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Last Updated: Friday, 16 September 2005, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK
Skills body to shed 1,300 staff
The LSC has an annual budget of about 8bn
The LSC is responsible for college and workplace training
A body which promotes learning and skills among young people in England is to cut 1,300 jobs as part of a 40m savings programme.

The Learning and Skills Council, set up in 2001, said it had to be "less bureaucratic" and provide better value to the taxpayer.

Jobs will be cut at offices across England, including at its headquarters in Coventry.

The Public and Commercial Services union called the plan "devastating".

The skills council (LSC) spends about 8bn of taxpayers' money every year funding further education in colleges and school sixth forms in England.

It is also responsible for work-based training, workforce development, adult and community learning, providing advice and guidance for adults, and creating education business links.

Last year 200 posts were shed in Coventry and another 600 at its 47 English regional offshoots.

'Better quality'

"These cuts will bring devastation to the delivery of vocational courses, apprenticeships and adult learning, seriously undermining the government's skills agenda," said the union's general secretary Mark Serwotka.

He said the move flew in the face of Chancellor Gordon Brown's plan for unions and employers to discuss how to improve workers' skills.

The LSC has confirmed it is reducing staff levels from 4,700 to 3,400.

"Over the coming weeks we will discuss these proposals with the union, other staff representatives, local councils and partner organisations," said chief executive Mark Haysom.

"We want to develop new, less bureaucratic and more strategic relationships with partners to ensure better quality and more relevant training for employers and individuals."

Bill Rammell, Minister of State for Higher Education and Lifelong Learning, said the changes were about ensuring resources went to the "front line".




SEE ALSO:
Post-16 pupils 'earn more money'
23 Aug 05 |  Education
200 jobs go at education quango
12 Feb 04 |  Coventry/Warwickshire


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