Demise of Train to Gain heralds new era for skills funding - who can employers turn to?

As the last learners to benefit from Train to Gain Funding complete their training by July, employers are looking to their Sector Skills Councils and Skills Academies for funding support that is critical to their business success.  The government has been explicit in removing financial support and asking employers to fund their own training.  The only positive news for the future comes in the form of Joint Investment Programme (JIP) funding

Cogent Sector Skills Council (SSC) and the National Skills Academy Process Industries (the Academy) have successfully secured over £2m of support for training in the Cogent sector. It brings together private and public investment, in a rare opportunity to access a fund which will contribute to up to 50 per cent of the cost of a range of qualifications.

JIP is an organisational development fund specifically aimed at training programmes seen as being essential to the UK economy and in direct response to employer demand. Cogent is one of only five sector skills councils to receive JIP funding and the project has been split into two years.

Employers that expressed an early interest in the programme have already received funding allocations for the first year. However, if employers act quickly then there are still funded places available for year one.

Year one qualifications are as follows.

• Business Improvement Techniques – Level 3
• Diploma in Jetty Operations
• Certificate in First Line Management - Level 3
• Diploma in Management - Level 4
• Diploma in Operations & Technical Support in the Process Industries
• Certificate in Process Technology
• NVQ Diploma in Process Engineering Maintenance

Numbers for Year 1 are limited and training must be delivered through Academy Accredited providers.  Training must begin before 31July 2011 to take advantage of this opportunity, though employees will have up to 12 months to complete their training.

As the only funding available from August onwards the demand is highly likely to out-weigh supply and pro-active employers should register their interest as early as possible.

If you are an employer and would like to find out further information contact Karen Brown at the Skills Academy on 01325 740 900.