'Recipe for confusion'

March 6, 1998

Government proposals for Regional Development Agencies are "a recipe for confusion, duplication and frustration", the House of Commons select committee for education and employment said this week.

"We wish to signal clearly our belief that investment in developing people's skills ... should be one of the highest priorities for RDAs," the select committee's fourth report, into the relationship between Training and Enterprise Councils and the proposed RDAs, said.

This means that the RDAs must have "a greater say in allocation of funds" and "a direct responsibility for skills". RDAs should take over the management of government-funded training, contracting directly with the TECs. "The role of the Government Offices for the Regions would be significantly diminished".

The committee said that the exact role of RDAs in education and training provision remained ambiguous despite the presence of a Regional Development Agencies Bill, now in its committee stage. A future inquiry, it said, would examine closely how RDAs might relate to further education colleges and universities.

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