Forums will put an end to confusion

THE Scottish Executive has backed the analysis of economic and training needs set out by the Parliament's enterprise and lifelong learning committee in May.

In an interim statement on his review of Scotland's enterprise agencies, Henry McLeish, Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Minister, agreed there was too much duplication and confusion at local level and said: "We need to sort that."

Mr McLeish also announced that the Executive is accepting a key recommendation from the committee, which is chaired by ohn Swinney, the SNP's deputy leader, that local economic forums should co-ordinate economic and learning activities.

The forums will include college and university representatives, drawing further and higher education into shaping economic strategy for the first time.

The forums will be expected to improve adult basic education and help widen access to FE and HE. A Scottish Executive report states that Scotland suffers from "a skills gap", particularly at sub-degree and basic skill levels.

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