Press Release

Committee concerned at contract failure

Session: 2007/2008

Date: Wednesday, 05 March 2008

Reference: EL 01/08

The Committee for Employment and Learning today expressed serious concern over the failure of a key training contract within the Department’s new vocational training programme, Training for Success. The Committee learned of the contract failure during its ongoing scrutiny of the programme.

The Committee was briefed by Departmental officials at its meeting this morning on the withdrawal of Carter and Carter from the contract to deliver important training provision to apprentices wishing to take forward careers in the automotive industry

The Committee’s Chairperson Sue Ramsey said:

“The Committee had been made aware some time ago that there were potential problems with this particular contract. We have had numerous discussions with the Department on this issue and there was a certain inevitability to the position we now find ourselves. The Committee’s main concern now is ensure that the Department put in place appropriate measures with robust providers to ensure that no-one in the Training for Success programme or those finishing off their apprenticeships under Jobskills are now disadvantaged and receive only the highest quality training in this sector”

The Committee’s scrutiny of the early stage roll-out of the Training for Success is expected to be completed by May 2008 when its findings will be reported to the Assembly.

Notes to Editors:
  1. The Training for Success Programme replaced the Jobskills Programme from 3 September 2007 and was developed as the result of criticism of Jobskills by the Public Accounts Committee in its report of 2005. Criticisms included the quality of training, low retention and progression rates, the apparent employer exploitation of young people undertaking work placements as part of their training and the low net employment impact.
  2. The Committee’s Objective is to:

    “Fully monitor and scrutinise the early stage roll out and delivery of the Department for Employment Learning’s new Training for Success programme and recommend any policy or process changes which it considers will improve the programme delivery.

    In meeting this objective, the Committee will address the following terms of reference:

    (a) To ensure that the providers of the training programmes are fully equipped (staff and resources) to deliver the highest quality training within their particular sector;

    (b) To ensure that the geographical coverage and access arrangements allow for trainees to pursue their chosen training path;

    (c) To ensure that Training for Success is firmly aligned to the needs of local industry and business sectors; and

    (d) To ensure that the new arrangements for training provision under Training for Success adhere to the highest employee and resource management standards.

  3. Enquiries about the work of the Committee for Employment and Learning should be directed to the Clerk to the Committee, Room 283, Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3XX, Tel: 028 9052 1653 or email:
  4. Media enquiries regarding the work of Committees should be directed to:
    Northern Ireland Assembly Information Office, Room B2, Parliament Buildings, Belfast, BT4 3XX; Telephone 028 9052 1137; Website:; E-mail:

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