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On the brink of national acclaim

Members of a consortium in Dorset had worked hard for the launch of the White Paper, working on a Government video, planning a conference for local business, telling the press about their pilot individual learning account, writes Ngaio Crequer.

The consortium, including Bournemouth and Poole College of Further Education, the local training and enterprise council, and Liverpool Victoria, the UK's largest friendly society, thought they were going to receive national recognition for their work at the launch.

Chris Quarrie, of Dorset TEC, said the decision to scrap the paper would cost them money. "We were planning a major event in May so we could explain to business in Dorset what the White Paper meant for them. It was costing about Pounds 40,000. We don't know what the penalty costs of cancellation will be. But in one way I am grateful. We have been putting off strategic development since September waiting for the wretched White Paper."

"I'd have thought they would have told us," said Tony Miller, training manager of Liverpool Victoria. There was going to be a road show. I am not happy at all about this. A lot of people have put in a lot of work. If they want to kick-start lifelong learning they must have a strategy."

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