Ms Alexander said: "We have been so proud quite frankly of our record of getting people into universities and higher education that we have missed our poor performance in workplace training for the 80 per cent who have jobs now and will still be in work in 10 years' time.
"Or strategy, from better funding for students to one-stop shops for careers guidance, learning and skill needs, is designed to leap-frog that gap."
* The Executive announced two new tranches of cash for post-school education this week. FE colleges are to have pound;3 million from windfall end-of-year savings to spend on modernising teaching equipment. And there will another pound;5.5 million over three years for students opening individual learning accounts to enrol on IT courses.