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New cash to target small employers

Learndirect Scotland is to step up its drive to support the education and training needs of small businesses, Frank Pignatelli, its chief executive, told the conference. This remained "a challenge" that had to be tackled since 94.3 per cent of businesses in Scotland employed fewer than 10 people.

The organisation has received an extra pound;3 million from the Scottish Executive and some of that will be used to link small businesses with the 500 "branded" centres approved by LDS to offer quality learning.

"This would serve the twin purposes of promoting inclusion and employability," Mr Pignatelli said.

The conference also saw the launch of a new "learning principles" toolkit aimed at staff in learning centres. It will be used to run masterclasses, based on the latest academic research, in a range of areas such as motivation, barriers to learning and learning styles, as well as more specific topics such as work-based learning and working with the homeless.

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