Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills
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Sector backs Government plans for a streamlined skills and education system

Sector backs Government plans for a streamlined skills and education system

DEPARTMENT FOR INNOVATION, UNIVERSITIES AND SKILLS News Release (047/2008) issued by The Government News Network on 30 July 2008

Plans to give local authorities more say over the education of young people and to streamline the adult skills system have received broad support, Bill Rammell and Jim Knight announced today.

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and the Department for Children, Schools and Families have today published two documents. The first, Raising Expectations: Enabling the System to Deliver - Summary of the Events and Written Responses summarises the responses to the 12-week consultation on the proposed Machinery of Government reforms.

The second, Raising Expectations: Enabling the System to Deliver - Update and Next Steps lays out the next steps following the consultation and answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the proposed new arrangements, including how the new Skills Funding Agency and Young People's Learning Agency will work together.

The responses to the consultation, which was launched in March, will continue to be taken into account throughout the reform process. These reforms will require legislation, which will be included in the Education and Skills Bill (session four) due to be published in draft later this year.

Bill Rammell, Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, said:

"We want everyone to have the opportunity to improve their skills, whether that is to get a job or get on at work. The proposals we published in March will mean that the system is better set up to meet the demands of both students and employers and will build on the success of the Learning and Skills Council who are currently taking forward the skills agenda.

"I am pleased that our proposals have been supported by the sector. Today we have published some more detail on how we see our proposals working in practice, something the sector has asked for. We will continue to work with those with an interest in our proposals so that we have a system which will help us to meet the challenges we set ourselves in World Class Skills."

Welcoming the responses to the Machinery of Government consultation, Schools Minister Jim Knight said:

"By giving funding directly to local authorities we are ensuring that all young people will get the education or training they need to get a good job and make the most of their talents. But it is vital that this is done right, so that money gets to where it is needed and local authorities are equipped to respond to the needs of young people. That is why the responses to our consultation will be an invaluable part of the process of making these changes work.

"By 2010 every 16- and 17-year-old will have a vibrant and exciting menu of options from Apprenticeships, to Diplomas, A Levels and GCSEs. We are ensuring that young people can access the right qualifications and courses to fulfil their potential."

After careful consideration of the options for the location of the new agencies, which included an assessment of value for money, ministers have decided that the national offices of both the Skills Funding Agency and the Young People's Learning Agency will be based in Coventry.

Notes to Editors

This press notice applies to England only.

1. Raising Expectations: Enabling the System to Deliver - Update and Next Steps and Summary of the Events and Written Responses can be viewed at http://www.dius.gsi.gov.uk or http://www.dcsf.gsi.gov.uk.

2. Raising Expectations: Enabling the System to Deliver was published on 17 March 2008 and the associated consultation ran for 12 weeks. It can be viewed at: http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/consultations/downloadableDocs/Raising%20Expectations%20pdf.pdf and the accompanying press notice at: http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2008_0053

3. The consultation received 443 written responses, from a wide range of groups and individuals. These responses were analysed carefully and are being taken into account during the development of plans to implement the Government's proposals.

4. In addition to the written consultation, The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and the Department for Children, Schools and Families also sought the views of individuals and organisations at nine regional events held in May 2008. The feedback from these regional events was collected and considered alongside the written responses.

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