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Learning and Skills Council: Reorganisation

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the status of Learning and Skills Council (LSC) local partnerships will be following the reorganisation of the LSC. (243375)

The White Paper ‘Raising Expectations: enabling the system to deliver’, set out proposals to ensure that the needs of learners (young people and adults) and employers are met by a more responsive system. Responsibility for the planning, commissioning and funding for education and training for 16 to 19 year-olds will transfer to local authorities, supported by a new Young People's Learning Agency. For adults we propose to build on the demand led approach, including through the creation of a new Skills Funding Agency and strengthened advice and support services for adults and employers.

In respect of young people, local partnerships, such as the 14-to-19 Partnerships and Children's Trusts, are all being strengthened ahead of the dissolution of the LSC. At the same time the Government are working to develop stronger local area agreements and multi-area agreement proposals to ensure that all partners are clear on roles, responsibilities and outcomes. Building stronger links between local, regional and national bodies is vital to ensure the outcomes for young people, adults and employers are continuously improved. That is why local authorities will be expected to work collaboratively with one another supported by a slim-line Young People's Learning Agency.

In respect of adult skills, the Skills Funding Agency will also work with and develop existing local partnerships. It will work, for example, in partnership with the Young People's Learning Agency, regional skills and employment boards and other local and regional skills bodies to respond quickly and flexibly to national, regional and local skills needs, including drawing up statements of regional priorities and ensuring that these are reflected in multi-area agreements and local area agreements. The SFA will also work with regional development agencies and local authorities in relation to economic development and worklessness.

We are also encouraging colleges and learning providers to co-operate with each other and with other key partners in order to meet the needs of employers in relation to skills training, and also to ensure that local strategic skills needs are met.

Our proposals will require legislation, which will be introduced early in 2009, as part of the Children, Skills and Learning Bill. Until the new arrangements are in place, the Learning and Skills Council will continue to be responsible for securing the effective delivery of post 16 learning. More detail on the pre-19 proposals can be accessed via this link,

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/publications/14-19nextsteps/.

More detail on the Skills Funding Agency can be found in the recently published 'Adult Skills Reforms: An Update', accessible via this link:

http://www.dius.gov.uk/policy/raising_expectations.html.