News roundup

This
month’s news roundup

Funding
fears for engineers under new LSC

The
basic national funding rates set by the DfEE to be implemented by the LSC have
already come in for criticism.

Engineering
specialists fear that the new funding regime will have serious consequences for
some training providers.

“We’re
not being allowed to go directly from where we are now to the funding levels
suggested,” explained Nick Morrissey, chief executive of the Southampton-based
engineering training body Seta.  “If
it’s an augmentation of funding, it’s being damped.” The effect of damping is
that providers cannot draw down more funding than in 1999 plus 10 per cent. For
Morrissey it comes as a kick in the teeth. 

“I’ve
improved the quality of delivery – we’ve taken on more staff to do that. As a
result the delivery of NVQs has increased by about 43 per cent,” he said.

But
Seta’s funding is tied to its 1999 performance. “For the coming year I just
drop the extra 43 per cent I’ve done in 2000/01. I can’t afford to resource
it,” said Morrissey.

There
are also cuts of 44 per cent in funding for engineering apprentices aged
19-plus, despite encouragement to take on older people. “It looks as if I will
have a reduction in funding of around £200,000, so I’ve got difficult decisions
to make.”

Plymouth
Engineering Group Training Scheme (PEGTS) runs a 100-place apprentice centre.

Manager
Peter Stacey said, “Short-term, it’s causing us severe cashflow problems. Our
LSC is looking for growth and we’ve got companies saying, ‘Give us more
apprentices’, but there’s no way we can fund that.”

Under
the Tec system PEGTS received local discretionary funding, but its LSC is
powerless to help because national programme rates are fixed centrally.

Stacey
is, nonetheless, optimistic. “In the long term, we’ll get somewhere near
£12,000 funding for an apprenticeship. Hopefully 10 years of living
hand-to-mouth will then be a bad memory.”

Discounts
on virtual schools

A
series of special offers for employers have been made available as part of
Learning at Work Day on 17 May.

Organiser
the Campaign for Learning has persuaded iLearn.To and Skillsoft to make certain
courses accessible free of charge for the day.

In
addition, employers who are interested in exploring the potential of e-learning
can take advantage of iLearn.To’s offer of creating their own virtual
university.

Other
offers, including planning materials for 17 May, are accessible through the
campaign’s website  www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk

Line
managers get involved

Line
managers are playing an increasing role in deciding how team development events
are run. They are commissioning and initiating such coaching and rely on
training professionals to act as advisers.

This
is just one of the findings in the Brathay Insights survey conducted in
association with Lancaster University and Personnel Today magazine.

The
survey showed that trainers felt they were more likely to become involved in
senior management development initiatives. 
www.brathay.org.uk

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