Letter: Government's commitment to TECs

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Sir: I refer to Barrie Clement's article 'Revolution? What revolution?' (13 July). At the Training and Enterprise Councils conference on 9 and 10 July, it was overwhelmingly agreed that helping people who are out of work is a crucial part of the TEC strategy.

TECs will join with Gillian Shephard, the Secretary of State for Employment, in her working group on adult training, in a drive to solve problems hindering better results. TECs are particularly concerned for people with special needs, and are actively developing better ways to help them, led by two members of the Group of Ten TEC chairmen (G10).

Mr Clement reports that 'some TEC Board members' feel that dealing with the jobless is a form of social work for which they are not particularly suited. If such is the case, it was not evident.

John Major's Government cannot be accused of inattention to the potential of TECs. In a letter to me in my capacity as the Chairman of G10, the Prime Minister has expressed his very keen personal interest in training, and in the success of the Training and Enterprise Councils in particular. Within two days of taking office, Mrs Shephard had set in hand, together with TECs, a review of aims and programmes for the next five years which was enthusiastically taken forward at our

conference.

Michael Heseltine, the President of the Board of Trade looks to TECs to build coherent, professional, high quality support to enterprise, in partnerships which are local and reactive to business needs. John Patten, Secretary of State for Education, has warmly endorsed the increasing influence of TECs on the development of a society geared to lifetime learning. Discussions with other Cabinet ministers are imminent.

TECs, employer-led, well-informed and locally based, are partnering Government in the drive towards a competitive Britain. I have no doubt that we will succeed, tough though the going will be.

Yours sincerely,

E. J. ROBERTS

Chairman, G10

The Training and Enterprise

Councils' Secretariat

Redditch,

Worcestershire

14 July

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