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Taking action in higher education

New training for unemployed must be quality - with a job at the end

31 January 2008 | last updated: 14 December 2015

UCU this week responded to the government's plans for a major expansion of apprenticeships and reforms of welfare policies to encourage the inactive to get new skills.

The proposals include plans for employers to increase workplace training - something UCU supports if the training is high quality and meets the broader needs of trainees.

But the proposals controversially include the contracting out of welfare-to-work schemes to specialist firms which encourage employers and voluntary organisations to create jobs with training in return for payment of a fee. There are doubts about the capacity of many organisations to train adequately or to sustain the employment opportunity beyond the initial training period. UCU echoed some of the concerns of other public sector unions.

Barry Lovejoy, head of further education at UCU said: 'Expanding apprenticeships and providing skills training for the long term unemployed it to be welcomed, but the training must be high quality, delivered by professionally qualified staff. It must also lead to real work, not a rotating door of schemes which will destroy the motivation so essential for a successful outcome.'

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