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Skills for the Future: interim evaluation


Phase One of the Skills for the Future project aimed to: increase the uptake of training amongst SMEs within the Borders area; allow companies to develop a greater understanding of the value of improved skills to business growth; facilitate the definition of training needs; and encourage greater investment in people and skills. The evaluation aimed to: assess the operation of the project and its delivery; identify attitudes and approaches to training in companies prior to participation in the project; examine the extent to which participation in the project has led to companies carrying out training activity; explore the barriers which might prevent companies undertaking training in the future; assess the extent to which the project is meeting its objectives; and identify areas where action might be taken to enhance the performance of the programme.


The methodology consisted of: a review of the approval papers for the project; a review of management information on the performance to date; consultations with account and client managers at Scottish Enterprise Borders, the Training Partner at Learn Direct Scotland (LDS), and the QTDL consultant; and a survey of participating businesses to assess the delivery of the training needs analyses and subsequent training plans.


Feedback on the Skills for the Future project has been positive and delivery appears to be going well. Finds that there is evidence of some additional training activity within companies, mainly in terms of time and scale, but also in terms of pure additionality. Notes that there has been a change in attitude towards training in a small number of companies.


Recommends close monitoring of the progress of training, a focus on embedding the techniques and tools of the Training Needs Analysis within companies and more emphasis on evaluating company progress towards business goals. Suggests that LDS should deliver training plans at a more even pace, ensure the database of training providers is more complete, and feedback from LDS should be allowed into the process.

Author GEN Consulting
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Skills Development, Leadership/management development