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Training for Work: final evaluation


Training for Work (TfW) is a voluntary training and employability programme for long-term unemployed adults over the age of 25, run by Scottish Enterprise Tayside (SET). Trainees are helped to find job placements while on the programme, then helped to use their employer connections to find work once they have completed the programme. GEN Consulting was commissioned by SET to examine the operation of TfW within the SET area, looking at its funding structure, its provision for clients, its delivery methods compared with examples from elsewhere, and whether TfW should move towards a ‘job broker’ model.


The following research methods were used: face-to-face interviews with training providers and staff from Jobcentre Plus, SET and local authorities; an email questionnaire of LECs; telephone interviews with a range of people including employers; and analysis of documentary material.


The following conclusions were made about the TfW programme: it is unique in providing support to unemployed adults not eligible for New Deal; participants are motivated because the programme is voluntary, not compulsory; some concerns exist about TfW’s increasing emphasis on jobs rather than qualifications; cooperation between course providers is weak; funding has decreased in recent years and difficulties exist within financial structures; LECs feel that training is driven by providers rather than by trainees’ or employers’ needs; and there is a general feeling that TfW is not keeping pace with the needs of participants or the labour market.


A root and branch model should be adopted by the TfW programme so provision would consist of in-depth assessments of participants, core skills training tailored to individual needs, then the option of exiting the programme to obtain employment or moving on to a vocational training course. Jobcentre Plus should have responsibility for the initial assessment, Careers Scotland could have some input into core skills training provision, job search should be the responsibility of training providers with support from Careers Scotland, vocational training should be offered by training providers with input from employers, and literacy and numeracy support should be offered by training providers in partnership with specialists. The model should be implemented flexibly according to the needs of the area and the specialist focus of some training providers. Full consultation should be carried out before these recommendations are acted upon.

Author GEN Consulting
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Skills Development, Economic Inclusion