Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Employer training pilots – a success story [December 2003]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 4 December 2003.

The Employer Training Pilots (ETPs) have made a successful start in their first year, according to an  interim evaluation published today. Though still early days, the evaluations shows that, in the six pilot areas, over 14,000 low-skilled workers from 3,000 employers have benefited from training they would otherwise not have received.

Early signs of success led the Government this year to double the number of areas that are taking part in the pilots. It also extended the pilots for another year (to end August 2004) in the original areas: Birmingham and Solihull; Derbyshire; Essex, Greater Manchester; Tyne and Wear; and Wiltshire and Swindon.

The scheme has reached small firms, traditionally an area where training has not been a high priority. The evaluation shows that 70% of the workplaces  have fewer than 50 employees. Over 40% of employers had no previous involvement with Government agencies.

One highly popular feature of the scheme is that courses are run flexibly to suit businesses. For example a training course was run at 4.00 in the morning for a group of bakers.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Healey, said:

“This is a win-win-win scheme as higher skills levels benefit the employee, the employer and the economy as a whole. It reaches employers and employees traditional training programmes have never reached. Employees can benefit through their pay, their job satisfaction and employment prospects.

“Employers gain with employees able to undertake a greater number of tasks, performing them more efficiently and adapting faster and more effectively to change. This will reduce costs and enable firms to produce more innovative products. Highly skilled workforces are more productive, which also benefits the whole economy.”

Department of Education and Skills Minister, Ivan Lewis, commented:

“It is good news that the Employer Training pilots are proving successful in engaging low-skilled employees in training. At the end of the first year we have had over 3,000 employers and 14,000 learners registered to take part, the latest figures show this has now risen to more than 5,000 employers and 20,000 learners.

“The evaluation shows that the pilots are not only attracting both small firms but those that have had no previous contact with Government agencies. Both employers and learners are also expressing high levels of satisfaction with the pilots.

“With the extension of the pilots for a further year and an increase in pilot areas from 6 to 12, this continued evaluation will allow us to draw clearer conclusions on their impact. It will help us work with training providers, employers, unions and individuals to deliver the right skills through our new national Skills Strategy.”

The Employer Training Pilots have proved very successful in placing low-skilled individuals in training courses through their employers. The Government welcomes, in particular, the progress that ETPs have made in attracting learners from small firms and those traditionally thought of as hard to reach.

The majority of learners are; female (55%), aged 25 – 45 (59%) and work full-time (75%). Three quarters of learners left school at or before the age of 16.

Both employers and learners have expressed high levels of satisfaction with the training, information and guidance being made available.