Rise of a SuperTEC

February 10, 1995

The break-up of the bankrupt South Thames Training and Enterprise Council has prompted a restructuring of TECs that could lead to the creation of a super-TEC for London.

Employment minister James Paice has announced that Centec and Solotec - which operate in nine London boroughs around the South Thames TEC areas of Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark - have been asked to submit proposals for taking control of the training provision from April this year.

Mr Paice considered options including establishing a TEC in the South Thames area and delivering the services directly through the Government Office for London, but decided that the option of splitting the TEC offered "the quickest and most secure way of continuing the delivery of Government programmes".

Solotec's chief executive John Howell said: "No one's gloating over this. This isn't seen as a massive opportunity for empire-building". But he said the TEC would be making proposals which would see it expand by 50 per cent.

Solotec last year received about Pounds 20 million for government while South Thames TEC received in excess of Pounds 30 million, half of which Solotec might be expected to receive this year.

Mr Paice also said the Employment Department would initiate a wider review of London TEC boundaries and added that the options include "the creation of a new central London TEC." Mr Howell said the new TEC could potentially be "the largest TEC in the United Kingdom".

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