Charities that provide training to young people are concerned that the Government's proposals for skills and youth training could undermine their funding.
In its Green Paper The Learning Age, Labour states it wants to increase the number of young people achieving qualifications. But whether its good intentions will be extended to funding the kind of non-formal qualifications provided by many in the voluntary sector is still unclear.
John Bateman, chief executive of UK Youth, fears the skills-based training provided by voluntary organisations could be harmed by the move. "If the Government funds only formal qualifications then an awful lot of people won't achieve this standard and it will make our task of helping them much more difficult,
"We have to support a number of ways appropriate to the needs of people who do not achieve in the formal system. We must celebrate wider achievement, not worry that it diminishes standards.