TEC success stories to answer the sceptics
* Hertfordshire TEC is producing an integrated learning framework for adults. It has identified 29 main "settlements" in the county and is inviting organisations to say what learning facilities they can offer. By next year it wants to have produced a county-wide directory showing where facilities can be found.
* A new approach to tackling youth unemployment is being piloted by Focus Central London TEC. It is targeting the most disadvantaged young people and will recruit clients from housing estates in inner London boroughs. After assessment and motivation-building, young people will start training with support from their personal mentors, with a job offer following swiftly. The jobs will be drawn from a pool of real permanent jobs with a group of employers, who will pay subsidised wages. Achievements in education and training would be reflected in increases in wages.
* Siemens, the German electronics company, has recently moved to Tyneside and its investment will eventually lead to the creation of 1,800 new jobs. Tyneside TEC influenced Siemens' decision to move by putting together a special recruitment and training programme designed to meet the company's needs.
* CEWTEC in the Wirral has helped to set up and support 31 out-of-school childcare clubs for children aged five to 14, creating more than700 places.Affordable childcare is often a major barrier for those wanting to return to work, education or training. These clubs are serving communities in inner-city areas, the suburbs, and rural areas, where parents often have to travel to find work.
* Western Training and Enterprise Council (WESTEC) has given business skills training to 152 companies, advised a further 312, counselled 45 on innovation and technology, helped nearly 200 new companies to start up, and supported 343 to get past their first year of trading and 419 up to the 18-month mark.
* The Devon and Cornwall TEC is running a scheme to motivate young people unsure about the move from school to work. Using activities such as rock-climbing, community work and fund-raising, they are encouraged to develop teamwork, leadership and personal skills. The project has helped more than 140 young people in Cornwall. Last year 95 per cent of young people who took part went into education, training or a job.
* Kent TEC worked with contractors and local providers to develop a training and education strategy for Bluewater, a huge shopping centre in Dartford due to open in 1999. When it opens for business, all the retailers will offer national vocational qualification training and there will be on-site customer care. Some 400 previously unemployed people are working in construction and training in construction crafts, under the Training for Work scheme. The TEC has been of crucial help in keeping workers and businesses abreast of economic change.