Ministers target smarter workers

6th May 2005 at 01:00
More than pound;2.5 million will be put into two learning programmes by the Scottish Executive to help workers develop and improve their skills.

The STUC will receive pound;1.4 million for union learning services to develop an infrastructure for learning. A further pound;1.25 million has been awarded to 25 sector skills councils to address the needs of industry.

Jim Wallace, Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Minister, said:

"Sector skills councils are about bringing employers, employees and industry bodies together to improve skills and identify future needs. Our top priority is continued economic growth.

"We can only hope to achieve this by ensuring everyone has the opportunities they need to reach their full potential. The investment we are announcing today will not only help individuals, but will ensure Scotland's workforce has the skills necessary to ensure we can compete."

Christopher Duff, chief executive of the Sector Skills Development Agency, said: "This additional funding is good news for Scottish employers. Thanks to this, we will be able to accelerate the work we are doing to ensure that they get the right people with the right skills at the right time, making Scotland an even better place in which to live and work."

Allan Wilson, Deputy Enterprise Minister, said: "The money will help improve the infrastructure through which unions promote workplace learning.

It will allow the STUC to develop a union learning service in parallel with developments in England and Wales. This is good news for employees, unions and the Scottish economy as a whole."

Grahame Smith, STUC deputy general secretary, said: "The STUC warmly welcomes this award of funding from the Executive, recognising as it does our success in encouraging, supporting and providing access to skills and learning opportunities for trade union members in Scotland.

"This funding will allow the STUC and its affiliates to develop, improve and expand the work we currently carry out, in partnership with the Executive and others, to benefit many more trade union members, and workplaces throughout Scotland."

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