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UCU says failings of government flagship training programme have hit most vulnerable the hardest

21 January 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU said today that the failings of the government's flagship Train to Gain programme had hit the people who most desperately needed its help the hardest.

Responding to a damning report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the union said many employers received public money for training they would have provided anyway, while people on the dole were denied places on training courses.
The report by the cross-party group of MPs said Train to Gain had been mismanaged from the outset and had set unrealistic targets, which led to an underspend of £150m in the first two years and then an overspend of £50m.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'The Train to Gain programme is skewed in favour of employers rather than learners, and many companies have benefited from large subsidies for training they would have provided anyway.
'Giving so much of the resources for adult learning to employers in difficult economic times was a huge mistake. With many businesses struggling to survive and so many people who desperately need training on the dole queue the scheme was always going to fail the people who needed help the most.
'Train to Gain has been badly managed and too narrowly focused and it is time that ministers now put the long-term needs of learners and the country before the short-term needs of employers.'