The Welsh National Assembly is to start a successor to the scheme of individual learning accounts (ILAs), which was closed in November 2001 after allegations of widespread fraud.
The Welsh equivalent of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), Education and Learning Wales, has already set up its ILA website and people will soon be able to apply for grants.
But while the Scottish Executive has also committed to restarting the scheme, people in England will have to wait for the publication of the government's Skills Strategy in June before finding out if the DfES has any intention of replacing the popular training programme.
ILAs were launched in September 2000 and were seen as the flagship of the government's adult training programme. The aim was to provide training and new skills, and people choosing IT training courses could get up to £200 in grants towards courses.
But poor security may have cost taxpayers up to £97m, and allegations of huge levels of fraud meant the programme was abruptly closed.
This left no access to government funding for training courses for the first time in nine years. A replacement to ILAs was expected to be in place by the end of 2002, but the government announced that it was developing a new National Skills Strategy, and that it made no sense to go ahead with the full design and implementation of the ILA scheme in isolation.
But the Scottish Executive announced in February it would re-launch ILAs. The recent change in the Scottish Parliament has put the plan on hold temporarily but it is still likely to be taken forward.
A Scottish Executive spokesman told vnunet.com: "The previous administration was committed to the introduction of an ILA successor scheme. It will be up to the new administration to decide how to take this forward in order to build on the strengths of the first scheme and ensure all the required improvements are made."
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