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ILA – how the system was abused


Last week the government announced they were scrapping the Individual Learning Accounts (ILA) scheme in England, with no immediate plans for a replacement.

ILA’s were designed to provide adult learners with a training allowance. Trainers across the country were angered by the Governments decision and plan to campaign against the Department for Education and Skills (DFES). The DFES have set a deadline for December 7th; any individual who has not registered before this date will lose their allowance of up to £200 a year.

The decision was made due to the ILA programme being subject to widespread fraud. Following complaints made to trading standards, the DFES is reported to be investigating 270 training providers and 30 people have been arrested.

The Government admitted to providing minimal monitoring. To apply for the course, training companies had to simply fill out a form and provide evidence of public liability insurance and health and safety compliance. “You did not have to submit any course materials or have any sort of accreditation” stated Simon Cripwell, Information officer for Warwickshire trading standards.

A spokesperson for the DFES stated that it was not possible to check all 8,500 learning providers “Part of the problem has been that the training providers signing up for grants have not had to show very much. There have not been any quality checks. That is why we have run into difficulties”

Training providers biggest concern at the moment is whether there are plans for a replacement scheme. The government have not yet indicated whether the scheme will be replaced or not.

IT TrainingZone News will keep you posted.


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