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Inquiry ordered into ILAs


During an evidence session of the education and skills select committee on Wednesday, it was announced that MPs are launching an inquiry into the Individual Learning Account Scheme. This week it has already been revealed that the scheme went £63 million over budget.

Committee chairman Barry Sheerman stated that MPs needed to proceed quickly, and the first oral evidence may be given next week. Mr Sheerman also emphasised the significance of the ILA crisis.

The National Audit Office has already announced that it will be conducting its own inquiry, and the DfES has called in the IT consultancy Cap Gemini to examine the workings of the administrative system. Capita, who ran the system, have denied that there was any failure in its security, and have suggested that training providers who were approved may have abused that trust.

6 Responses

  1. Withdrawal due to fraud or over budget?
    Whilst there is no doubt that some degree of fraud was carried out, cynic that I am,I can’t help but wonder if ILAs were really pulled because they were £63m over budget. Surely employing a consultant is only going to add to this cost to the taxpayer without benefitting anyone who wishes to train but cannot afford the fee.

  2. Nice idea, shame about the implementation
    Like many others, I cheered when ILAs were introduced, as we trainers would have a real weapon to use to encourage self-development.

    However, I knew the scheme was doomed from the moment a 16-year-old lad knocked at my door trying to sell me a computer course.

    If the scheme is to be resurrected in some form, I hope they appoint LearnDirect as the sole conduit for training – then we KNOW it’ll be handled properly by professional staff who care about development and not £ signs.

  3. Quality control but not exclusivity
    ILAs gave rise to a huge amount of fraud, probably more than £63 million, and the government were right to stop them.

    However I’m not sure putting it all through LearnDirect is the solution. There is a wide variety of quality IT training out there, and no evidence that LearnDirect is more effective than others.

    There is a simple solution: require providers to be accredited by an independent body like the Institute of IT Training. (Or either by IITT or by LearnDirect.)

  4. Thoughts on others comments
    Firstly I think the concept behind the ILA was a good one. Bringing IT to the people is a great idea. There must have been a way to police this & yes one answer is to only use accredited training providers.

    However there are some of us great training providers out there that have not bothered with the IITT (partly beacuse they simply want to sell u their training) & have gone for other marks of excellence like becoming a Microsoft Education Center.

    Neither do I believe that Learn Direct should be the sole solution. Where does that leave the other training providers who can supply a great service?

  5. Tarred and feathered Private Trainer
    Why not close down all legitmate private sector learning providers who do offer a genuine service to all parts of the community and just hand over everything to learndirect Centres and of course large public sector training organisations who already get whatever help and support they need?

    Sod the hard working under appreciated private sector trainer. Should I get up for work tomorrow?

    Do not tar every organisation with the same brush, we do not all go out of our way to abuse the system for our own personal gain.

  6. Sad step backwards!
    I think one of the biggest losers in this fiasco is the ordinary person who just wanted some help in learning how to do something better – like use his or her computer and couldn’t afford the course. The training world has taken a very sad step backwards!


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