Media training body to close after government U-turn

The Publishing National Training Organisation is to close as a result of changes in government policy. The move will leave more than 280,000 people in publishing without an overall industry and government-accredited training organisation.

The Publishing NTO has represented national and regional newspapers and magazines since it launched in March 2001. The closure is the result of government moves last year to abolish the network of more than 70 NTOs and replace them with a smaller number of Sector Skills Councils (SSCs).

Trade organisations and publishers have argued against the move and are in ongoing talks to try to persuade the Government to provide the industry with its dedicated SSC.

The Sector Skills Development Agency has suggested the industry could form an expert body to replace the Publishing NTO but many publishers fear they will be forced to make their own arrangements for training from now on.

Bob Phillis, chair of the Publishing NTO and chief executive of the Guardian Media Group, said: “We have achieved a great deal in a very short time, bringing together a number of previously disparate interests and improving publishing’s training arrangements.

“It is a great shame that a change in government policy has halted our progress and that no acceptable alternatives have yet been found.”

By Ruth Addicott

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