IT training providers commend MPs' critique on ILAs

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The Association of Computer Trainers (ACT) has given a broad welcome to the Education & Skills Select Committee report into the Individual Learning Accounts (ILA) scheme.

Ian Watkinson, ACT’s Director said: "The Select Committee has clearly listened to the training industry and agreed with the broad thrust of our arguments. We agree that providing compensation to providers who have suffered financial loss should be a priority, and it is the least that the government should do. Unfortunately, it is too little too late for many providers who have already lost their businesses as a direct consequence of the government’s actions. We welcome the need for accreditation for providers: after all, our members have been calling for this since before the launch of the scheme in September 2000. Had the government listened then, none of these problems would have developed. The most important thing now is for the government to act urgently to introduce a replacement scheme. There is, and always has been, a broad consensus on what ILA2 should look like, and what safeguards are needed. Further delay will just serve to damage the training sector more and see fewer individuals receive good quality training. The market is already down 45% - delay will just make that even worse."

ACT's founding members were the three national networks in the private sector IT training industry, Pitman Training, Best Computer Training, and Internet Exchange. Membership is now open to all legitimate training providers. The ILA scheme and its problems were among the reasons why the founders felt the need for such an association. ACT aims to represent the established, legitimate private sector of the IT training industry.

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