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Academy bidding

Bidding for the third round of the national skills academy programme has begun as the Government tries to reach its target of opening a dozen academies by next year.

Eight of the employer-funded vocational institutions have already been announced, covering industries from financial services to nuclear power.

Businesses are expected to register their interest by March 5. But there have been some question marks over employers' commitment to the scheme, after the academy for food manufacturing was refused approval last year for failing to produce an acceptable business plan.

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