New myth-busting guide to help providers work together

20 March 2015

A guide to tackle some of the myths, misconceptions and other issues about how well welfare-to-work programme providers and skills providers work together, has been published today by NIACE. The guide, developed by a sector-led group, will help ensure that welfare-to-work programme participants access the provision and gain the skills they need to get into work.

The guide includes information on:

  • Overview of adults skills provision and welfare-to-work provision;
  • Establishing access for welfare-to-work participants to skills provision;
  • Skills provision content, format and outcomes;
  • Learner eligibility for skills provision;
  • Fundable provision; and
  • Referrals, assessment, screening

Fiona Aldridge, Assistant Director for Development and Research, said,

“Skills provision is vitally important within Welfare-to-Work programmes. Only 49% of adults with no qualifications are currently in work. There is a growing body of evidence to show that addressing skills needs helps individuals to not only get into, but also progress, in work. Many Welfare-to-Work participants have multiple skills needs – employability skills, English and maths skills and vocational skills – and urgently need opportunities to develop the breadth of skills that can support them into work.  All employment programmes, including the Work Programme, should include robust skills screening and access to a wide range of skills provision.

“After year on year cuts to the Adult Skills Budget, through which skills provision for unemployed adults is funded, we estimate that there are now one million fewer adults in our classrooms and workshops than in 2010. As a consequence, opportunities for unemployed adults to develop their skills are both reducing and narrowing. Ensuring that we invest in the skills of our whole population is critical in supporting people to enter the labour market, progress in work, and remain employable and productive.

“To help providers prioritise and make more effective use of existing resource, this guide dispels some of these myths and issues by providing positive solutions and examples of practice. We hope that such provision will become more widely available for those who need it to get on in their careers and in their lives.”

The guide has been developed in partnership with the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, the Association of Colleges, the Employment Related Services Association, the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), SEETEC and Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Skills Funding Agency have also been involved in its development.