Little to lose, lots to gain

27th October 2000 at 01:00
THE new Learning and Skills Council chairman Brian Sanderson is right to complain that a third of all employees receive no job training. Equally disgraceful is that there is no adequate record of training taking place.

The Government's policy is to substantially increase numbers of higher education students, yet the universities cannot fill current places. For years we have had a policy of widening participation in FE, yet fewer students are enrolled now than when New Labour gained office. The much-vaunted University for Industry flagship - set up to address some of these issues - seems strandd.

We need more teachers, nurses, doctors, police and information technology professionals - all highly predictable ... but we have a skills shortage and will have to buy in from outside. Whatever happened to strategic planning?

The new LSC has a major challenge. We cannot afford a repeat of past mistakes. Policy-makers,funders, programme-planners and providers must work together with mutual sensitivity and trust - a radical and novel approach perhaps, but clearly we have little to lose and a lot to gain.

Ken Ruddiman

Future Perfect, Newlands

Drax, Selby, N Yorks

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