institute for employment studies
publications by IES authors
Train to Gain: Wave 5 Learner Survey
Levesley T, Bellis A, Regan J
a study commissioned by the Learning and Skills Council
This report documents the findings from the fifth wave of the learner evaluation of Train to Gain – a service managed by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) that is designed to help employers improve the skills of their workforce. The evaluation has been running since 2007.
This wave comprised a telephone survey of a representative sample of learners, carried out in July 2009. The survey invited the views of Train to Gain learners on Level 2 and Level 3 programmes. In total, 7,431 learners were interviewed, as follows:
Each of the five waves of the Train to Gain learner evaluation have demonstrated that training and qualifications funded or facilitated through Train to Gain are valued by, and demonstrates benefits to, the learners who take part.
Satisfaction is high, but strength of feeling has fallen for new entrants
For the fifth consecutive wave, and in both survey groups, more than 90 per cent of completers were satisfied with their training:
However, among new entrants, satisfaction on the LSC’s key measure of the highest satisfaction ratings – has fallen in this wave:
Skills and qualifications are the main drivers to participation
The Wave 5 survey reinforced the appeal to employees of gaining qualifications and increasing their skills in order to further their career. These factors, rather than pay or promotion, remained the main motivation for taking part in Train to Gain. Most current learners in the new entrants survey expected to:
Outcomes mirrored the learners expectations and remained positive for most learners:
The outcomes were tangible and attributable to Train to Gain. Among longitudinal learners:
Train to Gain is an active choice for learners
While the previous two evaluation waves showed increasing collaboration between employer and employee in initiating the training, this collaborative approach was less evident in the latest wave as more learners felt that they alone or their employers alone made the decision;
Yet even when the employers initiated the training, most learners still exercised choice over whether or not to take part:
Advice and guidance is good, but is harder to find
As in previous waves, learners felt that they were well supported, however, in the latest wave of the evaluation, there was evidence of a decline in the number of learners having pre-entry discussions:
Many learners had discussions with employers, tutors or assessors at the outset of their learning to ensure that they followed the most appropriate programmes. Participation in these pre-entry assessments has remained fairly stable over successive waves:
The quality of the information provided at the outset of the training was rated as either very good or fairly good by the majority of new entrants, specifically:
Learners get the support they need
Learners appeared to be well supported throughout their training or qualifications. They also received the kind of support they felt was important:
Awareness of Train to Gain has fallen among learners
After a significant rise in the early waves, and a levelling off in Wave 4, awareness of Train to Gain has declined slightly:
Learners complete more quickly, but find the going tougher
There was some evidence in Wave 5 that learners completed their training and qualifications more quickly:
Longitudinal learners were finding their training increasingly challenging
Further learning is increasingly likely
Nearly one-third (30 per cent) of longitudinal learners who had completed their training or qualifications had already started further training, an increase from 18 per cent in Wave 3. Further learning was a goal for many others:
While it is likely that survey participants would have a more positive attitude to learning than the wider population, positive attitudes to learning prevailed and participation in Train to Gain appeared to reinforce these attitudes. Among the longitudinal learners:
88 per cent felt more confident in their ability to learn;
84 per cent felt more positive about learning than when they started the course.
Learners were also asked about the impact of the recent recession on their plans for future learning. Most learners in both survey groups felt that the recession had had no effect on their intentions to learn in the future, however 33 per cent of new entrants and 28 per cent of longitudinal learners said the recession made it more likely they would undertake further study.
In this wave, the longitudinal data tells us that, as time passes, more learners feel that there is an appropriate match between their job and their skills – 13 percentage points higher than the same group felt one year ago.
Train to Gain: Wave 5 Learner Survey, Levesley T, Bellis A, Regan J. , Learning and Skills Council, 2010.
2010 © institute for employment studies About this site