The 2013 Follow-Up Survey of Former FÁS Trainees who Exited Training in May and June 2012

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1 The 2013 Follow-Up Survey of Former FÁS Trainees who Exited Training in May and June 2012 Authors: John McGrath Ivica Milicevic FÁS / SOLAS, Research and Planning Skills and Labour Market Research Unit

2 Table of Contents Table of Contents... i Executive Summary... 1 Economic Context... 5 Findings of the Follow-Up Survey Outcomes... 6 The main outcomes from FÁS programmes designed to assist disadvantaged Main findings from the Survey of Specialist Training Programmes (STP) for persons with a disability Overall assessment Chapter 1: Background; Methodology, and Economic Context Background to the Follow-Up Survey Economic Context Methodology Measuring Outcomes of Training Alternative Measures of Outcomes Chapter 2: Full-time Training Courses FTT or Day Courses Description of Full-time / Day Training Courses The Profile of FTT Clients The Main Outcomes from FTT training : The Nature of Employment : Trainee Feedback - Satisfaction with FTT training : Historical comparison Chapter 3: Training in Specific Marketable Skills (SST) Description of SST Training The Profile of SST Clients The Main Outcomes from SST training The Nature of Employment Trainee Feedback: Satisfaction with SST training Chapter 4 Traineeships Description of Traineeship The Profile of Traineeship Clients i

3 4.3 The Main Outcomes from Traineeship Training The Nature of Employment Trainee Feedback Satisfaction with Traineeship Training Chapter 5: Training Programmes Designed for Assisting Disadvantaged Description of Courses for Disadvantaged The Profile of Training for Disadvantaged Clients The Main Outcomes from Training for Disadvantaged Clients The Nature of Employment Trainee feedback - Satisfaction with Training for Disadvantaged Chapter 6: Online Training Courses Description of Online & Blended Training Courses The Profile of Online Training Clients The Main Outcomes from Online Training The Nature of Employment Trainee Feedback Satisfaction with Online Training Chapter 7: Evening Courses Description of Evening Courses The Profile of the Evening Courses Clients The Main Outcomes from Evening Training Courses The Nature of Employment Trainee Feedback Satisfaction with Evening Courses Chapter 8: Special Training Programmes (STP) for People with Disabilities Description of Special Training Programmes for People with Disabilities The Profile of the STP Clients The Main Outcomes from the Special Training Programme for People with Disabilities The Nature of Employment Trainee Feedback Satisfaction with STP Training ii

4 List of Figures Figure 1.1.Labour Force, Employment & Unemployment (000s), Annualised Data Figure 1.2. Economic Growth and Employment, Annual Change (%), Figure 2.1. Employment Outcomes for Long-term Unemployed FÁS Trainees Figure 2.2. Employment Outcomes for Long-term Unemployed (FÁS Trainees Vs. Labour Force Job Finders) Figure 2.3. Employment Outcomes : Education Profile of FÁS Trainees Vs. Labour Force (as share of job finders ) Figure 2.4. Employment Outcomes: Education Profile for FÁS Trainees Vs. Labour Force (as share of job finders, adjusted for composition) Figure 2.5 Up-skilling and Utilisation of the Skills Acquired Figure 2.6 Labour market situation of the FTT trainees prior to training Figure 2.7 Composition of unemployment amongst the FTT trainees prior to training Figure 2.8 Share of the FTT Trainees Getting a Job Subsequent to Training (%) Figure 2.9 Labour Market Situation of FTT Trainees at the Time of the Survey Figure 2.10 Employment Outcomes by Training Programme (Follow-Up 2013) List of tables Table 2.1. Personal characteristics of FTT trainees distribution by age and education and comparison with the general population of unemployed Table 2.2. Economic status of FTT trainees prior to entering training programmes Table 2.3. Duration of unemployment prior to commencing training Table 2.4. Type of payments received prior to FÁS Training Table 2.5 Main outcomes from FTT training by education level and age of trainees Table 2.6. Main outcome from FTT training for the disadvantaged groups Table 2.7. Economic status at the time of the Survey compared to that before training Table 2.8. Length of time before getting work for selected at risk subgroups Table 2.9. Employment type by education level Table Is/was job permanent/temporary & had trainees worked for the same employer prior to training or on a work placement during their course Table 2.11 FTT trainees who found employment (by age, education level, and length of unemployment) compared to all FTT trainees Table 2.12 Receipt of payments prior to training and at present Table 2.13 Participation in training or education since exiting their courses Table 2.14 Completion rates and usefulness of certificate Table 2.15 Weekly pay in the job prior to training compared to current or most recent job Table 2.16 Relevance of training and contribution to up-skilling: the share of FTT trainees in main occupational groups prior and subsequent to training Table Skill content of the job obtained and usage of the skills acquired Table 2.18 FTT trainees perceptions of usefulness of training for getting a job: all and selected groups iii

