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Local learning and skills councils (LLSCs) - Rural Delivery - RE0210

Description
The project is to review the strategies of the 12 rural Local Learning and Skills Councils (LLSCs) that have been identifed by Defra as comprising those serving the least well performing quartile of rural areas. The strategies are to be reviewed in relation to post 16 education and training and to summarise how well they have:
• identifed the differences between rural and urban areas,
• identified relevant barriers or difficulties in making effective provision,
• identifed measures to overcome these barriers and their appropriateness.
It is also required to identify any additional barriers to effective provision not identified in the Strategies.
The research will be written up in a report which in addition to presenting the findings, will: provide recommendations on changes that may be needed to ensure fully effective but affordable means of extending learning provision in rural areas; and, provide recommendations and guidance on further research that may be required to investigate selected LLSCs in regard to need, current provision, additional costs, links with employers and business, and how strategic plans link to the outcomes for learners in those areas.
The context for this work is the PSA target which requires Defra to reduce the gap in productivity between the least well performing rural areas and the English median by 2006. Defra is also required to improve accessibility of services for rural people. Post 16 education has been identifed as the key area where improvements will yield most benefit.
The research is necessary therefore to assess how well the LLSCs have addressed the particular needs of rural provision in their strategies and annual plans, and in so doing provide a basis for possible further in-depth study of selected LLSC areas. The research will look for and draw together common issues and approaches, and draw conclusions about the nature of demand for learning, how it is proposed to stimulate this by overcoming the barriers to learning that are identified, and how these have been overcome in theory and in practice.
The research will build upon the recently published LSC report Issues Affecting Education and Training in Sparsely Populated Areas LSC 2003, as well as other relevant literature that has investigated the needs and barriers to learning in rural areas, this will include among others Skills Foresight 2001 Lantra 2001 and the Land-based .Sector Workforce Development Plan 2001, Encouraging and supporting enterprise in rural areas – report to the Small Business Service, 2002;. Business Skills and Advice in Rural Areas in England – A DTZ Pieda Consulting. These reports identify inter alia the general lack of rural provision of off- the job training, expense of provision related to volume and distance, the importance of IT provision, the importance of training in the context of a learning support network and the need for private and public sectors to work together.
In addition may be possible to share the results of the work with staff from the LLSCs in seminar.

Objective

1. To review 12 LLSC strategies and relevant part of 12 annual plans for the least well performing quartile of rural areas and identify and summarise the extent to which they have identified:
- differences between rural and urban areas
- the barriers to effective provision
- measures to over come these barriers

2. To identify barriers that have been missed and additional barriers not identifed in the strategies and plans

3. To provide recommendations on changes that may be needed to ensure fully effective but affordable means of extending learning provision in rural areas;

4. To provide recommendations and guidance on further research that may be required to investigate selected LLSCs in regard to need, current provision, additional costs, links with employers and business, and how strategic plans link to the outcomes for learners in those areas.

Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2004

Cost: £25,800
Contractor / Funded Organisations
ADAS UK Ltd.
Keywords
Diversification              
Rural Development              
Tourism              
Fields of Study
Rural Affairs