No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Learning and Skills Council remit published, but where are the training providers?


The Department for Education and Employment has published a detailed description of its plans for the incoming Learning and Skills Council. But questions are being asked about the apparent lack of emphasis the government is placing on the role of training providers in working with the new council.

In a 23 page letter* to Sir Bryan Sanderson, Chairman of the Learning and Skills Council, Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett lays out his vision and priorities for the first LSC corporate plan.

In opening the letter, Blunkett admits that the previous organisational arrangements for post-16 learning have not worked well: "Interaction between the systems responsible for auditing, planning and funding post-16 learning have resulted in incoherence and complexity, and insufficient focus on quality." He adds that too little of the allocated funding reached learners and employers and wants the the new council to provide a more co-ordinated approach.

Blunkett defines four key objectives in the LSC Corporate Plan; encouraging young people to stay on in learning, increasing demand for learning by adults, maximising the contribution of education and training to economic performance and raising standards. In the first year, the LSC will be expected to address building partnerships as a priority. By 2004, the DfEE expects the Council to have implemented relevant parts of the National Skills Agenda as set out by the National Skills Task Force and it also expects to see raised standards in learning by this point.

The brief puts a great deal of emphasis about the need for the LSC to build partnerships - encouraging links with employers and NTOs, learning partnerships, national equality organisations, trades unions and the connexions service for young people. But what about the role of training providers?

Blunkett reaches point 15 of his letter before mentioning the need for the new council to work with schools, colleges and private training providers, and this is in the context of raising standards with OFSTED and the new Adult Learning Inspectorate. The brief talks of "challenging 'poor providers' and the need to look at unnecesary and unhealthy competition between providers" - on which some might question the sense of involving OFSTED after the issues with 'failing schools'. The DfEE also wants the LSC to encourage collaboration among providers and 'promote the concept of provider excellence', promoting the uptake in training qualifications for those working in the sector.

Institute of Supervision and Management Development Director George Edwards comments:"The remit letter sent by David Blunkett to Bryan Sanderson contains a very good indication of the priorities for the LSCs, and makes it quite obvious where the money will be going. In paragraph 71, referring to the scene by March 2004, "I expect the Council to have made a significant impact on the numbers of young people staying on in learning, to have increased demand for learning among adults, and have improved the supply of skills (sic) amongst people of working age...." In the Annex, paragraph 13 makes "interesting" reading. Listing the "key partners and stakeholders", "Professional bodies" come in at number 28; even more revealingly, "training providers" are mentioned at number 33, just after "Childcare partnerships". All in all, this is a paper which is most revealing about government attitudes to raining."

George's comments follow a statement issued from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, which last week warned that the council was not giving sufficient priority to work-based learning.

* this links to main page - the letter requires Adobe Acrobat to view at


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

Thank you!