Employer Training Pilots enjoy strong first year

3,000 firms gaining from skills drive - report

A key government initiative to help solve the chronic lack of skills in British businesses has made a “successful start” in its first year of operation, according to a new report.

An interim evaluation on the Employer Training Pilots (ETPs) revealed that firms have been keen to take part in the scheme, with 14,000 workers from 3,000 companies learning new workplace skills over the past 12 months.

The popularity of the initiative, which provides financial rewards to employers that release their staff for training, has seen the pilots extended to further areas of the UK.

In this spring’s Budget, chancellor Gordon Brown announced that the number of regions taking part in the pilots will double by 2004.

ETPs are seen by ministers as a vital new campaign to deliver greater skills levels in UK workplaces, alongside established schemes such as Modern Apprenticeships.

As reported by Startups.co.uk, around a quarter of British businesses are hindered by employees who do not have the correct training or education to do their jobs properly.

The government said that ETPs have managed to attract small firms that have previously not seen workplace training as a high priority.

Ivan Lewis, the skills minister, said that the evaluation shows that the pilots are not only attracting small businesses 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 six 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 out new Skills Strategy,” he said.

To find out more about Employer Training Pilots, go to www.dti.gov.uk


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