5 Table Job tenure for the FTT Trainees: all and selected groups Table Trainees satisfaction levels with quality of training Table Trainees perception of helpfulness of course Table Suitability of course length and convenience of course Table 3.1. Personal characteristics of SST trainees - distribution by age and education and comparison with the larger population of unemployed in the domestic labour force Table 3.2. Economic status of SST trainees prior to entering training Table 3.3. Duration of unemployment: SST trainees, compared with the general population of unemployed in the domestic labour force Table 3.4. Type of payments received by SST trainees prior to FÁS Training Table 3.5. Main outcomes from SST training by education, age and length of unemployment Table 3.6. Profile of the SST trainees who found employment Table 3.7. Length of time needed to find employment and job tenure for SST Trainees Table 3.8. Is/was job permanent/temporary & whether SST trainees worked for the same employer prior to their course or on a work placement during course Table 3.9. Main economic status of SST participants: at the time of the Survey compared to that before training Table Receipt of payments prior to course and at present Table Participation in training or education since course Table The prevalence of being directed by the DSP and getting the first choice course among SST trainees Table Completion rates, certification, and usefulness of certificate Table Weekly pay prior to course compared to the pay in current/most recent job Table Relevance of training and contribution to up-skilling: the share of SST trainees in main occupational groups prior and subsequent to training Table Skill content of the job obtained and usage of the skills acquired by STT participants Table Trainees satisfaction levels with quality of SST training Table Trainees perception of helpfulness of SST courses Table Suitability of course length and convenience of SST courses Table 4.1 Personal characteristics of Traineeship participants distribution by age and education and comparison with the unemployed in the domestic labour force Table 4.2. Main economic status of Traineeship participants prior to training Table 4.3. Duration of unemployment of Traineeship trainees who were unemployed prior to FÁS training Table 4.4. Type of payments in receipt of by Traineeship participants prior to FÁS Training Table 4.5 Main outcomes from Traineeship training by education, age and length of unemployment Table 4.6. Profile of Traineeship trainees who found employment Table 4.7. Main outcomes from Traineeship training for previously unemployed, long term unemployed and single parents Table 4.8. Main economic status at the time of the Survey compared to prior to Traineeship Table 4.9 Length of time after Traineeship course to find employment and job tenure Table Is/was job permanent/temporary & had trainee worked for employer prior to course or on a work placement during course Table Participation of in training or education since exiting Traineeship courses iv

6 Table Receipt of welfare payments prior to training and at the time of the Survey Table Completion rates, certification, and usefulness of certificate Table Prevalence of being directed by the DSP and getting the first choice course Table Weekly pay prior to training compared to current/most recent job Table Relevance of training and contribution to up-skilling: Traineeship trainees in main occupational groups prior and subsequent to training (%) Table The skill content of the job obtained and usage of the skills learnt by Traineeship participants Table 4.18 Trainee satisfaction levels with the quality of Traineeship training Table Trainees perceptions of helpfulness of Traineeship courses Table Suitability of course length and convenience of Traineeship courses Table 5.1. Personal characteristics of trainees distribution by age and education and comparison with the unemployed in the domestic labour force Table 5.2. Economic status of trainees prior to commencing training programmes Table 5.3. Duration of unemployment trainees who were unemployed prior to FÁS training, compared with the unemployed in the domestic labour force Table 5.4. Type of payments received prior to FÁS Training Table 5.5.Main outcomes from the training by education level and age of trainees Table 5.6. Profile of trainees who found employment Table 5.7. Employment as the main outcome amongst the disadvantaged groups Table 5.8. Economic status at time of the Survey compared to that before training Table 5.9. Length of time after training to find employment and job tenure Table Is/was the job permanent/temporary & had trainee worked for employer prior to course or on a work placement during course Table 5.11 Receipt of welfare payments prior to course and at present Table 5.12 Participation in training or education since the original course Table Completion rates, certification, and usefulness of certificate Table 5.14 Weekly pay prior to training compared to the pay in current/most recent job Table Relevance of training and contribution to up-skilling: the share of trainees in main occupational groups prior and subsequent to training Table Skill content of the job obtained and usage of the skills acquired Table Trainees satisfaction levels with quality of training Table Trainees perception of helpfulness of course Table 5.19: Training improving key generic skills Table Suitability of course length and convenience of courses Table 6.1 Personal characteristics of Online trainees distribution by age and education and comparison with the general population of unemployed Table 6.2. Main economic status of Online trainees prior to training Table 6.3. Duration of unemployment of Online trainees compared with the unemployed in the domestic labour force Table 6.4 Type of payments received prior to FÁS Training Table 6.5. Main outcomes from training by education, age and length of being unemployed Table 6.6: Profile of Online trainees who found employment Table 6.7. Economic status of Online training participants at the time of the Survey compared to that before training v

