ILA case taken to Number 10

Training providers have delivered a letter to 10 Downing Street that urges the Government to pay compensation for the early...

Training providers have delivered a letter to 10 Downing Street that urges the Government to pay compensation for the early closure of its flagship Individual Learning Account (ILA) scheme last year.

The scheme's closure, due to concerns about the security of its computer systems, has led to thousands of job losses and the closure of hundreds of training centres, with devastating results for basic IT training, the training providers claim.

John Healey, minister for lifelong learning, has already dismissed calls for compensation on the grounds that the Government had no contract with the training providers and that it was up to them to decide whether to join the scheme.

But the letter, written by Roger Tuckett, director of training provider The Community Online, on behalf of 1,000 training organisation, argues that the Government, by closing other subsidised training schemes, left firms little choice but to sign up to the ILA programme.

"There is no doubt now that there were serious errors involved in the setting up of the scheme and serious failings during 2000 and 2001 to recognise that problems were arising and changes needed. John Healey has accepted responsibility for the problems, whether or not the blame lies within DfES or its subcontractor/partner, Capita," the letter said.

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