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Education and employment secretary David Blunkett has launched a unique consultation exercise to establish the key ...
Education and employment secretary David Blunkett has launched a unique consultation exercise to establish the key challenges facing his Department and his objectives for meeting them.

The consultation is based on a document, 'Learning and Working Together for the Future', which offers a vision of the Department for Education and Employment's work over the next five to 10 years.

Mr Blunkett said:

'We have made a tremendous start on our manifesto pledges and proved that we will not shirk tough issues. But if we are to succeed we must not only work on the detail of our reforms, but also keep our eyes on the bigger picture and constantly ask ourselves about our fundamental goals and priorities. I hope this consultation document will provoke a widespread debate on what those goals and priorities should be, as well as demonstrate our determination to tackle the deep-seated problems afflicting our country.'

The document draws together all the major areas of Education and Employment policy: school standards, lifelong learning, employability, welfare to work, social inclusion; and equality of opportunity. It is the first document of its kind since the former Department for Education and Department of Employment merged in 1995.

Mr Blunkett said:

'It has been sent out to over 900 of my Department's key partners so they can join forces and play their part in developing a clear forward-looking vision.'

The document describes:

-- the key forces, like globalisation and the revolution in IT, which are changing the world around us;

-- the challenges these changes pose in education, in work, and for society,

-- the Department's priorities for action between now and next Spring,

-- the way the Department plans to work with others to get the job done.

The consultation document will be available on the Internet from today at the DfEE website.

Copies of the document are available free of charge from DfEE Publications, PO Box 5050, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 6ZQ (telephone 0845 6022260 ; fax 0845 6033360; E- Mail

Responses are invited by Tuesday 23 December in writing to Steve Leman, Department for Education and Employment, E6c, Moorfoot, Sheffield S1 4PQ, or by fax on 0114 2594526. Responses can be made via the Internet site or by E-Mail on:

Officials will be discussing the consultation document with key national bodies over the next 12 weeks.

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