7 Table 6.8 Length of time needed to find employment and job tenure for the Online trainees Table 6.9. Is/was job permanent/temporary & had trainee worked for the same employer prior to Online training Table The prevalence of being directed by the DSP and getting the first choice course among online trainees Table Participation in training or education since Online course Table 6.12 Receipt of payments prior to training and at present Table 6.13.Completion rates, certification, and usefulness of certificate Table 6.14 Weekly pay prior to training compared to the pay in current/most recent job Table 6.15 Relevance of training and contribution to up-skilling: the share of trainees in main occupational groups prior and subsequent to training Table The skill content of the job obtained and usage of the skills acquired Table Trainee satisfaction levels with quality of training Table Trainees perception of helpfulness of course Table 7.1 Personal characteristics of Evening Courses participants distribution by age and education and comparison with the unemployed in the domestic labour force Table 7.2. Main economic status of Evening Courses trainees prior to their commencing training Table 7.3 Duration of unemployment of FÁS Evening Courses trainees compared with the unemployed in the domestic labour force Table 7.4 Type of payments received prior to commencing FÁS Training: Evening courses trainees. 99 Table 7.5. Main outcomes from Evening Courses training by education, age and length of unemployment Table 7.6 Profile of Evening Courses participants who found employment Table 7.7. Main economic status of Evening Courses participants at the time of the Survey compared to that before training Table 7.8 Length of time needed to find employment and job tenure for the Evening Courses trainees Table 7.9. Is/was the job permanent/temporary & had trainee worked for the same employer prior to commencing Evening Courses training Table 7.10 Participation in training or education since Evening Courses Table 7.11 Receipt of payments prior to training and at present Table 7.12 Completion rates, certification, and usefulness of certificate Table 7.13 Weekly pay prior to training compared to the pay in current/most recent job Table Relevance of training and contribution to up-skilling: the share of Evening Courses trainees in main occupational groups prior and subsequent to training Table The skill content of the job obtained and usage of the skills learnt by Evening Courses participants Trainee satisfaction levels with quality of training: Evening courses Table Trainees perceptions of helpfulness of Evening Courses Table Evening courses : Suitability of course length and convenience of course Table 8.1 The personal characteristics of the STP Trainees distribution by age and education and comparison with the general population of unemployed Table 8.2 Economic status of the STP trainees prior to commencing training Table 8.3. Duration of unemployment of the STP trainees who were unemployed prior to FÁS training compared with the unemployed in the domestic labour force vi

8 Table 8.4. Type of payments received prior to FÁS Training: STP participants Table 8.5. Main outcomes from the STP training by age and education Table 8.6 Profile of the STP trainees who found employment Table 8.7. Economic status at the time of the Survey compared to before training: STP trainees Table 8.8 Completion rates, certification, and usefulness of certificate Table 8.9 Length of time needed to find employment and job tenure for STP trainees Table 8.10 Is/was job permanent/temporary & had STP trainees worked for the same employer prior to commencing STP training and during it Table 8.11 Participation in training or education since STP courses Table Receipt of welfare payments prior to training and at present Table The share of STP trainees in main occupational groups subsequent to training Table The skill content of the job obtained and usage of the skills learnt Table Trainee satisfaction levels with quality of training Table Trainees perceptions of usefulness of STP courses Table Trainees perception of helpfulness of the STP course regarding generic skills Table Suitability of course length and convenience of the STP course vii

9 Executive Summary Background Approximately every two years, FÁS commissions independent researchers to carry out a survey to find out what happens to people after they exit FÁS training and employment programmes. The most recent survey documents the experiences of those who exited during the summer of The survey is based on a representative sample and the results are used by FÁS to continuously improve the relevance and quality of the services it provides, primarily to the unemployed and disadvantaged, as well as to some already in employment but seeking to up-skill or re-skill. The survey covers all FÁS full-time training programmes, as well as Evening courses and Online learning. It was conducted in May and June 2013 among trainees who had exited these programmes 12 months previously. A total of 2,074 interviews were conducted, as follows: 1,928 interviews were conducted by telephone among mainstream programme trainees 146 surveys were conducted in-person among Special Training Programme trainees. The Specialist Training Programmes are designed to enhance the employability of people with disabilities who require more intensive support than would be available in non-specialist training provision. This fieldwork was carried out in addition to the main survey. The questionnaire for this survey was based on that of the mainstream questionnaire, but with some modifications. The results of both surveys are presented in this report which was written by the FÁS Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) using the data generated by the independent research consultants. It should be mentioned at the outset that different programmes have different target audiences, and consistent with this, somewhat different aims. Some of the programmes, notably the Bridging/Foundation Training programme, the Community Training Centres and the Local Training Initiatives are designed to provide unemployed persons with the generic and technical skills to enhance their employability. A high proportion of the trainees on these programmes are significantly disadvantaged and an outcome - such as enabling the trainee to enrol on a higher level education or training course - should be considered to be a positive result. 1

