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Private Training Market in the UK

The Independent Inquiry into the Future for Lifelong Learning (IFLL), sponsored by NIACE, is looking at the implications of lifelong learning for each of the sectors involved in providing learning opportunities and looking at how they fit together. Established in 2007, the main report of the IFLL will be produced this coming September.

They have recently released their sector report on the Private Training Market in the UK focusing on training purchased by employers rather than individuals, analysing supply and demand and looking at the implications for lifelong learning policy, employers and private sector training providers. This does NOT cover publicly funded training eg Train to Gain.

It is not surprising that the inquiry found that public sector funded training is driven by qualifications eg government targets, and the training purchased privately by employers is designed to improve the functionality and competitiveness of their staff. On the face of it this suggests that qualifications aren’t particularly important to employers, but that’s a bit of an over simplification. If the government is going to use public funds to promote qualification achievement, then the logical outcome is that employers will use the public funding as offered, and supplement this with more bespoke training. 

One of the key recommendations is that in order to achieve greater synergy between public and private provision and hence meet employers’ needs more closely, the use of qualifications as targets for publicly funded provision might usefully be reviewed.

The report makes uncomfortable reading for private training providers eg those offering privately funded training direct to employers. It appears that the market is saturated with lots of micro size organisations with limited viability.  But all is not lost - if you want to set up training, try Northern Ireland, West Midlands, Eastern and North West regions where you’ll have less competition! And the best training business to be in is the highly regulated industries eg finance, environment, health and safety etc.

Download the full report below or visit the IFLL website.

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