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Training in the recession: The impact of the 2008-2009 recession on training at work

This Evidence Report focuses on how training activity in the UK has fared in the 2008-09 recession and its aftermath. Using a combination of statistical analysis of large-scale surveys and in-depth telephone interviews with employers, some answers are provided. The Report’s substantive results are presented in four parts, which draw on data collected using a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods: analysis of employer surveys and, in particular, data collected as part of the National Employer Skills Survey (NESS) 2009, a survey involving over 79,000 employers who were asked directly about the impact of the recession on training; analysis of individual-level data as collected by the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) over the period 1995-2012, with the contemporary situation compared with the recession of the early 1990s, where data allow; in-depth telephone interviews with 60 private sector employers who participated in the 2009 NESS, most of whom we interviewed on two separate occasions (in mid-2010 and then late 2011), as a means of tracking the changing impact of the economic downturn; in-depth telephone interviews with 45 public sector employers, many of whom were interviewed twice in order to reveal what impact the deficit reduction programme was having on training as budgets were being squeezed.