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Quango site is a happy coincidence

THERE has been much huffing and puffing about the time it has taken to set up the new sector skills councils and criticism too of the paperwork involved, writes Steve Hook.

But where there's bureaucracy, there's brass. And where should the quango overseeing all this work open but in the constituency of one John Healey MP.

As former adult skills minister, Mr Healey now at the Treasury, was in charge when the new skills councils were being planned.

The Sector Skills Development Agency, which oversees the process, employs 60-plus staff and is based on an industrial estate in his South Yorkshire constituency.

"I'm sure that's nothing more than a coincidence," said Barry Sheerman, chairman of the House of Commons education select committee.

This week the Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance became the first of skills council to be given a full licence to operate.

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