The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has raised questions about whether the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has taken its eye off the ball over funding for employers that wish to invest in training.

The LSC has consistently put the message to industry groups and training providers that it was imperative more employers invest in training, especially during a recession.

Training providers were effectively told that there was no cap on the contracts they held with the LSC. Many providers took up this challenge and heavily recruited employers willing to participate in apprenticeships and Train to Gain, the government’s flagship training programme. However, in spite of the LSC’s reassurances, because of the large number of employers recruited, it is now apparent that many providers will not receive funding.

Training providers have been left in the absurd position of having to turn employers away from participation in apprenticeships and Train to Gain as, in many areas, the programmes have run out of money.

Commenting, David Frost, Director General of the BCC, said: “Employers understand that investing in training is crucial, especially during a downturn. However, a failure in government accounting means many who seek public funding will be disappointed to find that the taps have been turned off.

“With training providers now having to turn away employers who wish to train their staff, many are asking how the LSC could have so badly taken its eye off the ball?”