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UK GOVERNMENT: Skills and jobs on the web, in the shop and in the pub -- Blunkett

NOV 2, 1999, M2 Communications - People looking for work, looking for ways of getting the skills to work, or to update existing skills will soon be able to do so at the touch of a button and all on one website, or in a kiosk in their local.

Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett today told an audience of leading business people at the Harvard Business school that the Government is to launch the Learning and Work Bank, an internet jobs and skills service, and extend its jobs kiosks as part of its nationwide skills and employment drive.

Mr Blunkett said:

"This is a leap forward in using internet technology - helping people look for work with a new internet website - a national Learning and Work Bank on the net. The new website will bring together, for the first time in one place, information about learning opportunities provided by the University for Industry, with information about new vacancies provided by the Employment Service.

"In practice this will mean that all the ES's vacancies will be visible on the internet, alongside the learning opportunities that will help equip people to get, and keep, their jobs."

Mr Blunkett also announced plans to extend the Employment Service's touch screen jobs kiosk to shops and pubs nationwide.

"Jobmatching already happens through ES Direct, who place over 1,000 people each week, through vacancies advertised on the ES website and the ES has signed a partnership agreement with BBC digital TV - the Knowledge Channel - to further extend access to ES job services.

"But there is a great deal more to be done. We must take on the challenge and place 10,000 kiosks where people already go - in supermarkets, in libraries, in pubs, doctors' surgeries and community centres. We have experiments already running in some of these areas. The touch screen will enable men and women, wherever they are - in a jobcentre or in their local shopping centre - to make their own arrangements for employment.

"Constantly updating skills is the key to keeping up with the changing labour market. Stephen Byers and I are today establishing the Council for Excellence in Management and Leadership.

"The council will aim to improve the capacity and competencies of UK managers which, by common consent, lag behind those of our competitors. The council will be a small elite group of industrialists and entrepreneurs, chaired by Sir Anthony Cleaver Chairman of AEA Technology.

"The first task of the management leadership team will be to develop a management strategy and examine the way that management education is organised and delivered. Funding of around one million pounds will be available from DfEE and DTI jointly.

"The world is changing and managers have to be able to adapt. New technology means that there are new types of businesses that were not possible before. E-commerce is likely to change the way we trade. UfI aims to change the way we learn. Free trade across the world is likely to change the way we work and produce. With a changing world we need flexible and adaptable managers."


have already been appointed: Sarah Anderson, Chief Executive of Mayday Staff Services, who will be representing the small firms' interests; Dr Neville Bain, Chairman of the Post Office; Professor Amin Rajan, Director of Create; and Sir Michael Bichard, Permanent Secretary at the DfEE.

2. Mr Blunkett was addressing the Harvard Business School Club of London, at the Institute of Directors.


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