strengthening links between schools and businesses has taken a
significant step forward in today's Budget.
to £14m a year to boost the skills of those in work
through the Union Learning Fund. The fund helps trade unions provide
more workplace training for members.
The chancellor also announced a pilot scheme to improve school
interaction with business. A sum of £10m in 2004-05 has been
made available for new Enterprise Advisers who will work with
secondary schools in deprived areas to help give pupils the
enterprise skills they need for employment.
Education and skills secretary Charles Clarke said:
'It is vital we get schools working more closely with business. The
new enterprise advisers are an important part of this drive. We can
raise young people's aspirations by giving them a taste of
'We have consistently shown our total commitment to improving
workplace skills. By increasing the Union Learning Fund, we will help
more people enhance their skills. This is good for employees and good
for their employers too.'
Other education and skills announcements to come out of today's
- allowing international students in science, engineering and
technology to work in the UK for one year after graduation before
going through the usual work permit process;
- confirming the expansion of Employer Training Pilots, which helps
employees get the right training by giving firms subsidies to cover
the costs involved. The pilots will run in six new areas as well as
the original six which were set up in 2002;
- working in partnership with high street banks to stimulate more
demand for advice and training and make entrepreneurs more aware of
their benefits. There will also be a one-stop web-based training
directory to raise awareness of public and private sector training;
- encouraging more employers, particularly small businesses, to offer
MAs to employees. The government is committed to ensuring that 28
per cent of 22 year olds will have entered apprenticeship by 2004,
with plans that about 320,000 young people will be studying an MA
by 2006; and
- engaging career advisers, academics, institutions and organisations
to promote self- employment as a career option for graduates.
This Press Notice applies to England.
1. The Union Learning Fund will receive an extra £3m from
existing resources in 2004-05 and 2005-06, increasing the provision
from £11m to £14m.
2. The Learning Skills Council will make £6m available to fund
Enterprise Advisers in 2003-04, and £10m available in
2004-05. The money will be made available through the Education
Business Partnership Consortia.
3. The six new Employer Training Pilot areas are: Berkshire, East
London, Kent, Leicester, Shropshire and South Yorkshire. The original
six set up in 2002 are: Solihull, Derbyshire, Essex, Greater
Manchester, Tyne and Wear, and Wiltshire and Swindon. In these areas,
1,500 employers have taken part in the scheme so far, and 5,600
employees have started training.