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TSC final report: Improvements still needed, but in-house training does best


The final report from the Training Standards Council (TSC) states that many improvements have still to be made in the provision of work-based training.

'Reaching new standards' is the culmination of three years work by the TSC, which has carried out 1,566 inspections during that time. TSC inspectors have apparently driven more than 1.6 million miles to meet trainees throughout the country.

In his introductory statement, TSC Chief Inspector David Sherlock says that there needs to be more understanding of the theory and practice of individualised learning. He goes on to question the policy of some of the former TECs in continuing to place training contracts with companies that were failing to deliver results, and argues that there is a need for ongoing review of quality standards, not just at inspection time. He adds that progress in establishing key skills training has been disappointing the report says trainees, providers and employers often regard it as a 'tiresome distraction', with key skills often left until the end of a modern apprenticeship programme - approach needs new thinking.

The report finds that the proportion of training providers awarded at least one unsatisfactory grade rose over the last year by 10 per cent, stating that too much training is being delivered by staff who are unqualified to teach and have little current industrial experience. 60 per cent of providers had at least one unsatisfactory grading at their first inspection.

The report praises work done in with transportation, IT, hospitality and travel trainee programmes, more crlitical of those in business administration and retailing & customer service, many providers of apprenticeship programmes are not providing any structured training in these areas.

The report is positive about the delivery of in-house training, with employers training their own staff performing consistently better than other types of provider. Over 60 per cent of their occupational areas were awarded the top grading levels 1 and 2 and very few had unsatisfactory grades. The National Training Organisation National Council has welcomed this news, but agrees that there is still work to be done: "Despite the strength of employer training, we are concerned that there are still major areas of weakness in initial assessment, quality assurance and the number of apprentices completing Modern Apprenticeship frameworks...we must fully understand the reasons why so many apprentices fail to complete their programmes", said Judith Meyrick, NTO-NC modern apprenticeship manager.

The Adult Learning Inspectorate has now replaced the TSC - see the website for details of their current activities.


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