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02.11.05
Paul Lucken Steps Down From Connexions Board

Executive director of the Learning and Skills Council for Devon and Cornwall Paul Lucken is retiring from the board of Connexions Cornwall and Devon.

Prior to the introduction of the LSC and Connexions in 2001 Paul served as a board member on the Devon and Cornwall Careers Service. Therefore he oversaw its transition and ultimate evolution into the current Connexions service.

During his time on the board Paul has seen Connexions Cornwall and Devon become one of the best performing partnerships in the country. Earlier this year it reported a 20% reduction in the number of unemployed 16-18 year olds in the region, the first reduction in unemployed school leavers for the last ten years.

Last year Connexions Cornwall and Devon worked with nearly 42,500 16-18 year olds and during that time an additional 600 young people were either in employment, training or continuing education compared to the previous year.

He says: "Over the past five years, I've seen Connexions grow into a fundamentally different kind of organisation to its predecessor the Careers Service. It doesn't just offer young people advice on education, work and training but takes a holistic approach to all the issues affecting young people. It has a challenging remit in that it has to reach those young people who are the hardest to engage and it delivers all these things extremely well. Over the years Connexions Cornwall and Devon has developed broad, deep relationships with partner organisations, earned the respect of those partners and also won national recognition for its high performance.

"The implications of the Government's Green Paper for Youth means there are more challenges facing all services for young people in the near future, but I hope that whatever proposals are put in place Connexions successes will be preserved. We mustn't lose sight of the values of providing independent, impartial support to young people, which is exclusively in their interests."

Paul adds: "Of course, I am very sad to be stepping down from the board. I take a personal pride in having been allowed to be involved in the work of Connexions and I consider it a privilege to have been given that opportunity. Connexions Cornwall and Devon has an extremely large number of good people working for it and I look forward to following their progress over the coming years."

Chief executive of Connexions Cornwall and Devon, Jenny Rudge says: "Paul has been a great asset during his years with us. There is a natural synergy between the work of the LSC and Connexions and Paul has been an instrumental and energetic figure on the board. We have a challenging transition period ahead in which we will be addressing the changes in the Youth Green Paper and Paul's direction and input will be sorely missed."

Paul Lucken's resignation takes effect from this month but he retains the option to sit in on future board meetings in the role of an observer.

For further information please contact press officer Maxine McAdams on 01566 771862 or 07980 632614 or email: mmcadams@marketing-pr.co.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Learning Skills Council through the European Social Fund (ESF).

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Editor's notes:

Connexions is the Government's specialist careers and advisory service helping all 13-19 year olds to get into learning and work. All young people have access to a Connexions Personal Adviser whether that is through school or college, Connexions information and advice centres or in youth or community groups.

Connexions Cornwall and Devon is the partnership delivering the Connexions Service since April 2001. There are 47 partnerships around the country. Connexions brings together all agencies and voluntary groups to plan a coherent approach to services for young people. The Connexions Service is allocated a grant from the Department for Education and Skills.

For more information visit www.connexions-cd.org.uk the local website or www.connexions.gov.uk the national website.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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