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LSC's French embrace

I am writing in response to concerns raised by David Sherlock in "Funding cuts may hit UK trade" (FE Focus, April 13), about the Government's national language strategy.

David Sherlock was right to highlight the valuable role that language skills plays in economic and personal development. We at the Learning and Skills Council have always recognised the critical role of languages in improving employability of individuals, competitiveness of UK companies and widening adult participation.

In 200405, the LSC funded around 60,000 adult enrolments in language courses. We continue to plan with providers a range of language provision, to implement the languages strategy. Key to this is the design of an appropriate and diverse curriculum for all learners.

We have therefore developed a planning framework at local, regional and national level to prioritise delivery of high quality language provision (including personal community development learning).

We also work with the National Centre for Languages, CILT, local authorities, employers and providers to drive demand by raising awareness of the importance of language skills.

Our recent work in the 14-19 pathfinder project in the Black Country demonstrates the benefits for employers and learners of making languages an integral component of workforce development. We will maintain our commitment to this curriculum priority.

Jon Gamble

Director of adult learning, LSC, Cheylesmore House

Quinton Road, Coventry

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