Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Cleckheaton training centre has funding withdrawn
A Cleckheaton-based training centre has had its Government funding stripped amid concerns over the quality of learner records and its financial dealings.
The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) told the Telegraph & Argus it had terminated its contract with iCOCO Training, which is believed to involve £500,000 funding a year, after the two areas of concern came to light during an audit.
It said it had made the decision to end its contact with the vocational training centre, which opened in 2009, three months ago.
“The decision was made following concerns about the quality of learners records and financial claims submitted to the agency by iCOCO, that came to light during a recent audit, and is fully in accordance with the terms of the contract,” it added.
The T&A contacted managing director Allisonne Reilly earlier this week, who denied the contract had been terminated and said iCOCO had lodged a complaint.
But in response, the agency, which delivers £4.1 billion of skills training through contracts with more than 1,000 colleges, private training organisations and employers across the country, said either party could terminate the contract with three months’ notice, without the need to give a reason.
“The agency has utilised this facility,” it said in a statement.
“The agency wrote to the managing director of iCOCO Training Ltd on September 10, 2013, advising them of the termination of their contract and accordingly the contract will terminate on December 5, 2013.
“The agency is not conducting any investigation into any matters relating to iCOCO Training.
“Our priority has been to ensure that there is minimal disruption to learners.All learners have now been transferred to either Kirklees College or Calderdale College in order to complete their learning.”
When the T&A spoke to Miss Reilly earlier this week she denied any of its students had been transferred to other colleges.
“All our learners like and love being here,” she said.
Last night, when contacted again by the T&A, a receptionist at iCOCO, which offers courses in subjects including hairdressing and customer service, said Miss Reilly did not want to make a further comment about the situation.
Councillor Kath Pinnock (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton) said she had been on a tour of iCOCO earlier this year and had not heard anything about its funding being withdrawn.
“If it has, and students are having to go to Kirklees or Calderdale, that is a shame because they will have to pay to travel,” she said.