Government will not set timetable for new ILA

The Government will not commit itself to a timetable for introducing a replacement for the Individual Learning Account scheme,...

The Government will not commit itself to a timetable for introducing a replacement for the Individual Learning Account scheme, despite concerns that delays are forcing IT training companies out of business.

Adult learning minister John Healey said he will not press ahead with a new scheme until he is sure that the lessons from the old scheme have been learned.

"Until I am absolutely certain I have got down to the bottom of the first scheme, and I can be absolutely certain too that if we announce a target date for a successor scheme we can deliver it, frustrating as I know that is, I am not going to set a date I am not confident we can deliver on," he said.

The delays will come as a blow to IT training companies, many of whom have been forced to close or lay off staff since the scheme was suddenly suspended by the Government. Training firms claim they had no choice but to join the scheme, which offered subsidies of £200 to the public for vocational training.

  • A government-sponsored consultation paper published last week has laid down recommendations for an ILA successor scheme. They include using existing quality assurance systems to verify the quality of training, systematic follow-up of students to identify problems, and withholding full payment until students have completed their courses.

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