I must respond to your article "Employers duck skills costs" (FE Focus, May 16).
Train to Gain was launched less than two years ago; already more than 84,000 employers and well over 400,000 employees have benefited from the service.
We expect the figures to increase significantly over the next couple of years as more employers get involved in training and in improving the skills of their workforce.
Over 72 per cent of the employers who have trained staff through Train to Gain fall into the "hard to reach" category - those not recognised by Investors in People and who have not significantly supported staff training to achieve a vocational qualification in the previous 12 months. So Train to Gain really is reaching employers who need it the most.
We have had really positive feedback from employers: 77 per cent would be likely to engage in Train to Gain in the future and 80 per cent would recommend the service to a colleague outside their organisation, as you say at the end of your article.
As an example, Hardy Publishing, a small contract business in London employing 10 permanent members of staff, has seen significant success through Train to Gain. First to benefit was marketing account director Jennifer Allen, who in August 2006 opted to do a one-day project management course run by Capita Learning and Development and a Chartered Institute of Marketing diploma over nine months, which was partly funded by the scheme.
As a direct result of her training, Hardy Publishing was able to develop and streamline its business strategy, resulting in a 44 per cent increase in turnover. Coupled with business benefits, Jennifer also experienced benefits for her career and personal development. She was also able to pass on her knowledge to other employees.
There are many other examples I could use to demonstrate that Train to Gain is working and providing real benefits to employers and employees.
Christopher Banks, Chair, Learning and Skills Council, London.