From education to employment

Report Determines Effectiveness of ESF Funding for Training in Companies

The Department for Work and Pensions recently reported the findings of a survey asking nearly 1,200 companies about the effectiveness of European Social Fund training.

A total of 1,174 companies in England who benefited from ESF-supported training in the period April 2003 – March 2005 were asked about the current operation and efficacy of the training their companies receive. The report was based on independent research in the form of a telephone survey undertaken by IFF Research as part of wider research into the effectiveness of welfare to work policies commissioned by the DWP.

Meeting the Target

The survey found that over 80% of beneficiary companies felt that the training had fulfilled the objective of increasing staff aptitudes in their particular job role. Other results show that 90% of respondents were satisfied with the training received, and that the training had led to one or more staff receiving a formally-accredited qualification in three in ten beneficiary companies (29%).

The majority of companies benefiting from ESF-funded training are small, with 85% employing fewer than 50 employees. They are most commonly located in the health and social work and primary industry sectors (storage, communications, electricity, gas and water supply, fishing, agriculture, mining and quarrying). Personal service and managerial roles make up the largest numbers of trainees. This reflects the high number of beneficiaries from the health and social work sector (care workers, for example). However, one of the lowest populations of trainees was among elementary and machine operative roles, or among professionals.

Most Popular Form”¦

The most common form of training provided by the ESF-funded projects is for a particular vocational task, although around a half of the beneficiary companies also receive general advice on work-related issues through presentations, seminars or workshops. One-off short-courses were the most common training format, followed by one-to-one training sessions and block release courses, with employees often being asked to study in their own time.

The most common primary focus of the training was IT or computing, followed by Health and Safety, and Business Management. “Soft” skills such as communications skills, team working, customer service skills and time management were commonly an additional focus.

Paul Keely

Stay here for FE’s Sunday Service!

Related Articles