There are around 450 Train to Gain skills brokers working in England for the LSC. Skills brokers' performance targets for 2006-07 were 47,770 employer engagements, of which at least 51 per cent. had to be "hard to reach". We define hard-to-reach as employers that are not IiP recognised and have not accessed substantial vocational training leading to a qualification within the last 12 months. The interim data for 2006-07 indicate that there were 52,370 engagements of which 72 per cent. were categorised as "hard to reach".
(2) how much he expects to be spent on Train to Gain brokers in 2007-08; and what percentage of the Train to Gain budget for the year this figure represents.
Train to Gain is a new service that has just completed its first year of full national operation. In that time it has engaged more than 52,000 employers and resulted in more than 240,000 learners commencing training, many for the first time in their adult careers. More than 70 per cent. of the employers engaged by skills brokers are classified as hard to reach (not IiP accredited and no recorded investment at a publicly funded training provider). The total budget for Train to Gain was £288 million of which £25.4 million (8.8 per cent. of the budget) was allocated to skills brokerage. This figure included many one-off set up costs associated with this new mechanism for engaging with employers. The overall budget for Train to Gain has increased to £430 million with expenditure on skills brokers remaining constant at around £24 million (5.8 per cent. of the budget). From April 2009, skills brokerage will be integrated with the information, diagnostic and brokerage services delivered through Business Link.