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LSC launches training course gift voucher scheme
The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) will today launch a new scheme that enables people to buy gift vouchers towards the cost of further education courses.
The pilot project, launching today in nine colleges across England, will promote further education courses as 'the perfect gift' for people to give to friends and family, to them learn new skills.
According to ICM research, commissioned by DIUS, receiving a Voucher for a course was the third most popular gift people would like to receive (20%) after clothes (31%) and books (25%), but ahead of music (15%) and toiletries (7%) in a list of five possible gifts.
Minister for skills David Lammy will launch the pilot today at the College of North East London (CoNEL).
David Lammy said: "The Perfect Gift pilot is a superb example of the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit that runs through the FE sector. Enabling people to purchase Vouchers for courses is a simple but effective way to make learning, and the benefits of learning, even more accessible to everyone."
The gift vouchers can be used to enrol on a variety of courses available at participating colleges and are redeemable during the 2007-2008 academic year. Each Gift Voucher has a value of £50 and may cover the full course cost or a contribution towards it.
In addition to CoNEL, DIUS and the LSC are working with Chichester College, New College Nottingham, Blackpool & Fylde College, Gateshead College, York College, West Hertfordshire College, Filton College (Bristol) and Warwickshire College.
Paul Head, principal of CoNEL said of the scheme: "This is the ideal gift for a friend or family member whom you know is keen to develop a hobby, learn a new skill or even update existing skills. We're excited about the opportunity this innovative project presents, and are certain it will appeal to a wide range of people."
The Perfect Gift pilot has been developed as part of the LSC's skills campaign 'Our future. It's in our hands'. The campaign was launched by the LSC in July and aims to improve the attitudes and aspirations of employers and individuals to learning and training, at all levels.
David Lammy concluded: "This is an original method of attracting more people into learning and I hope that following the trial, other colleges will be encouraged to follow suit.
"There is no doubt that learning gives people improved career prospects, employability and a better quality of life, and initiatives which raise awareness of this should be fully supported."
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