The Learning and Skills Council for England (LSC), has made little impression in its first year, according to the Institute of Directors (IoD).
The IoD policy paper, Skills, reports the results of a survey of 302 IoD members.
- The LSC or one of its 47 local subsidiaries had contacted just 13% of IoD respondents. This is despite the fact that the LSC is obliged to cultivate strong links with employers.
- While 29% of those respondents who had had contact with the LSC or one of the local LSCs were satisfied with the quality of information, advice, or funding that they received, 20% were dissatisfied (51% of respondents did not feel able to rate the LSC's performance).
- Only 4% of respondents thought that the LSC had been successful in encouraging more employers to engage in workforce development. The LSC has a statutory duty to encourage employers to participate in post-16 education and training and to contribute financially.
- A mere 3% of respondents believed that the LSC would achieve its vision that "by 2010, young people and adults in England will have knowledge and productive skills matching the best in the world".
Richard Wilson, Business Policy Executive at the IoD, said: "The LSC was bound to concentrate its initial efforts on administrative arrangements and internal procedures. However, it now needs to make an impact - fast. Access to an educated and well-trained workforce is crucial to the success of businesses. Unfortunately, a fifth of the adult population is functionally innumerate and illiterate and the proportion of the workforce holding an intermediate level qualification is poor in comparison to Germany.
"The LSC, with a budget of £7.3 billion for this financial year, has the resources to tackle these deficiencies. Employers, employees and the wider public will expect to see results soon."