BIS research highlights challenges for third sector in delivering learning and skills

The Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) has published new research by Skills- Third Sector, Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS), the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) and the Third Sector National Learning Alliance (TSNLA), that provides a detailed picture of the third sector’s involvement in the delivery of learning and skills.

The research provides an essential baseline on the sector’s current involvement in the provision of learning and skills activities to some of the most disadvantaged groups of learners.

It also identifies some of the major challenges which prevent the sector from making a greater contribution including:

  • The introduction of minimum contract levels;

  • high management fees charged by lead providers,

  • a lack of funding for overhead costs; and

  • a shortage of support for some of the wider activities essential to the engagement of learners outside of mainstream provision.

Keith Mogford, CEO of Learning Trade Skills says:

“We hope that the results of this research can provide the foundation for a practical strategy through which to increase the contribution which the third sector makes in the delivery of learning and skills, and to mitigate any potential changes which might prove detrimental to third sector providers of learning and skills.”

Research for this report took place during 2012 and involved a mixture of methods, including desk research, an online survey, focus groups, case studies, and a stakeholder seminar.

The research has led to a number of recommendations that will now be taken forward by an Implementation Board, facilitated by NIACE, and on which Skills-Third Sector will be an active member. For more information about this please contact us.

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