Sector targeted in skills training drive

Government's Train to Gain scheme to become more accessible to third sector organisations from January

Third sector organisations will have more access to skills training as funding for the voluntary sector is extended under a government-backed programme for employee development.

The Train to Gain initiative will ease funding restrictions on third sector organisations from January to meet high demand for training in the sector.

Take-up from the voluntary sector had been limited because organisations had found it difficult to access suitable courses.

The overall budget for Train to Gain will also rise to £1bn for 2010/11, the Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills announced.

Third sector organisations will have access to additional support, including standalone accredited courses and other qualifications that can count towards larger accreditations such as degrees.

Skills minister Lord Young said the expansion would benefit third sector organisations and their employees.

"These further improvements to Train to Gain mean that those in most need of support can develop the skills they need to get on, ensuring that the sector is well placed to weather tough times and to continue its valuable work for the community," he said.

Interested organisations can contact their local skills counsellors, who can be found at www.traintogain.gov.uk.

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