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Unrealised potential: The role of independent training providers in meeting skills needs

This report is about the role of the Independent Training Providers (ITPs) within the wider skills system and their contribution to national skills, economic and inclusion priorities. ITPs are private or charitable non-state providers of technical training provision and it is noted that they represent an under-researched and poorly understood sub-sector within wider technical and vocational education and training (TVET). Yet, as will be argued from the research evidence in this report, ITPs play an increasingly important role in delivering government policy priorities in the development of TVET systems, and they often contribute towards global development priorities as set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (United Nations, 2015), particularly with regard to: the elimination of poverty through creating jobs via sustainable economic growth; the provision of quality education; and revitalising global partnerships for sustainable development. The report is based on research conducted by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), the UK’s trade body for work-based learning providers with over 900 companies in membership, supported by the British Council. The research begins by outlining the distinctive characteristics of the ITPs in the UK which enable them to respond to government priorities. Examples of the successes and challenges that UK ITPs face are presented through mini case studies. Further on, the research examines the role of the ITPs in six countries (Botswana, South Africa, Uganda, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka) and the different models they operate within.