workforce was given a multi-million pound boost, and it's commitment
to give every child a sure start in life was underlined today as
education secretary Charles Clarke today welcomed the chancellor's
Over 2004-05 and 2005-06, further investment will be channelled into
workforce training, as the Pre-Budget Report outlined a £190m boost
to the successful Employer Training Pilot programme, extending the
scheme to give free training to low-skilled workers in twelve
current pilot areas for a further year, and expanding it to operate
in six new areas.
The Pre-Budget Report also underlined the government's continued
commitment to give every child a sure start in life, outlining:
- a commitment to establishing 1,000 Children's Centres by 2008, to
provide integrated education, health and support services for
children and their families;
- the establishment of nursery and school-parent links in 500
communities so that infants are introduced to early learning and
books before compulsory education;
- new reforms to encourage employers to support their employee's
childcare costs with tax exemptions on up to £50 per week spent on
registered or approved childcare.
A Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship will also be established
shortly to promote entrepreneurship to students and new graduates,
and foster close collaboration between Higher Education Institutions
and their regional and local business support communities.
Mr Clarke said: 'Every child, every young person and every adult
matters. High quality, life long and easily accessible education
from cradle to grave is fundamental to fulfilling personal
achievement and delivering national prosperity.
'Employer Training Pilots are reaching the employers and employees
that traditional training programmes have never reached. Higher
skills leve ls benefit the employee with improved pay and prospects,
the employer with a more efficient workforce, and the economy as a
whole with improved productivity.
'1,000 Children's Centres will provide essential services for
children and their families, where and when they need them - early
education, childcare, health, family support and help into
employment. And the establishment of nursery and school-parent links
in 500 communities will help children learn with their parents to
develop their full potential for adult life.'
This Notice applies to England.
1. Employer Training Pilots offer funding to employers to enable them
to provide time off for their employees to take up free or subsidised
tuition to improve their basic skills and qualifications. Recent
evaluation shows that, in the initial six pilot areas, over 14,000
low- skilled workers from 3,000 employers have already benefited from
training they would otherwise not have received. The scheme
particularly benefits small firms, traditionally an area where
training has not been a high priority.
2. Employer Training Pilots are currently running in Birmingham and
Solihull, Derbyshire, Essex, Greater Manchester, Tyne and Wear,
Wiltshire and Swindon, Berkshire, East London, Kent, Leicester,
Shropshire and South Yorkshire. The six new pilot areas will be
announced shortly. £120 million of the money announced for Employer
Training Pilots is new resource and comes from the Windfall Tax
reserve, the remaining £70 million is carry over from this financial
3. Children's Centres provide integrated care and education for young
children, health services, family support and a base for
childminders, bringing together influential programmes such as Sure
Start, Early Excellence Centres and Neighbourhood Nurseries.
Children's Centres are situated where need is greatest, in the most
disadvantaged areas in the country.
4. The governme nt is establishing links with primary and nursery
schools in 500 communities to help parents give their children the
very best start in life. This will help parents of young children to
create a positive learning environment in the home and to prepare
children for starting school.
5. The Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship will be overseen and
funded by the Department for Education and Skills and the Small
Business Service. It will receive £700,000 from existing resources
each year to promote the idea of graduate entrepreneurship to those
people who work with students so that more students and new graduates
will think seriously about becoming self-employed.
6. A fundamental role will be to foster close collaboration between
Higher Education Institutions and their regional and local business
support communities. The Council will also work to bring both
advisors and students into direct contact with the sources of help
available to people starting a business.