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Tackling standards in work-based training – TSC report


Reaching New Standards is the first report by the Chief Inspector of the Training Standards Council on the quality of work-based training in England.

The quality of government-funded work-based training in England varies from the outstanding to the very poor, according to David Sherlock, the Chief Inspector of the Training Standards Council, in his first report, published today. In the report, however, the Chief Inspector comments that there are already signs of rising standards in work-based training. Some unsatisfactory training organisations are showing rapid improvement. Others have lost government funding and closed.

The report covers the first 300 inspections carried out by the Training Standards Council during which inspectors judged the quality of training on offer to about 81,000 trainees. Inspectors looked at the quality of training in each occupation and at four general aspects: support for trainees; equal opportunities; management of training; quality assurance. This is the first time that work-based training in England has been subject to independent national inspection.

40% of the training inspected was good or outstanding. Inspectors found that a number of organisations had inspirational trainers who were well-known experts in their fields, for example, in football, dance or hairdressing. In many organisations, trainees were taught in the work place in realistic situations using state-of-the-art equipment. In some cases, people who had left school with few qualifications had moved through training on to higher education. Good training was found in many different occupational areas. The report comments that training in engineering and manufacturing, and in pre-vocational programmes, was often above average.

Most training organisations gave good pastoral care to their trainees. Some went out of their way to attract those who would normally have faced discrimination or exclusion, and were offering them comprehensive support so that they could reach their goals. Trainees who had failed in every other educational setting gained recognised occupational qualifications and a job.

The report includes a top 20 list of training organisations which were judged good or outstanding throughout. They include charities training people from disadvantaged backgrounds, employers running programmes for staff or potential staff, private training companies and employer federations.

The report continues at:


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