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Training quality lacking

Northern Ireland's largest and most prestigious training institute has been sharply criticised by Government inspectors for poor quality training and under-achievement.

Belfast Institute Training and Employment Services which trains many of Ulster's students with severe learning difficulties, was visited by inspectors in October 1995.

The inspectors said: "There is considerable under-achievement by the majority of the trainees. Major weaknesses in the management of the training programme contribute to this under-achievement."

While achievement rates in national vocational qualifications were low many trainees from disadvantaged backgrounds or with severe learning difficulties did well.

The report said: "Record-keeping is inconsistent, poor attendance and time-keeping are not dealt with effectively and some of the needs of individual trainees are not addressed. This results in under-achievement and high drop-out among trainees."

It added: "With the co-operation of the well-qualified and committed staff, the institute can address these weaknesses."

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