The £240m SFA giveaway

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has allocated providers an extra £240 million since the start of the academic year, new data has shown.

An updated spreadsheet for 2011/12, published by the SFA earlier this week, shows that allocations have risen to more than £4 billion combined.

The extra funding has been distributed mostly through the Adult Skills Budget (ASB), which has risen by seven per cent to £2,604,934,311, up from £2,441,138,450.

The new figures show that the funding for 16-18 apprentices has also risen by seven per cent, up to a total of £54,037,357.

The largest benefactor of the in-year allocations, HIT Training Ltd, has received an extra £9,576,909 from the Agency, up 87 per cent from the start of the academic year.

The SFA spreadsheet shows that the company, which delivers training for the hotel and catering Industries, was given an extra £7,810,400 through the ASB and anadditional £1,766,509 for apprentices aged 16 to 18.

Elsewhere Ufi Limited received additional in-year funds of £8,476,405, up seven per cent from their initial 2011/12 allocation.

The firm, which was sold by the Ufi Charitable Trust (UCT) to Lloyds TSB Development Capital (LDC) for £40 million last October, now has a total allocation worth more than £130 million with the SFA.

The updated spreadsheet also shows that ESG (Skills) Limited, a supplier of welfare to work and vocational skills services, has had the largest fall in funding allocation since August 2011.

The company is shown to have had 78 per cent of their allocation clawed back by the SFA through 16-18 apprenticeships, down almost £4 million, and also through the ASB, which was reduced by nearly £2 million.

South Nottingham College, now the sixth largest provider in the UK following a merger with Castle College Nottingham, received the largest in-year allocation out of all FE colleges.

The College received an extra £4,617,289 from the SFA, increasing their total SFA allocation by 19 per cent to £29,042,384.

Newham College of Further Education received the second largest allocation increase for FE colleges, up £4,096,389 to £26,372,899.

The data also shows that Elmfield Training, which delivers apprenticeships at Morrisons, now has an allocation for 2011/12 worth more than £41 million.

While its funds for 16 to 18 apprentices has been reduced by £2 million to £10 million, its provision for adult learners has risen by £5.75 million to £31,101,000.