From education to employment

Skills Council to work more closely with voluntary and community sector

A new advisory group has been launched by the Learning and Skills Council to better focus its work with the voluntary and community sector.

The LSC Advisory Group will bring together experts from the voluntary and community sector in order to hone their policies and implement their “Working Together Strategy”, produced in 2004.

The announcement comes on the back of recent calls for the body to “streamline” its activities, and follows a wave of job losses.

Chris Banks, LSC Chairman, said of the new group: “I am delighted to announce the formation of the LSC Advisory Group. Its ten members, who have wide ranging experience, and are all experts in their fields, will provide valuable advice and guidance to the LSC on the way that we work with voluntary sector organisations”.

Chairing the new group will be Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive of Dyslexia Action. She noted the “serious commitment” made by the LSC in forming the group, adding: “I am thrilled to have been invited to chair it. We have a great team on board and will be working on improving the links between the sector and the LSC as well as encouraging better partnership working”.

Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, Bill Rammell, highlighted its importance, saying: “It is a clear acknowledgement of their vital role in helping us to deliver our learning and skills priorities and build prosperity with social justice. Third Sector providers can reach right to the heart of our communities and engage with the most disadvantaged individuals and families. It is because we recognise the sector’s particular commitment and skills that we are determined to increase its involvement in public service delivery”.

He continued: “This is why we have announced a new action plan – Partnership in Public Services – which will not only provide important opportunities for the sector to work more closely with the Government and its partners, but also strengthen its capacity to contribute to the way public services are designed, delivered and improved”.

Vijay Pattni.

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