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LSC marks anniversary

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The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) announced plans for its second national Bite Size campaign to mark its first anniversary last week. Created to promote and fund learning and training for young people and adults outside higher education, the LSC has ambitious aims for raising participation and attainment through high quality education and training.

The first Bite Size campaign to attract people back into learning was launched by the Council shortly after its creation last year. Around 70,000 people took part in free courses of one, two or three hours on a wide range of subjects and in a variety of venues from colleges and pubs to village halls and supermarkets. Many of those taking part had undertaken no learning since leaving school and the campaign achieved its aim of demonstrating that learning new skills could be rewarding and fun.

Bite Size is back this summer with introductory courses being run throughout England between 20 May and 21June. A helpline number and website address will be announced soon.

John Harwood, Chief Executive of the LSC, said: "We were tasked by Government with implementing one of its highest priorities; to expand the country’s pool of knowledge and skills. We have come a long way in a year and Bite Size was just one of a number of achievements of which we should be proud: We control a budget of £7.3 billion, yet our running costs are almost one third less than our predecessor administrations; We have commissioned the first ever national survey of learners to test their views of the education and training they receive; We have launched a £100 million programme to set up a Centre of Vocational Excellence in half of all further education colleges by 2004, and we have asked a special task force to look at how to cut bureaucracy in the FE sector by one quarter."

Bryan Sanderson, Chairman of the LSC, commented: "The successful start-up of a new and complex organisation like the LSC is an achievement in itself, blending together different cultures, systems and working practices. However, we are well on the way to consolidating the professional, dispassionate organisation we want to see and which is so vital to our sector."

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