Inspection reports

Employability in learning and skills

Ofsted reports about employability in learning and skills

  • Skills for employment - 12 July 2012. This report assesses the efficiency of systems in matching unemployed adults to training provision and the effectiveness of this provision in developing the employability skills of participants and supporting progression into sustained employment. It is based on visits between September 2011 and May 2012 to 45 providers including colleges, independent learning providers and local authority providers of adult and community learning.
  • Apprenticeships for young people - 11 April 2012. This report presents some of the common factors that have led to high performance in the work of 15 providers who are extensively involved in delivering apprenticeships to young people. It explains how the providers have successfully recruited young people as apprentices: introducing them to the world of work; supporting them in developing vocational skills and completing their apprenticeship frameworks; and supporting their progression into employment and further study.
  • Progression post-16 for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities - 23 August 2011. This survey evaluates the arrangements for transition from school and the provision in post-16 settings for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities up to the age of 25. Through visits to 32 providers and the completion of 111 detailed case studies, inspectors assessed the effectiveness of provision in enabling learners to develop greater independence, and progress to further learning or open or supported employment.
  • Tackling the challenge of low numeracy skills in young people and adults - 8 April 2011. This report evaluates the quality of numeracy provision for young people and adults seen in visits between May and November 2010 to 59 providers including colleges, independent learning providers, local authority providers of adult and community learning, prisons and Probation Trusts. Key features of effective practice and the most commonly identified reasons for underperformance are explored in detail. The report also presents the main challenges faced by providers in securing further improvement.
  • Removing barriers to literacy - 21 January 2011. The aim of this survey was to illustrate effective approaches that might help others to improve their practice in literacy. Inspectors visited providers of childcare, education and post-16 learning. The providers were selected because previous inspection evidence and data on achievement and attainment showed that they were particularly successful in enabling children and learners from disadvantaged backgrounds to make better than average progress and to achieve good standards of literacy.
  • Learning from the best: examples of best practice from providers of apprenticeships in underperforming vocational areas - 15 October 2010. This good practice report examines the work of 39 providers of work-based learning, including independent learning providers, employer providers and colleges. These have been successful in providing apprenticeships in three currently underperforming vocational areas: hospitality, motor vehicle, and retail; and two historically underperforming areas that have improved to the national average in recent years: care and construction. The report describes the factors which contributed to sustaining high numbers, or increasing the numbers, of apprentices completing their qualifications, and to improving the time taken for them to do this.
  • Good practice in involving employers in work-related education and training - 5 October 2010. This survey set out to determine the benefits of employers’ involvement in government-funded work-related education and training, to identify the features of good practice and the ways in which the provision could be further improved.
  • Twelve outstanding providers of work-based learning - 14 July 2010. This report presents some of the common factors that have led to high performance in the work of 12 providers of work-based learning. It outlines the key challenges they faced on the journey to becoming outstanding and explains the ways in which they are seeking to sustain excellence. It includes profiles of the providers and leaders’ and managers’ views of the reasons for their success.
  • Reducing the numbers of young people not in education, employment or training: what works and why - 17 March 2010. This survey examines the key factors that have contributed to reducing the proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds not in education, employment or training in 12 local authority areas.

Future surveys

Ofsted is conducting a survey on employability: the impact of skills programmes for adults on achieving sustained employment. This survey evaluates providers’ response to initiatives launched on 1 August 2011 to use Skills Funding Agency funds flexibly to support people on benefits. The fieldwork was carried out between September 2011 and May 2012. The report will be published July 2012.

Employability in learning and skills

From August 2011, training provision for unemployed people was funded from the BIS Single Adult Skills Budget. Government’s expectation was that a wider range of providers would take this opportunity to deliver labour market focused provision on a flexible basis to improve people’s skills and help them enter sustained employment. In 2011/12, providers could use up to 2.5% of their budget to develop capacity and infrastructure, and pilot provision in this area of work, in readiness for the following year, when they can opt to receive job outcome incentive payments.

From 1 August 2011, BIS has funded training for people on Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Employment Support Allowance for the work-related activity group (ESA-WRAG) in partnership with DWP through a process known as Skills Conditionality. Jobcentre Plus or providers of DWP-funded Work Programme can refer participants to vocational and employability training. Participants may join existing training programmes or specific group or individual training to increase their chances of sustained employment. The conditionality component means that where a requirement is placed on a claimant to attend training and they subsequently fail to attend or complete skills provision without good cause, they could potentially be subject to a benefit sanction. 

Employability in schools

Employability in schools focuses on enterprise education and work-related learning.

Case studies of good practice in employability

External links

Annual Report 2012/13

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