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QCA up for sector pillow talk

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority could be forgiven if it became a little impatient with the slow progress towards the creation of sector skills councils.

Most of them have yet to be established, so the QCA's officials may have to look elsewhere if they want to consult employers over the future of work-based training and vocational qualifications.

Worryingly, even the post-16 education SSC is having a few problems getting itself off the ground. FErret is concerned that the competing parties who are attempting to form the lifelong learning SSC didn't get as cosy as they could have done during the little love-in at Windsor Castle three weeks ago.

The proposed union of five national training organisations to form the SSC still looks a long way off, despite the castle's relaxing surroundings and the soothing tones of their facilitator, Jonathan Mackey, of the Department for Education and Skills.

Perhaps the QCA's Australian chief, Ken Boston, could inject a little antipodean informality into the proceedings and bring everyone a little closer together? In the top floor of his quango's headquarters, overlooking St James's Park in London, are facilities even more relaxing than Windsor - a fully-furnished bedroom.

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