The Department of Education and Skills (DfES) body in charge of planning and funding vocational education has outsourced its IT infrastructure to LogicaCMG.

The IT services firm said today that the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) had signed a major contract for an undisclosed sum to deliver infrastructure and services that will underpin the British education system’s shared services initiative known as MIAP (Managing Information across Partners).

The MIAP programme has been created with the aim of providing better services to students, academic institutions, examining bodies, Government agencies and employers. The programme is intended to be operational for all learners over the age of 14 by September 2007.

The MIAP programme will focus on the key stakeholders for the delivery on UK vocational training and education, including improved advice and guidance to students, and better information about their past achievements.

Education providers will benefit from common sector standards and data definitions which will reduce bureaucracy and enrolment administration, allowing providers to offer better services, including individual learning plans, modular learning and e-learning.

Awarding bodies will look for reduced administration demands, including improved identity checking and streamlined reporting of learner statistics. And employers that opt into the programme will be able to verify an applicant’s achievements, as well as be better equipped to select education and training providers that best meet their skills requirements.