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Train to Gain Programme

Volume 502: debated on Tuesday 8 December 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which Train to Gain providers have had discussions with Ministers on the funding and contract arrangements for Train to Gain for 2009-10. (302503)

I meet regularly with the representative bodies of both further education (FE) colleges and private training institutions; including the Association of Colleges and the Association of Learning Providers. I am the chair of a regular Further Education and Skills standing group. I also visit FE colleges and training institutions, which provides further opportunities for discussion.

Funding and contract arrangements for learners aged 19 or over on FE and skills provision, including Train to Gain, are administered by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). The LSC has established and maintains a close and collaborative working relationship with individual FE colleges and training institutions and will be in regular direct contact with them on a variety of issues.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many complaints have been received by (a) his Department and (b) the Learning and Skills Council from Train to Gain providers about the funding and contract arrangements for Train to Gain for 2009-10. (302504)

I receive a wide range of correspondence in relation to my departmental responsibilities. This includes correspondence from further education colleges and training institutions sent via their Member of Parliament and from key stakeholders and representative bodies such as the Association of Colleges or the Association of Learning Providers. Due to the large volume of correspondence received, it is not possible to separately identify where a specific complaint has been made about a particular funding arrangement from a particular class of correspondent.

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is responsible for the operation of funding and contract arrangements for adult learning including Train to Gain. They receive a similarly diverse range of correspondence. Any formal complaints they receive are handled through a defined complaints procedure detailed on their website and are targeted for resolution within three months. The LSC is not aware of having received any complaints through this route about Train to Gain funding and contract arrangements for 2009-10.