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£68m boost for training

22 October 2008

A £68 million three-year agreement between Government and the facilities management (FM), housing, property, cleaning and parking industries is being announced by Skills Minister Lord Young.

The deal to help beat skills shortages and build a world-class workforce has been agreed by the Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills (DIUS), the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and Asset Skills, the Sector Skills Council for the five industries listed above.

Through Train to Gain employers will be able to access support for the priorities set out in the Sector Skills Agreement, research conducted by Asset Skills that showed where skills needs were greatest.

The agreement sets out challenging targets including:

• At least 5,000 employer engagements and referrals to Train to Gain skills brokers in England
• An increase of 22,685 learners taking Level 2 National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) of which 70% will be first achievements and 30% repeat achievements
• An increase of 3,404 Level 3 NVQs, of which 80% will be first achievements and 20% repeat achievements
• 2,500 Skills Pledge commitments
• 2,500 Management and Leadership outcomes
• 2,500 Apprenticeships starts
• 1,234 basic skills achievements

Through the compact agreement, Train to Gain will support more employers to make the Skills Pledge, a nationally recognised commitment to help employees gain new skills at work. Through Asset Skills, more than 250 firms with over 69,000 employees have already made the pledge.

The new agreement also commits DIUS, the LSC and Asset Skills to:

• Work in partnership with Train to Gain skills brokers and the National Apprenticeship Service
• Develop innovative ideas for working with small and large employers to help meet their specific skills needs, using funding available through Train to Gain

The move follows Skills Secretary John Denham’s consultation on a new right to time to train for employees, plans to reduce bureaucracy around the apprenticeships programme and a renewed commitment to ensure the skills system delivers appropriately trained people for key industries.

Skills Minister Lord Young said:

“The Government values the important contribution the facilities management, housing, property, cleaning and parking industries make to our national life, and is committed to working closely with the sector to help it attract, train and retain quality staff. This compact will ensure employers will have access to flexible, world-class training tailored to the specific needs of their business, delivered when and where they need it.”

Chief Executive of Asset Skills, Richard Beamish, said:

“Train to Gain is integral to the way in which all Asset Skills’ teams work with employers throughout England. We have a duty to ensure that they know what opportunities are to be offered as a result of the compact; one of the other keys to success will be our commitment to working closely with skills brokers in every region.”

Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Council, Mark Haysom, said:
“We are pleased to be working with Asset Skills, through Train to Gain, to support more employers to get the advice and training they need to increase the skills of their workforce and drive their businesses forward.

Government investment in Train to Gain will rise to over £1 billion by 2010-11, supporting over 800,000 learners to improve their skills and gain new qualifications.”

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