell, Malcolm Wicks and Michael Wills in the House of Commons on Thursday 26 October. Subjects included skills-training, Connexions Service and New Deal. The full transcript of the question and answer session can be found in Hansard.

30 October
New Scottish Ministers for Education and Lifelong Learning are announced, as former Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Minister Henry McLeish forms his first cabinet as First Minister

23 October
The new unit to be set up by the DfEE to liaise between large employers and training providers has been renamed to become the National Contracting Unit.

17 October
Government funding for National Training Organisations (NTOs) will be changed to help them become more proactive and visible to employers. Malcolm Wicks has also announced a major consultation to produce a blueprint for a stronger network of NTOs to take the skills agenda forward.

, AM for Pontypridd and former Deputy Presiding Officer for the National Assembly, has been appointed as the Welsh National Assembly Education and Life-Long Learning Minister responsible for all aspects of education, training and life-long learning.

16 October
David Blunkett has announced the appointment of 14 members to the National Council of the Learning and Skills Council who will oversee the work of the new body modernising post-16 learning.

11 October
The Scottish Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning launched a new programme at Queen Margaret University College to reward student enterprise and equip them for the world of work. The 'Investors in Students' initiative includes the creation of a JobShop where companies are being encouraged to advertise any part-time, seasonal or placement opportunities.

10 October
Schools Minister Jacqui Smith today launched a Study Support Toolkit providing schools and local education authorities with practical tips on how to sustain and expand out-of-school hours activities.

9 October
The Government’s New Deal Innovation Fund is "producing excellent results in around 50 schemes across the country helping disadvantaged people find jobs". A further £9.5 million is available over the next 3 years.

The government's plans for UK Online have been published, including details of how to become a provider centre.

6 October
Education and Employment Minister Tessa Blackstone welcomed the publication of the first ever National Learning Targets Annual Report which detailed the progress towards meeting the targets.

5 October
Millions of adults who lack basic literacy, numeracy and computer skills are to benefit from an extra £150 million of targeted help, Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett announced.

2 October
Following much debate since the publication of GCSE and 'A' level results on the academic achievements of boys, Michael Barber, Head of DfEE's Standards and Effectiveness Unit and Special Adviser to David Blunkett will be taking part in an on-line discussion during October.

An executive summary of the DfEE's annual report and expenditure plan 2000 - 2001 is available to download.
It includes plans on post-16 learning.

Each month we will archive this page and link it from the new monthly briefings page.


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