10 Figure A1. FÁS Training Programmes Programme Categories (Full-time Training - FTT) Other Programme Categories In contrast, other programmes such as the Specific Skills Training (SST) programmes and the Traineeship programme are designed to equip participants with technical skills which research has shown are in demand in the domestic labour market. Thus, these programmes are expected to yield more favourable labour market outcomes, that is to say, generate a higher employment rate than those programmes which are targeted at disadvantaged groups. Progression to an appropriate higher education or training course would nevertheless be considered a positive outcome. Situation of participants before programme commencement The vast majority of participants were experiencing difficulties in finding a job before commencing their FÁS training programme. Thus considering those that participated in full time training (i.e. all courses except online, evening and training programmes for people with disabilities), four-in-five (80%) of participants reported that they were unemployed prior to commencing their course. The number of trainees who were long term unemployed were considerable one half of the FTT participants were long term unemployed and almost two-in-five were out of work for longer than two years. The above statistics are comparable to the labour market situation of trainees that participated in full time courses during 2011, when 81% of trainees were unemployed prior to the Survey; the proportion of the unemployed out of work for longer than one year was also the same. 2

11 Finally, the proportions of trainees who were either inactive (i.e. engaged in home duties, caring, etc.) or in FET were also closely matched. (Figures A2 and A3 below) Figure A2. Main Economic Status Prior to Training 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 19% 17% 43% 22% Labour Market Situation Prior to Training (base: participants in full time training courses) 12% 11% 61% 81% 80% 16% 3% 4% 9% 8% 8% 8% 2006/ Home Duties / Other Education / Training Unemployed Employed Figure A3. Length of Unemployment Prior to Training 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Length of Time Unemployed Prior to Commencing Training (base: FTT participants) 16% 30% 27% 31% 41% 40% 40% 40% 2006/ Short term unemployed Long term unemployed Considering the different courses or programmes, 69% of Traineeship participants were unemployed; the share was even higher for SST participants (85%), while the corresponding share for Bridging/Foundation programmes participants was 73%. At the same time, 77% of those that took evening courses were unemployed, while the corresponding figure for online course 3

12 participants was 79%. Nine-in-ten of trainees who took part in full-time training were in receipt of some social welfare payment. This share increased to 95% for evening courses participants and 96% for specialist training participants, and declined to 88% for those that took part in online courses. With regard to educational background, a considerable number of those who engaged in full time training had obtained at most a Junior Certificate (28%). Two in five (40%) had a Leaving Certificate. Finally, 16% of full time trainees had a Post Leaving Certificate, the same as the proportion that had some third-level qualifications, a considerable share of which was at sub-degree level. Participants on the labour market programmes (i.e. SST and Traineeship) were somewhat more likely to hold some third level (almost one-in-five in the case of SST, increasing to 22% for Traineeship participants). The share of those with some third level was highest for online training participants (almost one half), while about one-in-four of evening course participants held some third level qualification prior to commencing training. Conversely, only 15% of those who participated in special skills training programmes (designed to enhance the employability of people with disabilities) had some third level, most of which was at sub-degree level. This group of trainees also had the highest share of those with at most a Junior Certificate (46%). Considering the age profile of the trainees that took part in full-time training, one third of them were aged 16-24, just under one fifth (24%) were aged 25-34, 29% were in the age cohort, while 14% were aged 50 and above. When compared to the unemployed people in the domestic labour force at the time 1, in relative terms, the full time trainees were over-represented in the youngest age cohort (15-24); thus, 33% of them were in this cohort compared to 22% of those unemployed. They were somewhat under-represented in the and age cohorts, while no discernible difference was observed for the oldest age cohort, i.e. those aged 50 and older. When compared with the general population of unemployed, the trainees that participated in full time training were somewhat more likely to hold a Leaving Certificate, and less likely to hold third level qualifications. In addition, 8% of trainees were early school-leavers - defined as those aged with only lower secondary (a Junior Certificate) level of education or less as their highest level achieved- compared to 4% among the unemployed overall. 1 The period October December (Q4) 2011 was selected, and deemed to be the most likely time to correspond to the period prior to respondents (trainees) registering for and / commencing training. 4

