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Delivering employment and skills programmes to vulnerable groups in rural England
Roger Turner, head of our Rural Economies programme, is speaking at today's 'Re-Skilling for Recovery in your Region' Conference about making welfare work for rural England.
He'll be drawing on our new research 'Delivering national employment and skills programmes to vulnerable groups in rural England: Needs, barriers and solutions' examining the effectiveness of national employment and skills programmes in meeting the needs of vulnerable rural residents in helping them into work, remain in work and progress in work.
The research assesses Government programmes including:
Flexible New Deal
Pathways to Work
Local Employment Partnerships
Train to Gain
Uptake of Apprenticeships and Train to Gain is relatively good in rural areas. Case studies reveal how the piloting or implementation of programmes in rural areas is being done with good awareness of rural issues, and with the development of positive practices.
However, knowledge of rural/urban differences in the performance of programmes appears to be very limited at national and regional level because data is not analysed against rural/urban definitions. Monitoring and evaluation arrangements do not ask whether performance varies from place to place.
The study also reveals that local providers encounter barriers to delivery to do with transport, small numbers of unemployed, employees, economically inactive and businesses – these result in higher delivery costs – which in turn means the provision of employment and skills services in rural areas may be more limited and sometimes of a lower quality than in urban areas