Mandatory training a step closer as Train to Gain will miss Level 2 targets

The spectre of mandatory training of all staff is looming larger after the organisation behind the Train to Gain scheme admitted it would miss its Level 2 targets by as much as two years.

The free skills brokerage service is crucial to the government’s bid to meet its Leitch Review target of increasing the proportion of adults with Level 2 qualifications to 90% by 2020.

Lord Sandy Leitch called on the government to make training compulsory if the UK was not making sufficient progress by 2010.

Glenn Robinson, director of Train to Gain at the Learning & Skills Council (LSC), told Personnel Today: “We are not reaching our target of Level 2 training because brokers do not always recommend it.

“For government, it’s all about reaching targets, and it would not be investing in this resource if it did not believe it could reach those targets. It may just take a year or two longer to achieve.”

Train to Gain aims to reach 2.5 million learners between 2007 and 2011, and to achieve 1.25 million Level 2 qualifications in the same period. Three months ago, the LSC revealed that just 96,000 people had completed full Level 2 qualifications, while 230,000 employees had actively engaged with Train to Gain.

We don’t pay brokers to get qualifications we pay them to engage with employers, to broker a solution and then to keep in contact,” Robinson said of the £1bn scheme.

Robinson said the government’s obsession with Level 2 training put pressure on the scheme to reach targets recommended by the Leitch Review, adding that brokers were now being told to target bigger companies to increase Level 2 numbers.

Neil Carberry, CBI head of pensions and employment, recently told Personnel Today that Train to Gain was being held back by the way its much-vaunted ‘skills brokers’ are selling the service.

Carberry said that brokers were letting an obsession with Level 2 training get in the way of offering effective advice.

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