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Skills Funding Agency will tackle rogue providers despite loss of up to 1,000 jobs

The Skills Funding Agency will continue to “clamp down” on rogue providers despite looming job cuts, a senior member of staff has warned.

Marinos Paphitis (pictured), an executive director, said the fact the agency will be “leaner” in future will not stop it from intervening if it thinks public money is being used incorrectly.

More than 1,000 staff face an uncertain future as part of the ongoing restructure of the organisation in response to Civil Service reforms.

Mr Paphitis told delegates at The Skills Summit in London yesterday: “We are going to become leaner; we’ve been planning it for some time. We will also become a lot smarter we hope, and more will be done centrally.

“But we are not going to stop intervening where bad things happen. We are not tolerating failure; we are closing down contractors every single month.

“There’s nowhere to hide if you are not offering what we are paying for. We are clamping down as soon as we hear.”

The Skills Funding Agency delivers some £4.1 billion of skills training a year in England, through contracts with more than 1,000 colleges, private training organisations and employers.

Earlier this month it introduced tougher funding rules to stop rogue providers accessing public money.

One change means that funding can be now turned down if a senior member of staff at a provider has been dismissed for gross misconduct from another provider.

The rule previously applied only to directors but now extends to governors, senior employees and even major shareholders.

The agency’s restructure is being carried out in two phases; its executive management team will be halved and its number of directors cut by more than a third, before a more general staff cut.

Last September more than 1,000 staff below senior management level were warned that their jobs were at risk.

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