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Frustration at Train to Gain not being used to maximum

I read with interest your piece titled "Train to Gain is in the slow lane" (FE Focus, August 8). Train to Gain is still a relatively new scheme within further education and it's true to say it has had a fairly slow start due to regulation and audit complexities and a lack of flexibility around those eligible to join the scheme.

The funding has first targeted those learners who rightly should be prioritised within our workforces. These are people who have missed out on gaining a level two qualification at school, and putting them at the front of the queue is the correct approach to help ensure that these individuals have the right structures in place to help them participate in the economy and develop successful careers.

This is about supporting social inclusion and I am glad that it has been a priority of the scheme to safeguard the interests of those who need it most.

FE colleges and training providers have last month been advised of substantial changes to the eligibility criteria, however, with additional flexibility and money on offer, enabling them to get relevant and appropriate skills to the right employees within our workforces much more quickly. These changes will enable providers to move forward confidently with the scheme and benefit from the concerted push to raise awareness and participation in it.

Train to Gain is now poised to have a big impact on skills and qualifications with employers and I welcome it.

Jonathan Ovenden, Business development director, Creating Careers.

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