Train to Gain is the latest in a long line of wheezes from the Government to get everyone trained up to the eyeballs. Indeed, to my personal knowledge, these wheezes have occurred in various guises – often quite thickly disguised guises – since the 1964 Industrial Training Act introduced industrial training boards, training levies on employers and so on.
One of the key aspects of Train to Gain is that employers have access to ‘skills brokers’ – some employed by private sector companies that have the franchise to provide these services. These skills brokers (a) get the employers to sign the Skills Pledge (a ‘voluntary but public commitment to employees’ to help them develop work-related skills) and (b) help employers fund staff training.
In connection with this latter function, the Train to Gain literature states:
‘As well as helping you access other sources of funding, the Train to Gain service can also provide some funding… This includes… a contribution to wage costs for companies with less than (sic) 50 employees…’
Comment: Surely the correct English is ‘companies with fewer than 50 employees’. Can you really trust a Government or its agencies that cannot communicate properly in its own native language? Maybe there are other things that are not quite ‘kosher’ about Train to Gain…