LSC and RDAs form Memo of Understanding to put skills and learning as top priority

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The Learning and Skills Council and Regional Development Agencies have announced their joint development of a Memorandum of Understanding. This agreement aims to enable UK businesses to recruit the trained and skilled employees required to ensure their ability to compete on a worldwide scale.

The Memorandum of Understanding will ensure an integrated approach from the Learning Skills Council and the Regional Development Agencies. Their common goal is to develop an education and training system that provides individuals with the necessary skills to increase their employability. This will be achieved by focusing on a number of strategic issues at a national, regional and local level. These will include the development of a world-class workforce, identifying and supporting sector-specific skill needs, and further developing a culture of learning and enterprise.

Bryan Sanderson, Chair of the Learning and Skills Council, said, “Our vision is that by 2010 young people and adults in England will have the knowledge and productive skills matching the best in the world. Clearly we can’t achieve this on our own. That is why it is important that we build a close working relationship between the Learning and Skills Council and the Regional Development Agencies – one of our key partners. Together we will deliver real results and build the skills base of a knowledge-driven economy by motivating individuals and organisations to invest in their learning.”

The Memorandum of Understanding outlines a new relationship for the Learning and Skills Council and Regional Development Agencies. They will now develop identical or complementary targets and budgets, that were previously independent of one another, to be used in a manner that ensures an integrated approach to the development of strategies and plans. Furthermore, compatible formats for gathering and sharing information are to be developed and both organisations will work together within and across regions to ensure the implementation of local initiatives.

Sir Michael Lickiss, spokesperson on learning and skills for the Regional Development Agencies and Chair of the South West Regional Development Agency, said, “We aim to develop a relationship characterised by a shared understanding of the country’s learning and skills needs. At a national, regional and local level, we will work closely with the Learning and Skills Council to concentrate our efforts on the key skills priorities of each local economy and make the most efficient use of our shared resources. Together we aim to build a world class workforce that Britain can be proud of.”

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