Wanted: your drive and commitmentOn 1 Jun 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Makea real difference to the skills of your future workforce by getting involved inthe new Learning and Skills Council, entreats Nick Reilly, chairman andmanaging director of VauxhallAtsome time most businesses will find they cannot get applicants with the rightskills for the jobs they need to fill. Oftenthey find that young people lack the basics – or have qualifications which bearlittle relevance to the skills they need in the workplace.Whyare we in this situation? It is partly because presently businesses are notfully able to influence in an effective way how public funding is targeted inthe area of post-16 education and training.Nowis the time to change this. The Government is radically changing the way itfunds post-16 learning to give business a new and central role. FromApril 2001, the new Learning and Skills Council (LSC) will take on the currentTraining and Enterprise Council (Tec) network role in funding work-basedtraining (which includes Modern Apprenticeships). PowerfulTheLSC will also have responsibility for funding FE colleges and local authoritiesin respect of school sixth forms. It will therefore be a powerful public bodywith an annual budget of over £6bn. However,most decisions taken by the LSC will be made at local level, by its 47 local arms,each of which will have boards made up of at least 40 per cent business peopleSowhy should businesses get involved? The success of the Learning and SkillsCouncil will depend to a large extent on the business people who will sit onthe national and local boards. Weare looking for talented and motivated people from a wide variety of businessbackgrounds – and not just large employers. Small businesses are the backboneof our economy and their voice must be heard too.Thelocal Learning and Skills Councils will take important decisions about post-16education and training in their own area. Labourmarkets are predominantly local; and most small and medium-sized companiesrecruit directly from this local market for all their staff. EffectivetrainingItis business people who understand the needs of the local economy, what skillsgaps there are, and what type of effective training is required.Developingand improving links between business and schools will be another way that thelocal LSCs will drive up the availability and quality of training for youngpeople. Businesssupport for schools can have a huge positive impact on raising standards,developing key skills and preparing young people for adult and working life.Thesuccess of our businesses is tied in with the success of the Learning andSkills Council. Iwant to encourage people with a proven track record in business to play theirpart as board members.Thestructure of a powerful new organisation is being put in place. We must makesure that the people who take up the positions that have been reserved forbusiness, make the most of that opportunity.Iurge business people to apply for board positions on the new Learning andSkills Council, and supply the drive and commitment to making learning work forour economy in the future.NickReilly chairs a group of business people set up to encourage businessinvolvement in the new Learning and Skills Council. Information on how toapply, and electronic application forms, are available at www.getonboard.org.uk or telephone theLSC appointments team on 0114 259 3716. Related posts:No related photos.