New Education Boss to Tackle Skills Crisis; David Cragg Was Yesterday Put in Charge of a Pounds 1 Billion Budget and Given the Task of Improving the Skills Base of All over 16-Year-Olds in Education outside Universities in the West Midlands. Education Correspondent Shahid Naqvi Talked to Him about the Challenge of Becoming Regional Director of the Learning and Skills Council

The Birmingham Post (England), January 7, 2004 | Go to article overview

New Education Boss to Tackle Skills Crisis; David Cragg Was Yesterday Put in Charge of a Pounds 1 Billion Budget and Given the Task of Improving the Skills Base of All over 16-Year-Olds in Education outside Universities in the West Midlands. Education Correspondent Shahid Naqvi Talked to Him about the Challenge of Becoming Regional Director of the Learning and Skills Council


Byline: Shahid Naqvi

With the responsibility of managing a pounds 1 billion budget and funding every college, sixth form and other adult learning provider in the region, David Cragg has become one of the region's most powerful education figures.

But perhaps most crucially of all, he will have a central role in solving the workforce's worrying skill shortage in the key areas of manufacturing and professional services.

Mr Cragg's appointment follows a rationalisation programme introduced by the Learning and Skills Council, of which he is currently head of the Birmingham and Solihull branch, which commands a pounds 270 million budget.

The drive was implemented by the LSC's new boss Mark Haysom in an effort to shake-up an organisation he recently labelled as over-bureaucratic and in need of 'greater clarity, leadership and direction'.

Under the new management structure, nine regional heads have been created, each assuming overall responsibility for a number of local branches that previously acted independently.

Mr Cragg's new role makes him regional director of LSC divisions in the Black Country, Coventry/Warwickshire, Herefordshire/Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire as well as Birmingham and Solihull.

The 57-year-old said the move was an important step in streamlining the LSC and addressing the issue of complexity raised by Mr Haysom.

'This is a fundamental part of that whole process of stripping out complexity and unnecessary bureaucracy,' he said.

'Behind the introduction of this regional structure are plans for a hugely simplified business planning approach. The critical point is it is all about having a structure within the LSC which gives much greater authority to the local branch. That will take out cost, remove bureaucracy and simplify the whole system so it will work more in favour of individuals and companies. …

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New Education Boss to Tackle Skills Crisis; David Cragg Was Yesterday Put in Charge of a Pounds 1 Billion Budget and Given the Task of Improving the Skills Base of All over 16-Year-Olds in Education outside Universities in the West Midlands. Education Correspondent Shahid Naqvi Talked to Him about the Challenge of Becoming Regional Director of the Learning and Skills Council
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