13 Economic Context The key performance indicators of the effectiveness of active labour market policies is the extent to which these policies result in increased employment and / or further up skilling i.e. progression to a higher education or training programme. In the case of those programmes which are primarily designed to ultimately enhance the employability of severely disadvantaged groups, a progression to a higher level education or training programme may be considered to be a positive outcome as the participant may be following a career path which is necessary for having a realistic prospect of sound employment. However, for the other training programmes, such as traineeships and specific skills training, the employment outcome is the key performance indicator. It is clearly much less difficult to obtain a job at a time of economic prosperity than it is at a time of recession. Consequently, in order to assess what a reasonable employment outcome might be, it is necessary to consider the labour market conditions which the trainees encountered when they exited their training programmes. Figure A4. Labour Force, Employment & Unemployment (000s), Annualised Data 2, Figure A5. Economic Growth and Employment, Annual Change (%), % 8% 2, % 2, % 2% 1, % 1, % 1, % -6% 1, % 1, % Total in employment Unemployed Total labour force GDP GNP Employment Source: CSO Quarterly National Accounts; Central Bank of Ireland. Source: SLMRU (FÁS) analysis of CSO data. 5

14 The trainees who were surveyed for this report exited their training programmes in the second quarter of 2012 and were surveyed during the following May and June in During this period, the labour market was severely subdued, given the extent of economic slowdown occurring since Indeed, the highest unemployment rate for over twenty years, of 15%, was observed for the first three quarters of 2012, the time when most of the trainees were either looking for or seeking to maintain their jobs. In 2012, the number of unemployed persons averaged 316,000. At the same time, there were 11,000 fewer persons in employment compared to the previous year. In addition, the broad unemployment rate, which includes part-time underemployed, discouraged workers, passive job seekers, and other persons only marginally attached to the labour market, remained high, at 23%, in Hence the employment opportunities were restricted, while the competition for jobs that came on stream was intense. (Figures A4 and A5) The unemployment rate continued to be very high for persons previously employed in the construction sector, those previously employed in elementary occupations and skilled trades, those under 25 age category (27%), and persons holding relatively low education qualification (at most a Junior Certificate or equivalent). The analysis of the client profile on FÁS training courses show that these groups are over-represented among the participants. Findings of the Follow-Up Survey Outcomes The overwhelming majority completed their course thus nine in ten (89%) of full time training courses participants did so, and of those the same proportion have received certification. The main reasons behind non-completion were personal in nature (e.g. health, caring duties, etc.). However, just below one third of those that did not complete their training cited issues arising with the course, mainly the course content or delivery. The completion rates were higher for traineeship (93%) and SST (91%), while they were lower for those that attended courses or programmes under the aggregate heading of Bridging, Local Training Initiatives, and Community Training (81%). Within this grouping, those that attended Community Training had a relatively low completion rate (63%). It is worth pointing out that more than half of these trainees were early school leavers. With regard to online training, the completion rate was considerably lower (47%); however, the nature of online training is such that many participants may choose to study specific modules rather than take the complete course. The completion rate for evening courses, at 88%, was almost identical to that of full time courses. Finally, 63% of special skills courses participants completed their training. 6

15 In a similar vein, the overwhelming majority, nine in ten, of those that completed training programmes have since obtained certification. This translates into four in five of course participants getting a certificate following exiting their training. In addition, the main reason volunteered for not having received a certificate by the time of the Survey was that it was pending this applied to about three out of five of non-certified trainees. Only about one in five of non-certified trainees did not get their certificate due to not meeting or satisfying the relevant course assessment criteria. The vast majority of those who exited FÁS full time training in the summer of 2012 registered of their own volition and subsequently attended the course of their choice. Thus only 11% of trainees were directed by the Department of Social Welfare (DSP) to FÁS while only 10% did not attend the course that was their first choice. There were some differences between the groups, however, with those who attended Bridging/Foundation courses having been more likely to be directed by the DSP (19%). In contrast, those who took Traineeships were least likely only 6% of them were directed by the DSP. There were no discernible differences between programmes in respect to the number, or share, of trainees who received their first choice of course. The most common reasons given by trainees who did not receive their first choice was that the course was either full or fully subscribed, that it was not available at a convenient time, or that they were not accepted or failed the course qualification criteria or relevant examination. The overwhelming majority, 93%, of full time course participants were of the view that the training course attended provided them with new job relevant skills. Almost nine in ten reported that attending the course had a positive influence on their confidence. In addition, just above four in five deemed that the course was beneficial in terms of equipping them with new job interview related skills and that it assisted them in the identification of suitable job opportunities. With regard to more disadvantaged trainees, more than one half of those that participated in the Bridging/Foundation programme reported improvements in literacy and numeracy skills. This increased to seven in ten for those that attended the Community Training Centres, where the client group comprises a large number of early school leavers. (Figure A7) 7

