An independent evaluation of Skillnets programmes has found that 95% of individuals who undertook employee training under Skillnets’ Training Networks Programme (TNP) during 2012 have remained in employment.
The Training Networks Programme (TNP)supports training across a wide range of industry sectors and geographical regions. A similar positive statistic was reported for Skillnets’ Finuas Networks Programme (Finuas), which supports the international financial services (IFS) sector, with 98% of individuals trained remaining in employment.
Alan Nuzum, CEO, Skillnets said “the findings of this most recent evaluation are extremely encouraging in that we can see the real impact of the training undertaken through our training networks on employees with the vast majority of trainees remaining in employment. This is a very positive outcome and highlights the importance of training in dealing with challenging labour conditions.
“Employees and prospective employees need to continue to undertake training to be ready to address new challenges in their jobs and to keep up to date with new skills.”
The independent evaluation carried out by Indecon Economic Consultants covers the activity of 56 Skillnets funded training networks that supported training activities across a diverse geographic and sectoral basis through three main programmes in 2012. Overall, the evaluation indicates that Skillnets’ TNP and Finuas programmes continue to meet their broad objectives remaining within budget and exceeding targets set by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) for 2012, supporting a total of nearly 44,000 trainees and providing over 233,000 training days, including over 53,000 training days provided to job-seekers.
Training for employees under the Training Networks Programme (TNP)
A number of benefits of training received under Training Networks Programme (TNP) have been highlighted by trainees, with 87% indicating that training would assist them in their jobs while 75.2% state that their training under TNP has fully or partially contributed to learning in new areas.
TNP training caters to individuals across the education spectrum. Indecon’s research among trainees found that 44.3% of employed trainees were previously educated to below primary degree level, while 55% were graduates. This is positive in terms of up-skilling in general.
In terms of the impact of training on skills, Indecon’s research found that the main impact of TNP training for employed trainees was in relation to acquiring sector or job-specific skills, with 74.2% of trainees indicating a large or some improvement in this area. 71.5% of trainees attributed improvements to their technical and practical skills as a result of their participation in training under TNP.
Training for job-seekers and net savings to the Exchequer
In addition to provision of training to up-skill the unemployed via the main TNP and Finuas programmes, Skillnets also assists job-seekers through the dedicated Job-seekers Support Programme (JSSP).
The evaluation highlighted positive progression outcomes for job-seekers under this programme with evidence of progression to employment among unemployed trainees. Over 40% of JSSP trainees have found employment since completing their training, while Indecon’s assessment indicates that the programme delivers positive value for money to the Exchequer. This is estimated by reference to reduced social welfare payments by removing individuals from unemployment and the additional tax revenues generated from employment, adjusted to reflect estimated deadweight. These adjusted benefits are then related to the costs of operating the JSSP programme.
The evaluation stated that the programme would achieve a positive net benefit to the Exchequer if participants secured employment and remained off the Live Register for about seven months. The results also suggested that if on average participants stay in employment for more than a year, the net benefits would increase significantly.
Prior to participating in the programme, 55.6% of JSSP trainees during 2012 were previously unemployed for one year or more (compared to 43.1% across Live Register).