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Higher Education: Admissions

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people have been routed to higher education institutions by Train to Gain skills brokers. (219343)

Since it was rolled out nationally from April 2006, Train to Gain has grown quickly. It has now engaged 97,000 employers, supported 488,480 employees to begin learning programmes, and delivered 203,370 full level 2 and 26,720 Skills for Life achievements. Recent evaluations of the service show that both employer and employee satisfaction with their experience of Train to Gain is high.

Train to Gain helps employers identify and address their skills needs at all levels—including higher level skills, working with the HE sector.

To date, 492 employers have been referred to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) by Train to Gain skills brokerage organisations; information on the number of learners engaged as a result of those referrals is not held centrally.

Three High Level Skills Pathfinders funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in North West, North East and South West are helping to identify barriers to the HE sector engaging with employers and build Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) capacity to extend their work with employers, working alongside and through Train to Gain. The Pathfinders are now starting to fund truly demand-led proposals from HEIs and Further Education Colleges to develop HE-level provision attuned to workforce development needs.

This week we launched ‘The Training Gateway’, a national clearing house service that will help Train to Gain skills brokers to connect employers with the Higher Education Institutions that can best deliver the higher level skills training that will meet their business need.