More than 15,000 employers are now using ‘Train to Gain‘, the new service offering advice on training for businesses, according to the Learning & Skills Council (LSC).
Demand for the service, which is run by the LSC, has soared, with an eight-fold increase in the number of employers that have started training since it was rolled-out across England in August.
Train to Gain provides employers with access to free skills brokers who offer independent advice and match skills needs with appropriate training providers.
The Leitch Report, published last week, acknowledged that the UK’s skills shortages continue to have a crippling effect on the economy. More than a third of adults do not have a basic school qualification, while five million adults do not have any qualifications at all.
The LSC estimates that illiteracy and innumeracy cost the nation £10bn in lost revenue each year.
David Way, national director of skills at the LSC, said: “Train to Gain is playing an instrumental role in tackling this crisis head-on by providing employers with expert advice on how and where to train staff to increase productivity.
“Employers told us this is what they need to succeed and Train to Gain is now helping more than 50,000 employees to get qualifications.”
With £1bn committed to Train to Gain until 2010 in this year’s Budget, the service is forecast to benefit 33,000 employers in 2006-2007, rising to 53,000 employers in 2007-2008 and in successive years to 2010.