HE will have input

September 12, 2003

Your article on the skills strategy white paper ("Strategy 'ignores' HE role in skills provision", THES, September 5) does not give the full picture. The strategy sets out an integrated approach to skills covering schools, higher education and further education.

The white paper aims to meet employers' needs and develop skills for employability and clearly applies to higher education. A skills alliance has been set up to deliver the strategy and the Higher Education Funding Council for England has been invited to join.

The higher education white paper will also enable the sector to work with business to develop skills. And foundation degrees will encourage progression to higher vocational skills and provide a route into higher education for those in modern apprenticeships and elsewhere.

We will work with universities and colleges to maximise the contribution they make to the skills strategy.

Ivan Lewis
Minister for skills and vocational education

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