No more government pole dancing courses as funding for training axed

Wed, 05/03/2014 - 12:33 -- nick

More than 5,000 training courses are to lose funding as the government cuts the money it provides.

These courses are of "low value" according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and do not warrant public support.

Those cut include balloon artistry, self-tanning and instructing pole fitness - the 'art' of pole dancing for health.

Skills minister Matthew Hancock said the aim was to make the courses focused more on the needs of employers, as well as ensuring there was a more reliable route into work:

"Small qualifications in coaching angling, aerial balloon displays and self-tanning are not a good use of taxpayers' money or learners' time," he said.

"There are currently 15,400 regulated qualifications, and even with the restrictions we have made so far, 11,000 of them are eligible for government funding.

"We are determined to make sure that people who work hard to achieve a qualification can be sure that it is recognised as meaningful and valuable to employers and that it makes a real contribution to our long-term economic recovery."

Some qualifications meet an interest of learners and trainers rather than the needs of employers, meaning getting a job at the end is unlikely.

The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), the organisation that promotes adult learning, urged the government to go carefully.

Its chief executive, David Hughes, said he understood the "need for vocational qualifications to be better recognised and valued by employers".

However, he believed that "for many adults, returning to learning can be an extremely anxious experience, especially for those who didn't do well at school or for others who have lost confidence through ill-health or redundancy.

"Cutting off this 're-entry point' could mean many people missing out in the future with obvious knock-on effects for the wellbeing of the economy and society."

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