Training and enterprise councils

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Training and enterprise councils (TECs) were local bodies established in England and Wales in the early 1990s to administer publicly funded training programmes, replacing the former Manpower Services Commission. The first group of 19 TECs were launched in 1990. TECs managed various schemes including Youth Training (formerly known as the Youth Training Scheme) and the early Modern Apprenticeship. They also promoted training and business enterprise with local organisations. TECs operated as private limited companies and reported on their progress to their regional government office.

The TECs were abolished in April 2001 under the Learning and Skills Act 2000. In England, their functions, along with those of the Further Education Funding Council, were taken over by the Learning and Skills Council. In Wales, they were replaced by ELWa.

In the final stages there were around 82 (the reported numbers vary) each on average receiving £32–38 million a year. The TECs were largely unaccountable and the basis of operation varied greatly from area to area. For instance Kent TEC was a large-scale operation integrated into the Kent County Council while in Wigan the TEC was based in a lock-up garage. The structure of the TEC schemes offered huge opportunities for abuses; ranging from abuse of vulnerable participants in the training schemes to scams involving ghost candidates generating funds for the training providers by exploiting the payment for positive outcomes for gaining training certifications and bogus job placements.