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Wicks makes last-minute amendments to Learning and Skills Bill


Amendments have been introduced to the Learning and Skills Bill currently before Parliament to give the soon-to-be formed Learning and Skills Council (LSC) clear duties in developing workforce skills and in economic rejeneration.

Education and Employment Minister Malcolm Wicks has announced the changes, tabled for discussion on 27 June, to place responsibility on the LSC for developing workforce skills locally and nationally, and demonstrating its contribution to local economic development. Wicks said that "the development of workforce skills and economic regeneration will be central to the role of the LSC, and I have decided to make these responsibilities explicit in primary legislation. I know these changes have the backing of a wide range of organisations, including the business sector."

With the creation of the LSC nationally and regionally, the Government's contract with TECs/CCTEs will come to an end next year. Further amendments to the bill are intended to ensure that the TECs assets are protected for use within the local community, and the Secretary of State will have the power to decide where they should be allocated in the event of any lack of agreement. Wicks also commented on the favourable response the reforms had so far received from the TECS.

Plans for the Learning and Skills Bill were published at the end of last year.

The Bill includes:

* a new Learning and Skills Council for England and a new Council for Education and Training in Wales;

* new arrangements for rigorous and independent external inspection of post 16 education and training;

* powers to establish a new support service for young people

* powers to remove obstacles to collaboration between schools, education authorities and Further Education.

You can read TrainingZONE's earlier report on the bill at


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