Friday, 16 October 2009

I went on to a meeting of the Leeds Skills Board with Phil Willis MP, Chair of the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Select Committee...

Phil Willis talked about the fact that although we can see some green shoots the current economic climate is worrying. Unemployment is still rising and we are expecting another dip in the housing market. All the evidence suggests that we need a new three to five year strategy for skills which recognises that centrally driven programmes focused on qualifications don't work. Train to Gain, great in principle, fails because it isn't owned by employers and businesses but is simplistically a top down Government strategy with all the associated bureaucracy and processes that fail to connect with company and business approaches.

We need to move the UK to achieve top quartile skills to allow us to compete in a global economy. This requires a coherent and coordinated approach to the delivery of the skills agenda. We need to develop trust, ownership and partnership. We must keep things simple, connect and limit the paperwork. We need to develop aspiration, ambition and get away from the 'it's good enough' philosophy.

Does any of this sound familiar?

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