Headlines: December 9th, 1999

Autumn 2000 will see the launch of the world’s first learning and work bank. This Internet portal will be the starting place for anyone who wants to explore both the jobs market and learning opportunities. Jobs and learning services already operate in the US, Australia and some European countries, but this is the first time that a portal has been provided to create a single access point to information held on a number of sites.The Learning and Work Bank will integrate initiatives with launches planned for early next year. Employment Service, the agency for the Department for Education and Employment, will make its internal jobs database, the Labour Market System, accessible from the Internet. There will also be direct links to job vacancies carried by private agencies and newspapers. The site will give contact details so that Jobseekers will be able to phone potential employers direct. At about the same time “learndirect” will be launched by the University for Industry. This will provide a comprehensive picture of learning opportunities. At a later stage more general guidance about careers will be added to the Internet.

In a move to widen access to job and learning opportunities on the Internet, touch screen kiosks are being installed in jobcentres, supermarkets, doctors’ surgeries, pubs and cyber cafes.