MPs accuse firm of training fiddle

A SECOND alleged fraud has come to light involving a company paid to train and assess the employment skills of young people, writes Chris Blackhurst.

Department of Employment officials are already looking into the way a trainee in Workington, Cumbria, was issued with a false City and Guilds certificate, without his knowledge. It was applied for by JHP Training, a Coventry-company with offices country-wide, including Cumbria, which is paid by Training and Enterprise Councils for each person it successfully trains.

Another case involving JHP has now been raised in a Commons motion by John Hutton, MP for Barrow and Furness, and Dale Campbell- Savours, MP for Workington, both Cumbria, which accuses the company of concocting a false assessment sheet for another worker in the county.

They allege that Paul Hamilton, from Barrow-in-Furness, who worked for a furniture store, signed up for the '18-24 assessment programme' with the Barrow branch of JHP, sponsored by Cumbria TEC. Three weeks later, the furniture firm's area manager decided the programme was inappropriate and cancelled it. JHP, it is alleged, continued to claim he was still on the roll, and filled in records to that effect.

Hugh Pitman, the head of JHP, said it was true that Mr Hamilton and his employer had decided not to proceed. As it was an assessment programme involving no actual training, he would continue to benefit and receive credits through the system.

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