Any hope of a November Budget handout for industry-led training was dashed this week by Michael Portillo, Secretary of State for Employment.
Mr Portillo was responding to criticism from Sir Clifford Chetwood, chairman of the Construction Industry Training Board and former chairman of Wimpey, that the Government's approach to training was too "hands-off".
Mr Portillo said the Government sought a balance between mollycuddling and a hands-off approach. It was not the Government's job "to duplicate what industry should be doing for itself" using public funds. He said that the Government was "an enabler" and will only fund training "for those not served by industry's existing arrangements: young people who are looking for a way into work, and long-term unemployed people and other disadvantaged adults looking for a way back into the labour market".
Sir Clifford, who announced a new training strategy for the construction industry, said no government cash would mean eating into reserves to train an extra 7,000 people over three years.