Spending on the flagship Train to Gain (TtG) programme in England is soaring.
According to the Learning and Skills Council, which manages the programme, the budget for the acacdemic year August 1 2007 to July 31 2008 is £524m, compared to £270m in 2006-2007. By January this year, £319m worth of TtG contracts had been awarded.
Regionally Yorkshire and the Humber is the big TtG winner with funding allocated for the six months to July 31 2008, at £33.5m, more than double the £16.9m it got for the whole 2006-07 year.
The East Midlands has also done well having £39m allocated to it by 31 January, compared to £25m for the August 2006-July 2007 academic year. TtG allocation for North East England for the whole of 2006-07 was £20.76m – for the six months to 31 January 2008 it had been allocated £12.6m. The North East is the only region where TtG spend for the half year to 31 January 2008 is lower than for the full 2006-07 year.
Those suppliers who did well out of TtG in the last academic year are also doing well in this one. Protocol Skills got contracts worth £6.6m in 2006-07 – so far in 2007-08 it has been awarded contracts worth £7.6m. Troubled training company Carter and Carter has won TtG contracts worth £5.8m for the six months to January 31 2008 – for the whole of 2006-07 its TtG business was worth £6.6m in terms of contracts won.
Indeed the top five TtG contract winners, in terms of value of contracts won, are the same as for the 2006-07 academic year. Apart from Protocol and Carter and Carter, they are Constructionskills, A4E Management and Eastleigh College. E-learning specialist Ufi (University for Industry) has been awarded TtG contracts worth £4.3m for the six months to January 31 2008.
The figures were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.