PROPOSAL FOR INTERIM FUNDED TRAINING PROGRAMME
The Association of Computer Trainers (ACT) has
consistently sought to provide solutions to the problems surrounding
the Individual Learning Account (ILA) scheme and its withdrawal.
The present situationwith no funding for vocational training
for the first time since 1992is unsustainable for both
learners and providers. The government is also now unable to meet
its objectives and commitments in the field of lifelong learning.
A replacement ILA programme is a priority for
all parties. But it seems clear from our members' bilateral meetings
with officials that it will be some months before any such scheme
can come on line. To help address this vacuum, ACT has developed
a proposal for an interim funded programme that will go some way
towards meeting the requirements of all the parties involved.
The proposed programme has clear benefits:
It shares many of the strengths of
an earlier funded programme (UK OnLine), that have been proven
to be effective and easily managed.
It will make available once more
funded learning for individuals seeking career opportunities currently
denied them by inadequate skills in a key sector.
It will focus on clear, targeted
groups within the community that are suffering most by the cancellation
of the ILA programme.
It will re-establish momentum in
the crucial IT training sector, that is so important to future
well being of the UK economy.
It will have the necessary safeguards
for the use of public money that were lacking in the ILA scheme.
It will enable government to demonstrate
clearly to its critics that it understands the needs of both learners
and providers, and is putting in place a realistic interim programme.
It has provision for a transparent,
independent audit programme, funded by the training industry.
The programme offers government an immediate
opportunity to take action, without prejudicing the long-term
future of funded training. We strongly urge you to give urgent
consideration to the enclosed proposal and look forward to discussing
the detail with you at our upcoming meeting.