The April CBI Skills’ survey is a Wake up call to Government pointing to a lack of quality in their flagship “Train to Gain” programme, which should be making more of an impact on businesses. In the House of Commons I raise regularly the need for the right quality of training and support.
Local employers tell me how vital it is to use the recession to train our workforce, because the jobs of the future will require higher levels of skill. This is true for those both in and out of work. Employers want more out of staff training during the recession to help their businesses survive.
The April CBI/Nord Anglia education and skills survey, ‘Emerging stronger: the value of education and skills in turbulent times’, shows that in response to the recession, over half of employers (51%) say that they want to target their training more effectively to “ensure they are better placed for an upturn when it comes.” (CBI’s Director-General, Richard Lambert)
42% of employers using Train to Gain say it has delivered ‘no impact’ for their business, and three-quarters rated its training brokerage service as ‘poor’ or at best ‘mixed’. While Employers support the principles behind Train to Gain – skills advice and access to funding for their staff on nationally accredited training courses – it is clearly not delivering.
Recent government figures on the performance of Train to Gain show the biggest increases in employer demand was for Level 3 training. This brings me back to the point I have made regularly in the House of Commons, that quality of training is vital. Apprenticeships used to be at Level 3, but many have been downgraded by Government to Level 2. Yet, it is the Level 3 qualifications which reduce job risk and bring higher pay.
So, the message to Government is -Wake up and raise the quality of training and “Train to Gain”.