A Comparison of the Welsh Workforce Development Programme and England’s Train to Gain
Upskilling the adult workforce is a major policy across the OECD, and many governments are grappling with the issue of how to design interventions that can support workforce development for less skilled and/or qualified adult workers. This paper examines and compares the English government’s Train to Gain (T2G) programme and the Welsh Assembly Government’s Workforce Development Programme (WDP). The paper suggests that these two schemes offer radically different models for adult workforce development. T2G is designed to provide a vehicle whereby a near-universal adult entitlement (to a first level 2 qualification) can be delivered to the entire workforce over time, and has also provided a model for a new funding system for post-19 learning in England. By contrast, the WDP is tied to specific business development/improvement interventions, is only available on a selective basis, and is not solely concerned with funding the achievement of qualifications. The paper offers some thoughts on the relative effectiveness of these two models.