Byline: By MARTIN SHIPTON Western Mail
A welsh college ordered its staff to enrol on its own courses so vital funding was not lost. The staff at Neath Port Talbot College were instructed to sign on for courses at their own institution to ensure money did not have to be repaid to a Welsh education quango, we can reveal.
A shocked member of staff at Neath Port Talbot College passed evidence of the practice to the Western Mail.
The college employee told us, 'I think this is quite appalling - this isn't how public money should be spent. The scheme is meant for members of the community to upgrade their skills, and I think this is making a mockery of the system.
'Forcing people to go on courses they don't want isn't a good way to get them to learn.' Adele Rees, Director of Faculty, Lifelong Learning and Employment at the college, sent an email to all line managers saying, 'Please find attached important information that you will need to act on immediately. It is vital that we all act upon this to maximise the LU (learning units) for Learndirect'.
The attached letter, from Rosemary Royce, Head of School of Adult and Continuing Education, said, 'As you may be aware, Learndirect was awarded additional learning units by Elwa midway through the year and we have not yet used these additional units which are ring-fenced and cannot be veered to other areas.
'In order to ensure that we do not have to repay Elwa for unused units, it has been decided by senior management that staff will undertake at least one Learndirect course before the end of this term.
'The attached is a list of courses that have been identified as useful for staff in your areas. Please could you decide, with your staff, which are the most appropriate for them to enrol on. Additional courses can be found on the staff intranet under the Learndirect link so please feel free to select courses other than those suggested here.
'... The Principal is expecting all staff to …