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LGA: GOVERNMENT'S WORKPLACE TRAINING SCHEME NEEDS LOCAL FLEXIBILITY

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LGA leaders have called on David Blunkett to give local authorities and their partners the flexibility to develop l...
LGA leaders have called on David Blunkett to give local authorities and their partners the flexibility to develop local solutions in implementing the Skills Task Force recommendations.

Cllr David Sparks, LGA economic regeneration executive chair, urged Mr Blunkett to build in local flexibility into the national scheme and to link work-based training initiatives to councils' wider economic development role.

He also urged for the good work achieved locally by councils and TECs to be continued in the new Learning and Skills Councils.

Cllr Sparks said: `While the LGA welcomes moves to boost training for working people, we are concerned the task force report's approach is too nationally-based and inflexible. We believe that while the national measures announced will make a difference, there is a need for locally-tailored solutions to meet the particular needs of local communities.

`Unfortunately there is an increasing lack of `joined up' thinking in Whitehall on devolving decisions down to a local level - especially within the department for education and employment.

`The LGA therefore calls upon the government to allow the Learning and Skills Councils sufficient flexibility in implementing these proposals and to ensure strong links between work-based training and the wider economic development role led by local authorities.'

- The Skills Task Force report was issued by the DfEE on January 12.

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