16 Figure A7. Selected Outcomes Regarding Disadvantaged Trainees Completion: 81% Overall satisfaction: 85% Training improved confidence: 90% Training provided new job relevant skills :91%; Traineeship programme participants: 96% Training improved job interview skills: 83%; Training assisted with identification of job opportunities: 84% Training improved numeracy skills: 55%; literacy skills : 56%; (Bridging/Foundation & Community Training) The overwhelming majority of participants (83%) who have not got a job since exiting their full time training have actively sought employment. The most often cited reason for not doing so was engagement in FET. Other reasons included participation in subsidised employment schemes, home and / or caring duties and personal issues, namely health. Interestingly, only a relatively small share of trainees were discouraged from seeking work due to their own belief that there were no jobs available. The vast majority of trainees (83%) who obtained employment did so within six months of completing the programme. Indeed, one in three found a job within a month of completing the course. The above finding suggests that the training course made a strong contribution to finding a job, bearing in mind that most of these former trainees had been out of work for more than 6 months indeed, in some cases for more than two years. Overall, 40% of those who attended and, subsequently, exited full time training programmes in summer 2012 experienced periods of employment. This is somewhat lower than the corresponding figure for the 2011 Follow-Up Survey (when the corresponding figure was 44%), but higher than that of the 2009 Follow-Up Survey (33%). (Figure A8) 8

17 Figure A 8. Employment Outcomes Subsequent to FÁS Training 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Share of trainees who gained a job following their full-time training programmes (%), over time (base: FTT course participants) 81% 73% 63% 63% 64% 57% 33% % Gained a job 44% 40% / The employment outcome was relatively higher for those that exited Traineeship, with three in five (60%) of participants getting a job during the 12 months period subsequent to training. The corresponding figure for Specific Skills Training programmes was 42%; within this group, trainees on long courses had better employment outcomes than those on short courses (44% of trainees who exited long courses found employment compared to 39% of trainees who exited short courses). At the same time, 27% of those that exited the programmes aimed at less advantaged clients (Bridging/Foundation, the Community Training Centres and the Local Training Initiatives) got a job, notwithstanding that these programmes are primarily designed to progress individuals to more mainstream training and education programmes. With regard to other programmes, the employment outcomes for the Online Learning and Evening Courses were 45% and 44% respectively. At the time of the Survey, however, the share of former trainees that were still in employment was lower, at 28%. This is consistent with the outcome of the previous Follow Up (2011) Survey and reflects the state of the domestic labour market, characterised by a large number of transitions in and out of employment, as well as the relatively high prevalence of part time and temporary jobs. Almost one fifth (19%) were engaged in education, training or employment schemes, while almost one half (49%) were unemployed. Finally, about 4% were engaged in home duties or caring duties or were not in employment for other reasons. (Figure A9) 9

18 Figure A 9. Employment Outcomes at the Time of the Survey 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Labour market situation at the time of the Survey, over time (base: FTT participants) 2% 4% 13% 10% Inactive (home 22% 19% duties, other) 16% 21% 22% 48% 50% 19% 46% 49% 30% 28% 2006/ Education / training Unemployment Employment With regard to the results from individual programmes at the time of the Survey, Traineeship yielded the most favourable employment outcome of all the training programmes (44% were in employment). The SST participants were the second best group in terms of holding onto their jobs, with a relatively high proportion still in employment at the time of the Survey. Conversely, those that took part in the programmes aimed at more disadvantaged clients (Bridging / Foundation, Community Training and Local Training Initiatives) were relatively less likely to still be in employment at the time of the Survey. These findings suggest a positive association between the levels of skills acquired and job retention. Considering relatively more disadvantaged subgroups of trainees across all full time courses, just above one quarter of early school leavers found work since exiting their courses, while 44% remained unemployed; this group of trainees then were more likely to remain unemployed than trainees who were long term unemployed prior to commencing their training, or single parents. Thus 30% of long term unemployed trainees accessed employment since exiting their courses, while just above one third of single parents found employment. 10

