The ongoing transformation of the employer responsive skills system

There appears to be at least 3 language systems in use in the UK:

  • There’s the language that students speak - U KNW TH WY THT EVRYTHNG HS 2 BE WRTTN IN SHRTR WRDS (Special thanks to Madhouse for the brilliant web translator)
  • There’s the language that almost everybody else speaks – like the English written in newspapers, which assumes an average reading age of a 14-17 year old
  • And finally, there’s the language that is spoken by lawyers, local and central government and their agencies, which is less understandable than the other two.

Today, I’m struggling to decode the third kind. It’s all in this letter from the LSC to college principals, sent out just before Christmas. I’ve copied the text below…

imageDeveloping College and Training Provider capacity to deliver Train to Gain

I am pleased to be able to write to you with information on significant additional funding which is to be made available this year to support college and training provider capacity to deliver the expanded Train to Gain service.

As you know, Train to Gain represents a radical change in the way that funding is secured and how training is delivered. Many colleges and training providers need support to ensure they are well positioned to operate effectively in this new environment and to meet the changing needs of employers and their workforce, particularly in the current economic climate.

At the Association of Colleges (AoC) Conference in November, John Denham, Secretary of State, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), announced a £30 million restructuring fund. The fund is designed to support colleges and training providers to develop new approaches that result in expansion of their delivery capacity and, where necessary, allow them to make changes to their existing business models. The ultimate aim of the fund is to ensure that colleges and training providers:

  • are better positioned to work with more employers
  • can deliver the expanded Train to Gain offer, and
  • focus on the current economic priorities of supporting small and medium sized employers, and individuals and employers in redundancy situations.

Importantly, the fund is intended to complement the support available through the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) World Class Skills – developing responsive provision programme.

The LSC will manage the fund on behalf of DIUS. Guidance on how it will be distributed is outlined in the attached annex. The money will be allocated direct to colleges and training providers. The fund has been discussed with AoC and Association of Learning Providers who support its purposes and the method by which it will be distributed.

The fund is available for this year only and is intended as a one-off investment to support the ongoing transformation of the employer responsive skills system. This level of investment will support a significant step-change in the capacity and ability of the sector to make a positive contribution to the skills of employers and their workforce.

i know that colleges and training providers will respond positively to the opportunities that this major investment brings.

Working my way through ‘restructuring funds’, ‘new approaches’, ‘delivery capacity’ and ‘developing responsive provision programmes’, what I think we’ve got here is some money to help you to continue to change the way your college grows its business. Over the last couple of years we have been seeing a rapid growth of the adoption and use of CRM systems in colleges to support new relationships with individual students and local employers. Once a college has started, it seems that they quickly realise how the system could be expanded to support more processes for more staff. The limit of expansion seems to be that colleges have only allocated a limited budget for CRM systems provision.

One of our partners, Morse, have been supplying CRM systems to colleges, and they’re being asked by more colleges now to support their growth through better application of customer management techniques. At a joint event in December, we saw how their Employer Engagement Solution makes it possible to manage the sales relationship with local employers, as well as to manage the whole workflow within your college – allowing you to setup and follow a defined business process. Now that there’s extra funding available, you might want to see if it’s right for you too.

Morse have made a series of videos showing the system and how it works, which provides an easy way to understand what they’re offering, and how it helps to build an evidence base for TQS.

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