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Vocational Training: Cost Effectiveness

Volume 471: debated on Thursday 31 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what cost-benefit assessment has been made of Train to Gain; (181757)

(2) what cost-benefit assessment has been made of skills brokers.

Train to Gain is a new service specifically designed to support employers in identifying and then meeting the skills they need to drive their business forward. The design of Train to Gain was based on the employer training pilots which were rigorously evaluated by the Institute of Employment Studies and the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Launched in April 2006, Train to Gain reached full national coverage in England in August 2006. In its first year of full operation it engaged more than 52,000 employers and some 240,000 learners started on a programme of activity, many for the first time. We have set out our ambitions to reach more employers and to drive up levels of investment in skills in Plan for Growth, copies of which are in the Library of the House. In support of our expansion plans, we have a major programme of evaluation under way for all aspects of Train to Gain and will expect to publish, through the LSC, the conclusions of those evaluations, including the benefits accrued. Employers engaged continue to express high satisfaction with the skills brokerage, with the latest figures showing that 86 per cent. of employers are either satisfied or very satisfied with the overall service.