CONTROL of the multimillion-pound training budget could be wrested from the training and enterprise councils as pressure mounts for the planned regional development agencies to steer regional post-16 education. An inquiry into the role of the agencies by the House of Commons Education and Employment Committee is expected to be complete within weeks.
Pressure is mounting from the Further Education Development Agency and the Association of Colleges for the committee to recommend the withdrawal of the TECs' multimillion-pound training budget. In a joint written statement to the inquiry, they say: "The TECs' role as strategic leader has not always been well discharged."
In a parallel inquiry last week, the Commons Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee recommended that the RDAs should control the training budget. The RDAs should "control the training budget for their region, plan a regional skills strategy and contract with TECs to carry it out, rather than merely assess TECs' contribution towards regional objectives," stated the committee.