Industry training hits the Net
The Training Standards Council, based in Oxford's business park, will publish reports on its first 20 inspections next month. It is the first training inspectorate to make the details of commercial training organisations and their performance available to anyone with access to the World Wide Web.
Some 500 reports a year will be published on the estimated 2,000 training providers in England. Their performance will be assessed on a scale of 1 to 5.
Kim Howells, the minister for lifelong learning, said: "The TSC is helping to identify the strengths and weaknesses of training in Britain. It is there to help organisations take a critical look at themselves in all aspects of their training provision, first through self-assessment then backed up with an informed view, every four years."
A report on each training provider will normally be published within 10 weeks of the inspection ending. A summary of every report will be available through schools, colleges, the Employment Service and Careers Advisory Service.
Nick Reilly, chairman of the council and chief executive of Vauxhall Motors, said: "When you have to compete in business globally the need for high-quality training is critical.
"Work-based learning reaches out to people whose formal education may not have been right for their needs. We want to offer a valid choice to a 16-year-old between school, college or learning at work."
The council's remit will cover work-based training at all levels, including higher education,but it will concentrate on provision funded by Training and Enterprise Councils that is mainly at NVQ levels 2 and 3. The New Deal also falls under its jurisdiction.