19 Figure A 10. Employment Outcomes by Training Programme Employment outcomes by programme: whether employed or were employed Online Learning Evening FTT aggregate Traineeship SST combined Specific Skills Training (long) Specific Skills Training (short) Disadvantaged combined Local Training Initiatives Bridging/Foundation Community Training Centres 33% 31% 28% 44% 30% 31% 30% 15% 12% 16% 13% 14% 13% 14% 10% 12% 13% 12% 12% 13% 10% 16% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Employed at present (time of the Survey) Were employed since exiting the course but not at present It is well documented that the long-term unemployed find it particularly difficult to enter employment. The analysis undertaken confirms that being long term unemployed confers a disadvantage regarding the employment outcomes - those Follow-Up participants who were long term unemployed (prior to commencing their training) were less likely to obtain employment, and remain employed, when compared with all trainees. Thus considering the previously long term unemployed full time trainees, 30% of them experienced employment since exiting training, compared to 40% for all trainees; equally, while overall 28% of trainees were employed at the time of the Survey, the corresponding figure for the previously long term unemployed was about one in five. However, the analysis also shows that, when compared to the chances of long term unemployed in the wider labour market, the outcome for FÁS trainees is considerably better. Thus it is estimated that only 7% of long term unemployed transit into employment 2, and consistent with this, the previously long term unemployed account for relatively lower share of job finders. 3 The above points toward positive effect of training for long term unemployed given that the adverse effect of the background of long term unemployment has apparently been abated to a sizeable extent. 2 Refers to the share of long term unemployed in Q who transited to employment in the subsequent period, Q (Q22012-Q32012 transitions ; Source: FAS (SLMRU) analysis of CSO data; SLMRU (FÁS) NSB Refers to the share of all that transited into employment in Q from either inactivity or unemployment accounted for by previously long term unemployed. Source: ibid. 11

20 In a similar vein, one of the most disadvantaged groups on the Irish labour market - those with only Junior Certificate or lower have considerably improved their employment prospects thanks to participating in training. Thus while the share of full time trainees holding at most a Junior Certificate was almost twice the share of those holding some third level (28% versus 16%), their representation in the subset of those who got a job on exiting training was much more balanced (22% versus 20%). The above becomes more discernible by using the actual situation in the labour market as a benchmark - in the last quarter of 2011 only 16% of those in employment were holding at most a Junior Certificate, whereas 45% were holding some third level qualifications. 4 The aforementioned relatively good representation amongst FTT job finders of those with low education qualification prior to commencing training compares favourably with the situation in the general labour market even when appropriate adjustments were made to reflect the relatively higher share of those with relatively low education qualifications amongst FTT trainees than that in the overall labour force. The argument is that in the absence of training, the chances of those with low education entering employment would have been in line with the chances of this group in the domestic labour market at the time. Many of the jobs obtained by former trainees were in occupations which are typically aligned to Levels 5 and 6 in the National Qualifications Framework. Almost one fifth were in occupations such as healthcare assistants, catering and personal services, and about the same proportion were in skilled trades and in sales and customer services roles. However, 2% were in professional occupations, 2% in managerial and 9% in technical roles. While those that reported that the job they found was of the same skill level as their previous employment were in majority (44%), almost four in ten reported finding a job that was more skilled, while 17% reported getting a job that was relatively less skilled than their previous one. The majority, almost two thirds, of those who either accessed employment since completing their course or were still in employment at the time of the survey, and who got a job that was relatively more skilled that the one held previously, reported utilising their newly acquired skills to a considerable extent, while a fifth of them were using them to some extent. (Figure A11) 4 One year later, the corresponding figures were 15% for those with at most a Junior Certificate and 47% for third level. Source: FAS (SLMRU) analysis of CSO data 12

21 Figure A 11. Up-skilling and Utilisation of the Skills Acquired Utilisation of skills acquired through training programmes 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 15% 8% 14% 63% 31% 21% 42% 14% 20% 16% Never A little Sometimes 20% 10% 28% 29% A lot 0% More skilled than last job About same level of skill Less skilled than the last job The main outcomes from FÁS programmes designed to assist disadvantaged At an aggregate level, when programmes targeting disadvantaged (Bridging / Foundation, Local training Initiatives, and Community Training) are considered together, 27% of former trainees had a spell of employment since exiting training. Another 9% have been in a subsidised employment scheme (Community Employment, Work Placement or Internship), which can also be considered a positive outcome for this subset of trainees. In addition, given their relatively less favourable education profile, an outcome which involves the participants enrolling on a further education and / or a training course, could be considered to be a positive one. One quarter (25%) of former trainees that exited the courses categorised under the above broad heading have since engaged in FET. Thus, for just above three out of five trainees, the outcome was either employment (in the open labour market or in a subsidised employment programme) or up skilling. The corresponding figures for the three main training programmes under this broader heading were 67% for Bridging / Foundation, 53% for Community training, and 63% for Local Training Initiative. These figures compare favourably to the previous (2011) Follow-Up Survey. (Figure A12) 13

