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Employers’ perspectives on improving skills for employment

“A more skilled workforce is vital for national productivity and the delivery of public services. Better skills are also important for the country to maintain its position in an increasingly competitive global economy.

“The doubts that some employers have about the value of skills training must be addressed by more streamlined communication with employers, by developing flexible and affordable training genuinely targeted on business needs, through incentives to employers, and effective channels through which employers can influence skills training”.

Published:
14 Dec 2005

Extending access to learning through technology: Ufi and the learndirect service

“learndirect is a major innovative feat that within a few short years has become the largest education provider of its type in the world. It is attracting large numbers of learners who otherwise would not have undertaken learning. Management and administration costs have reduced with time but still take up too large a portion of the budget. They need to be streamlined so that more money can go into services for learners, and to increase the emphasis on small- and medium-sized businesses.”

Published:
4 Nov 2005

Department of Health – Innovation in the NHS: Local Improvement Finance Trusts

“I welcome LIFT as an attractive new way of improving primary health and social care facilities. This is an excellent example of a department doing something different and new to come up with an effective solution to an established problem. I fully support this kind of innovation and the department must carefully evaluate this initiative so that all of government, and especially Building Schools for the Future, a similar initiative, can benefit from the lessons that arise.”

Published:
19 May 2005

Securing strategic leadership for the learning and skills sector in England

“The learning and skills sector is complex. Getting effective and efficient frameworks in place to support strategic planning and provide reasonable assurance is very challenging. The key has to be getting the governance right at local level, and college governors – most of whom are unpaid volunteers – need to be well supported, including by key influential organisations such as the Learning and Skills Council. There also needs to be some serious thinking about the future of performance improvement and review. In the longer term, some form of robust peer review of colleges might prove the best way of guaranteeing that they provide and sustain appropriate, high quality learning.”

Published:
18 May 2005

Improving school attendance in England

“Better attendance at school by pupils improves their educational achievements and, in turn, their lives and prospects. Even a small reduction in absence would result in many pupils receiving greater benefit from their education.

“The rate of absence from schools in England has proved difficult to reduce. However, the efforts of the Department for Education and Skills, local authorities and schools are starting to have an impact. They must keep up the momentum and reinforce in schools and among parents and pupils the importance of attending school.”

Published:
4 Feb 2005

Skills for life: improving adult literacy and numeracy

“Higher levels of literacy and numeracy will benefit England both socially and economically. More people will have the opportunity to live richer lives. The Department has made substantial progress since 2001 in improving the teaching of literacy and numeracy and making more people aware of the options and wanting to learn. But this is only the beginning. The Department and its partners will need to be creative and responsive if they are to reach another 1.5 million people by 2010. My report sets out some of the steps they need to take if they are to succeed.”

Published:
15 Dec 2004

Improving IT procurement: The impact of the Office of Government Commerce’s initiatives on departments and suppliers in

“Government Departments have a chequered history in the handling of IT-enabled projects and programmes. OGC has made significant strides in identifying reasons for past failure and in establishing structures, such as Gateway Reviews, that allow for increased scrutiny and independent check upon the feasibility and progress of IT-enabled projects and programmes. These remain, however, early days and my report makes recommendations to build on these foundations in order to reduce the likelihood of future failure.”

Published:
5 Nov 2004

Department of Education and Skills – Connexions Service for all Young People

“In a relatively short period of time the Connexions Service has made significant progress towards reducing the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training. The costs of not tackling this issue are huge, both to society and to the individuals affected. Connexions is providing valuable services to help young people make important life decisions but more can be done to ensure that all young people obtain the support they need and my report makes recommendations to help build on the very good results achieved to date.”

Published:
31 Mar 2004

Cambridge-MIT Institute

“CMI has the potential to generate considerable impacts. Many of these will be long-term and are intrinsically difficult to measure. After a challenging start, I am pleased that CMI and the Department of Trade and Industry have been taking steps designed to maximise long-term success. Public sector organisations are increasingly expected to manage innovation, and we look to them to learn from the experience of CMI to improve their appraisal and management of innovative projects.”

Published:
17 Mar 2004

Early Years: Progress in Developing High Quality Childcare and Early Education Accessible to All

“The Government has made impressive progress in creating new childcare places and in providing early education for pre-school children since 1998, but not enough of these new places are yet in deprived areas where they would most benefit children and parents. The Government’s investment will be wasted if the new provision is not viable. More training is needed, especially for childminders, and providers need more support to help them manage their businesses.”

Published:
27 Feb 2004