Quarter of top vacancies yet to be filled at skills council

21st April 2006 at 01:00
ONE quarter of the 100 jobs at the top of the reorganised Learning and Skills Council are still vacant.

Among the positions to be filled are 19 of the 45 area director posts, and two national posts: director of skills for employment and director of the skills strategy unit.

In the east of England, four area directors out of six - in Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and Suffolk - are still to be recruited.

Sally Stewart, the LSC's director of human resources, said: "There are more posts at this level in the new LSC structure. Many have been filled through promotion, but not all and therefore we have some vacancies."

In September, the LSC revealed sweeping cuts in a bid to redirect pound;40 million into learning as part of its "agenda for change" programme.

Across England, 1,316 jobs are being axed under plans to make the funding quango more efficient. Several senior posts have been cut, although the majority of cuts are at the most junior grades.

The LSC announced a new regional tier of management. The nine regional chairs will lead the regional boards in the East Midlands, East Anglia, London, North East, North West, South East, South West, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside.

Chris Banks, chairman of the LSC, said: "All the regional chairs are already chairs of local LSCs and will bring closer links between the local, regional and national activities of the organisation."

The cuts were condemned at the time by the Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents LSC staff. Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said the plan "further exposes the crude cost-cutting in key services by the Government."

Julian Gravatt, director of funding and development at the Association of Colleges, said the group had been calling for a more steamlined approach to management in FE for some time.

He said: "Given the budget constraints, we welcome the LSC's plans to save pound;40 million in costs. However, we are aware that restructuring can be a disruptive and difficult process. We look forward to current vacancies being filled by the talent found within the LSC and within colleges."

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