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					                   'Opportunity for all in a world of change'
          A White Paper on Enterprise Skills and Innovation, Feb 2001


This White Paper was published by the DfEE and DTI on Feb 13th 2001. It sets out
the Government's plans for a 'joined up strategy for skills and business
development'. Some of the main points in terms of plans for skills and workforce
development are highlighted below.

1.    Publicly funded post-16 Further Education and Training

      'On top of the entitlements to free basic skills training, the Government
      already covers 75% of further education course fees (rising to 100% for
      unemployed people). Individual Learning Accounts also offer people further
      help to cover costs and give a sense of ownership of learning. However, the
      Government recognises that more needs to be done to support the adults who
      want to study further education courses. The present financial support
      arrangements for adult learners outside higher education are incomplete and
      incoherent. We plan to provide adult students with a comprehensive system
      of financial support which meets their varying needs. We intend to bring
      forward new approaches which will increase the number of funding options for
      these students and deliver a fairer system of student support which is
      responsive, simple to understand and accessible.' (Paragraphs 2.22 - 2.23).

2.    Vocational Education

      The Government will reform the vocational qualifications system:

      'We will create a new entitlement to a Modern Apprenticeship place…We will
      invest extra resources to increase the number of apprenticeships, ensuring
      that this expansion covers growth industries. Modern Apprenticeships for
      those aged 19 plus will be targeted on priority sectors to maximise value from
      our existing investment. Standards in Modern Apprenticeships will be raised
      to match the best of apprenticeships amongst our competitors. A new
      Apprenticeship Diploma will provide a broader and better foundation of skills
      and knowledge than has been the case in the past - certifying knowledge and
      understanding, key skills and occupational specialisation at the appropriate
      level' (Paragraphs 2.25 - 2.28).


3.    Workforce Development

      The government will consult on 'how to give statutory backing to the network
      of Union Learning Reps' (Paragraph 2.42)


4.    Employer Investment in Training

      •   The Government is seeking to strengthen the NTO network (Paragraph
          2.39)
      •   The Government will work with NTOS to 'test new, voluntary ways of
          funding training, including training loans that can be transferred between
          employers linked to the Small Firms Training Loans Initiative. We will also
          use existing powers to provide statutory backing for proposals in any
          sector for collective skills funding arrangements, provided the social
          partners agree there is clear evidence of a skills deficit and that this is the
          best way forward (Paragraph 2.42).


A full copy of the White Paper can be found at:
www.dfee.gov.uk/whitepaper/opportunity/

Or can be ordered from the Stationery Office, Tel: 0870 6005522

A pamphlet, Opportunity and Skills in the Knowledge Driven Economy has also been
published to accompany the White Paper. This is the Secretary of State's final
statement on the work of the National Skills Task Force in England. A copy can be
found on the DfEE's website (address above).

For more information contact: Hannah Wood, Research Officer Lifelong Learning,
Tel: 01279 755677, email: woodh@msf.org.uk

				
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