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Pilot Learning Gateway is failing to take off, says DfEE


The DfEE has expressed concerns about the uptake for a project aimed at getting disadvantaged young people ready for work-based training.

Learning Gateway was set up in September 1999 as a means to develop skills for young people who were no longer involved in education and training or at work. Key to the programme is the development of life skills for the young people, but QPID, a research arm of the DfEE has found that these skills are not being given sufficient emphasis by many TECs, due in part to their reluctance (and lack of funds available) to use different suppliers who may be better able to provide life skills coaching.

The survey also casts doubt on whether employers are getting involved with the project - schools and employers are missing from several Steering Groups which oversee the project around the country.

The report finds that assessment, quality control and tracking is also lacking and has yet to be clearly defined. The QPID conceeds that the study of 15 TECs was carried out in the early stages of the life skills project, but nevertheless recommends a fresh approach to funding.

The Training & Employment Network have questioned whether employers need to be involved with the programme when life skills are being developed, arguing that even when opportunities are available, employers may be reluctant to offer work experience to young people on the Gateway programme because they would not be on the programme if they were ready for it. The problem which remains is getting young people into work or work experience at the end of the programme - if this is a major problem, the effectiveness of the programme has to be questioned.

To read the full report, a pdf file (requiring Adobe Acrobat) can be accessed at


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