From education to employment

John Denham announces massive investment into education, employment and training

The Government has outlined how a massive extension of the Train to Gain scheme will offer bespoke skills brokerage and high quality responsive training to enable all employers to identify and then meet their skills needs.

The doubling of funding in the Train to Gain Service is part of a massive investment programme announced this month by Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills John Denham, which will see more than £11 billion a year invested in education, employment and training.

Since its launch in 2006, Train to Gain has helped more than 52,000 employers and enabled over 240,000 employees to undertake training. Just one call to the Train to Gain helpline gives employers access to an impartial and independent skills broker to help them identify their skills and other business needs, and source training from a range of available skills solutions to best meet those needs.

To enable every company to access appropriate training, the following major expansion to the Train to Gain Service has been announced:

* More funding will be offered for a broader range of skills. Part funding will now be available for those doing a second full Level 2 qualification and funding for Level 3 will be increased nationally. Skills for Life training will now be supported as a stand alone offer as well as part of a full Level 2 qualification;

* The funding cap to be lifted for the best providers, enabling them to do more business as their performance improves;

* A massive boost for SME management training – the budget has increased from £4 million per annum to £30 million per annum, which will support some 60,000 key directors and managers in around 42,000 companies over the next three years;

* The LSCs National Employer Service will be expanded, with additional account managers to help more of the countrys largest national employers, while skills brokerage will also be extended to help provide even more companies with specialist support;

* By working closely with Jobcentre Plus through their Local Employment Partnerships, Train to Gain will support people who have been unemployed to secure employment with training and progression on to higher level skills;

* New compacts with each Sector Skills Council which will tailor Train to Gain to ensure it meets the skills needs of employers in each sector – and joint investment planning so that public and employer funds work together to boost skills and improve.

Skills Minister David Lammy commented:”Lord Leitchs report spoke of a partnership between the state, the employer and the individual. Today, in partnership with the business community and training providers, we set out our plans for the expansion of Train to Gain as a vehicle for creating a truly demand-led further education sector. To this end we have cut bureaucracy to make sure that those colleges and training organisations that can best meet employers needs are able to expand to meet demand.

“I am delighted to see that businesses are recognising the importance of skills and they are rising to the challenge by investing more in the skills of their workforce. Weve listened to employers to ensure that this extended programme is even more effective in offering training when and where they need it. In particular, the increased investment in developing the leadership and management capacity in our SMEs will build a sense of mission at the heart of our communities, making their companies more profitable”.

Chris Banks, Chair of the LSC added: “Train to Gain is a revolutionary development in the way that we deliver services to employers and these changes will ensure that even more employers and training providers are able to work with Government to raise the nations skill levels. The expanded Train to Gain Service will enable employers of all sizes, in all locations and across all sectors to take the future of their business into their hands through access to high quality training advice and support. In this way, it will play a key role in reaching out to the one in three businesses that still do not offer staff any training – and so will in-turn transform the nations skills base, productivity and competitiveness between now and 2020.”

Ken Stanger, MD of The Hardy Group, London-based print firm which benefited from Train to Gain said:

“One year on from the launch of Train to Gain, its great to see the service expanding to help even more businesses like The Hardy Group, which might otherwise struggle to train their staff.

“The increased funding, extra support and tailored advice through skills brokers is exactly what employers need. We know our business will continue to flourish as a result of our commitment to and investment in training.”

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