From education to employment

Manju Rani Takes a Look at the Employer Training Pilot and Train 2 Gain in the LSC

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) have recently published “Leading Change”, their Annual Report for 2005 ““2006, outlining their key achievements.

The report highlights the challenges and opportunities encountered by the LSC, the strategies and aims and progress within each of its target markets: employers, young people, adults, and the colleges and other education and training providers. The LSC aims to improve the skills of the workforce and encourage employers to invest in training through its existing apprenticeship and the National Employer Service (NES) schemes, as well as with new schemes such as the Employer Training Pilots (ETPs). The LSC have enjoyed some successes in these areas.

Examples of Success?

The ETP programme, for example, which helps employers by providing staff training, has been found to be valuable to small and medium sized businesses. More specifically, the ETP programme’s success has been attributed to the broker visits made to employers, free of charge, to explain the benefits of training as well as developing tailor-made training.

Moreover, Train to Gain (T2G), the national employer training service, has been developed from the success of the ETPs. In the National Employer Skills Survey (NESS) published recently, 82 % of employers using FE colleges were satisfied with the service. The survey also reveals that employers are increasing training budgets.

In addition, in the LSC’s latest survey of 70,000 companies, the percentage of employers reporting skills gaps has fallen from 22 % to 16 % in the past two years. The levels of learner satisfaction (adults and young people) are high. 89% are in FE colleges, 90% are in work-based learning and 91% are in adult and community learning.

Beating Targets

Beating their own target of 175,000 young people starting apprenticeship and a record 1.5 million young people in learning, the LSC has achieved remarkable results. More young people aged 16-18 are achieving a Level 2 to qualification meeting a key LSC target. The challenge, however, with those that are in the difficult not in employment, education or training (NEET) group still remains.

In order to draw in young people in the NEET group, the LSC are working with a range of partners like local authorities, Connexions and other agencies to tackle the issues affecting these people. Adults achieving Level 2 qualifications are up from 69 % in 2001 to 73.2 % in autumn 2005. More adults are achieving Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications than ever before. The LSC have also beaten their Skills for Life target, improving the basic skills of 1.25 million people.

Mark Haysom, Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), commented: “This year I expect the pace of change to increase considerably. The progress we”ve made so far has sharpened people’s appetite for more ““ inside the LSC, across the learning and skills sector, in government and, most importantly, employers and individuals.”

Manju Rani

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