Government concern over employer take-up of Train to Gain skills scheme

The government has admitted its concern that too few employers will make use of the £1bn Train to Gain scheme. To mark the anniversary of its launch, skills secretary John Denham announced a budget increase from £200m in the first year to nearly £1bn by 2010.

He called on employers to grasp the opportunity afforded by the free training brokerage service, to help meet the government’s target of raising the proportion of adults qualified to Level 2 to 90% by 2020.

“My worry is that employers may not seize the opportunity of the budget we already have that too few employers will come forward,” Denham said.

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC), which runs Train to Gain, said more than 52,000 employers had signed up to the scheme – 10% more than its original target. Nearly 230,000 employees are actively engaged with Train to Gain, and almost 96,000 have completed full Level 2 qualifications.

Chris Banks, chair of the LSC, said: “It’s important that we don’t dress up the initiative if it isn’t working. However, evidence suggests that it is starting to have an impact.”

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