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Red tape blocks firms' access to training cash

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BUREAUCRACY IS putting contractors and consultants off applying to the government for school leaver training cash, consultants and contractors said last week.

They said dealing with the Learning & Skills Council (LSC) created too much paper work The LSC administers a £9.3bn annual budget for school leaver training in England. It also oversees apprenticeships.

Nuttall learning and development manager Wendy Hughes said many companies opted out of the LSC apprenticeship system to avoid the extra paper work.

'I don't think there's any point in denying the bureaucracy surrounding getting public funds - which is disappointing given the drive to get a more qualified workforce, ' she said.

Consultant FaberMaunsell complained that it had spent the last year trying to get an appointment with a learning provider.

'Either they're not there or the funding is not there, ' said FaberMaunsell human resources director Jeannie Edwards, adding that this was slowing down recruitment of up to 30 more apprentices.

But LSC head of national marketing Nicky Brunker said that she was waiting on FaberMaunsell to confirm a meeting date to move things forward.

She claimed there was enough capacity to manage queries and that there was no backlog.

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