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Social Research

A literature review to inform the development of the new Adult Employability Programme

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  • Release date: 21 October 2015
The study’s aim is to review existing employability and essential skills support arrangements and provide evidence on their effectiveness to inform the development of the new programme.

Key findings

Essential skills policies and programmes in Wales

  • Awareness of the importance of essential skills generally increased the more employers and employees perceived there to be tangible outcomes to any training (e.g. material benefits such as promotion or wage increases, or softer outcomes such as improvements in confidence).
  • Effective partnerships and collaboration between training providers and other stakeholders are significant in ensuring the long-term sustainability of programmes.

Design of essential skills programmes

  • Programme design and the method of delivery are significant for the successful participation of learners and for learner outcomes.
  • Personalised support can prove significant when targeting longer term unemployed adults and those on incapacity benefit.

Basic skills for unemployed adults

  • Effective partnerships between referral organisation, training providers and other support agencies are a key factor for the successful delivery of training to unemployed adults.
  • Payment by results for training providers led to continued support once the learner was in employment, with those who had been out of work for longer periods benefiting from the in-work support.

Based on the findings of the literature review, the report makes ten recommendations on how employability programmes could be best designed and delivered.


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