22 Figure A 12. Favourable outcomes from training programmes targeting less advantaged Local Training Initiatives (63%) Community Training Centres 53% Disadvantaged / Less qualified client groups 62% Bridging 67% Main findings from the Survey of Specialist Training Programmes (STP) for persons with a disability With regard to the programmes designed to assist people with disabilities, more than three in five trainees have completed their courses. The main reasons behind non-completion were personal in nature (42%); however, 38% attributed it to the perceived issues arising with the course itself. Findings suggest that people with disabilities have benefited from the work placement aspect of their courses. However, they are competing for jobs in the open labour market. Nine-in-ten reported acquiring new job relevant skills, about two thirds got a job that was more skilled than that held previously, and about same proportion were utilising their newly acquired skills. Figure A 12. Special Training Programme Outcomes Literacy Numeracy Confidence New Job Skills Use of skills 60% said that their literacy had improved. 67% said that their numeracy had improved. 94% said that their confidence had improved. 89% said that they had gained new job skills. 66% of those employed use the skills a lot; only 10% do not utilise them 14

23 Overall assessment The longitudinal survey of former FAS trainees who exited training in the summer of 2012 has produced very detailed information on the trainees perception of the quality of the training provided and the contribution which the training made to their subsequent employability. The most objective measure of that enhanced employability is the extent to which these former trainees, in particular those that exited the courses or programmes such as the Specific Skills Training programmes and the Traineeship programme designed to equip participants with technical skills which research has shown are in demand in the marketplace, obtained employment as a consequence of participating on the training programme. The figures in the attached table show that 40% of trainees obtained employment at some point during the 12 months since exiting the programme. Furthermore, as the analyses in the report show, the vast majority of these jobs were obtained within 6 months of the exit date. (Table A1 overleaf) The employment figures, however, varied considerably between the programmes designed to equip trainees with the skills required in the marketplace and those programmes targeted at more disadvantaged job-seekers where progression to further education and training is considered to be of equal importance. Thus, 60% of those attending traineeships found employment while 42% of those attending Specific Skills Training obtained a job rising to 44% for the longer courses. This compares to a placement figure of 27% for those attending the courses for disadvantaged groups. However, a higher proportion of this group subsequently participated on various work experience courses during the year in question. With the exception of the Traineeship participants, progression rates at 25% were similar between the Specific Skills programmes and courses targeted at the disadvantaged. The On-Line and Evening courses performed relatively well in terms of employment, achieving rates of 45% and 44% respectively and, together with the Traineeship programme, had relatively low unemployment rates. Furthermore, both courses were associated with relatively strong progression rates. While it may have been expected that the On-Line courses, in view of their focus of ICT skills, might encourage participants to seek a formal third-level qualification in this area, the fact that one in four of those attending evening courses subsequently pursue further education suggests that for some participants at least, these courses are part of a wider education and training career path. The extent to which these results would have occurred in the absence of the training programme will always be the subject of debate. However, the fact that almost all of the trainees were unemployed and receiving welfare payments prior to attending their courses, together with the high proportion who stated that they were long-term unemployed, suggests that the so-called deadweight effect was modest. 15

24 Furthermore, the education qualifications composition of those trainees that obtained employment shows that it is virtually identical to the educational qualifications composition of those that entered the programmes. This is the opposite of what occurs in the labour market, where the propensity to become employed is strongly positively related to education qualifications. The fact that those with less than the Leaving Certificate level of education had virtually the same chance as third level graduates of being in the group that obtained a job following FÁS training indicates that the programmes have, at the very least, a strong impact in terms of improving the employment prospects of the more disadvantaged. In summary, the main outcomes regarding full time training courses are as follows: Course completion: 89% (of which 89% received a certificate) Unemployment impact: 80% of participants were unemployed prior to training ½ of unemployed were long term unemployed ( i.e. for longer than one year) 27% remained unemployed 49% unemployed at present - the time of the Survey Employment impact: 40% of course participants had found a job since exiting training 28% in work at the time of the Survey; 18% of previously long term unemployed were in employment at the time of the Survey Job relevance of training: 66% stated they used their newly acquired skills a lot in the job obtained upon exiting training Up-skilling: 39% stated that their current job was more highly skilled than the job held prior to training; 44% stated that it was the same; 17% that it was lower. 16

25 Shift to higher skilled employment: lower share of unskilled jobs higher share of personal services jobs higher share of technician level jobs Social relevance of training: Improved employment prospects for most disadvantaged Job-search activity strong General points: Industry involvement has positive impact on employment prospects of trainees Outcomes proved difficult to compare with results from other studies because of methodological differences ( comment: as well as different target population and the type of programmes) All studies and associated research illustrate how difficult it is to find jobs in current climate 17

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