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Train to Gain freezes funds – again!


Train to Gain has announced a funding freeze which is in turn hampering business efforts to recover from the recession, according to a report from the Association of Learning Providers (ALP).

The freeze means that companies will not able to train staff through the programme until at least the next financial year starts in April 2010 while training providers had been told by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), which runs Train to Gain, to stop taking new trainees from 1 April this year, leaving some employers without access to training for 12 months. It is thought that construction, engineering and childcare sectors will be particularly affected by the lack of funding.

Commenting on the news, Graham Hoyle, chief executive of ALP, said: "With businesses needing to be competitive to fight their way out of the recession, it seems strange - and potentially damaging to the economy - that many can go a whole year without being able to start workers on the government's flagship training scheme."

In addition, training firms have added that the funding shortages are likely to have a knock-on effect on the provision of adult apprenticeships for the remainder or 2009 and next year with funding being significantly reduced and making the likelihood of achieving the 2020 target of 400,000 apprenticeship places in England an impossibility.Penny de Valk, chief executive of the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) commented: “We are concerned that a lack of funding for Train to Gain means that UK Plc will not be able to provide staff with crucial training for the foreseeable future.

“To date the programme has been a great success and key to addressing the shortfall in skills at all levels, particularly among managers, where there is a clear need for ongoing investment. However it is of the utmost importance that investment in training continues if organisations are to emerge stronger from the recession.”

ILM research, published earlier this year, revealed that the key characteristics required from leaders emerging from the downturn are people management and communication skills, with financial skills also high on the agenda. A subsequent ILM study recently revealed that low trust in CEOs is endemic, particularly in the public sector and, therefore, significant investment is still needed in upskilling the UK’s leaders in this area.

De Valk added: “There are certain personal development needs that can only be addressed through first-rate training and coaching. This is why leadership and management development through Train to Gain is crucial, particularly at a time when competent, skilled leaders are desperately needed to help the country remain competitive."

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