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New campaign unveiled to change the Nation's attitude to skills and learning

New campaign unveiled to change the Nation's attitude to skills and learning

DEPARTMENT FOR INNOVATION, UNIVERSITIES AND SKILLS News Release (Reference: 2007/DIUS) issued by The Government News Network on 9 July 2007

OUR FUTURE. IT'S IN OUR HANDS

A new campaign - Our future. It's in our hands - urging people to take control of their future by investing in skills, will be launched today by Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), John Denham and Learning and Skills Council (LSC) Chairman, Chris Banks at an event attended by over 150 further education and skills stakeholders at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in London.

It is the most ambitious marketing and communications campaign of its kind, driven by the LSC and DIUS, and over a three to five year period aims to bring about the cultural change needed to improve the attitudes and aspirations of employers and individuals to learning and skills across England.

Research shows that over half of adults in England (53 per cent) believe they could achieve more out of life and of these almost two thirds (60 per cent) think improving their skills through training and education is the best way to do so.1

With more than half the country convinced that change is possible, the new Skills Campaign - Our future. It's in our hands - calls on both individuals and employers to take control of their future with better skills.

"The big message today is, don't get left behind," says Chris Banks, Chairman of the LSC. "We want it to be as easy as possible for people to access information and understand what help is available for them to get the skills needed to get on in life and business. This new campaign brings all the LSC's existing activities under the banner of Our future. It's in our hands. There's never been a better time for people to grab the training opportunities on offer with both hands and take control."

The advertising campaign - Our future. It's in our hands - will appear across a wide range of national and regional television channels as well as across print, radio, outdoor and online media from 9 July. A dedicated phone line 0800 011 30 30 and website lsc.gov.uk/inourhands will ensure that people have easy access to relevant information about how to get better skills through different training opportunities available for young people, adults and employers.

Our Future. It's in our hands forms part of the broader Leitch Implementation Plan "World Class Skills: Implementing the Leitch Review of Skills in England" which will be unveiled later in July. The campaign is supported by hundreds of colleges and training providers as well as employer and education associations.

Published in December 2006, the Leitch Review warned that the UK must become a world leader in skills by 2020 if it is to sustain and improve its position in the global economy. Achieving this ambition means dramatically increasing the number of adults who improve their skills and achieve qualifications each year, at all levels from functional literacy and numeracy to higher education levels.

It is driven by stark statistics which indicate that the number of jobs in low-skilled occupations will continue to fall rapidly. In 2004 figures showed that there were 6.8 million adults in the UK without a Level 2 qualification and with serious skills needs in numeracy, literacy and IT2.

Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, John Denham said: "This exciting new campaign is not just about improving skill levels, but creating a cultural change in the nation's attitude to skills.

"The Government has accepted the ambitious challenge to become a world leader in skills, and we are committed to achieving this. We have already launched the new Skills Pledge to employers and employees and this campaign will help build on that.

"The campaign encourages employers and individuals to invest more in learning and skills. Through a combined commitment and effort, everyone will benefit - individuals, businesses and ultimately the nation's economy."

Significant progress has already been made in the skills arena over the past five years. The LSC has instigated a wide range of programmes to help employers and learners with their skills needs, including Train to Gain, the National Skills Academy network, Adult Learning Grants, Education Maintenance Allowance and Apprenticeships.

Speaking at the launch, Shaun Anderson, who has gained an advanced electro technical apprenticeship and is Personal Achiever of the Year at the 2007 Apprenticeship Awards said:

"Initially I thought that all my efforts had gone to waste but I have managed to overcome my earlier failings, and have set myself new targets for the future. My training has provided me with so many opportunities and I hope that this new exciting campaign will encourage others to do the same"

Individuals and employers can access the information they need via a dedicated phone line and website. The phone number is 0800 011 30 30 or website: http://www.lsc.gov.uk/inourhands

-ENDS-


Notes to editors:

Supporting quotes for use in the media:

Linsey Miller, HR Advisor at Leisure Connection, is aware of the benefits of training employees of all levels: "We have really noticed the link between training, the quality of our services and staff retention and can see how our business and staff benefit from training programmes. This is why we back the launch of the skills campaign, we see that it will help people realise the importance of skills and encourage them to take action."

Nigel Moore, City & Guilds, explains: "We welcome this innovative campaign that will do much to raise awareness of the value of skills for individuals and employers."

Steve Pallas, Training and Development Manager at Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK, is keen to emphasise the advantages of training: "The business benefits of training are clear and, at Nissan, we see a direct correlation between training and improvements in productivity. If we measure key performance indicators before and after training, we always see an improvement. Gaining new skills at work also helps improve employees' attitudes and commitment."

Ian Hetherington, Skills for Logistics: "A better-skilled workforce is good for all of us".

John Brennan, Association of Colleges, sees that "Skills are crucially important to the future prosperity of us all - as individuals, employers, and the nation. Colleges make a vital contribution in equipping us to improve our capabilities. AoC and its member colleges are delighted to support a campaign that seeks to inspire individuals and employers to take control of their own futures."

Catherine Dymond, Ufi, states: "The more we can work together, the more choice and support we can give learners."

Jacqui Henderson, CBE, UK Skills, "We support the skills campaign because we believe that everyone benefits when a country has high level skills and a commitment to learning and development. Skills are the key to us being successful as individuals and as a nation. I look forward to seeing our commitment to skills being successfully demonstrated to the world when London hosts the WorldSkills competition in 2011."

1 TBC - insert consumer survey details
2 DfES, September 2004

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