Training provider’s plight to address skills gaps

Nearly £250 million in adult education further education loans is reported to have been missed out on during the 2014-15 educational year. Meanwhile, employers report skills gaps to be on the increase and there’s an expected rise in the over 50s working population 

As Scotland’s colleges await the outcome of the government’s spending review, an independent training provider says it has identified an opportunity that will open up new revenue streams and address the skills requirements of the adult learning sector.
Pitman Training, which specialises in helping 18-40-year-olds achieve specialist skills for the workplace and has specialist centres in Edinburgh, Forres, Dumfries, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness, will meet with the Association of Colleges (AOC) at its annual conference in Birmingham this week to highlight the opportunity it says will benefit both commercial and funded markets.
It says it can help further education (FE) colleges enhance their educational presence using the latest digital training technology while providing access to new markets and commercial income.
Following the launch of its flagship FE college-based Pitman Training Centre at Sussex Coast College in Hastings, vice principal of enterprise, Dan Shelley said: “Sussex Coast College are proud to have a Pitman Training Centre embedded into our provision mix as we believe it will bring new learners to study with us and offers a flexible, trusted self-directed study offer to meet modern work, life and learning styles.
“The course content is slick and the range of provision varied so that learners can develop new skills for work. We are also able to offer provision that is funded via the 24+ Loans and ASB funding steams, making the Pitman Training offer available to more students than ever before.”
Pitman says that, with FE colleges already enrolled in the scheme, which enables colleges to open up their student recruitment potential, the future looks promising.
According to the organisation, nearly £250 million in adult education further education loans is reported to have been missed out on during the 2014-15 educational year. Meanwhile, employers report skills gaps to be on the increase and there’s an expected rise in the over 50s working population.
This, it says, signals that the demand for excellent quality vocational retraining is present and growing.

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