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Evaluation of Business Learning Account (BLA) Pilots

DescriptionAn evaluation of 4 BLA pilots, which assesses the extent to which the BLA pilot programme has increased demand for training in small businesses that have traditionally not trained their staff.
ISBN07559 6252 4
Official Print Publication DateOctober 2006
Website Publication DateOctober 06, 2006


ISBN 0 7559 6252 4 (Web only publication)

This document is also available in pdf format (728k)


Executive Summary

Chapter OneIntroduction

Chapter TwoMethodology

Chapter ThreeEvaluating BLA Delivery
Pilot delivery arrangements
Targeting and selecting BLA companies
Why did companies engage with the BLAs?
The BLA delivery process
Sourcing training provision
BLA Delivery - conclusions

Chapter FourBLA Outcomes
TNAs undertaken and BLA accounts opened
The BLA target group
BLA training activities
BLA Outcomes - conclusions

Chapter FivePerceived Benefits
Benefits for employees
Benefits for companies
Additional benefits
Perceived benefits - conclusions

Chapter SixAdded Value of the BLA Pilot
Wider benefits for the Scottish economy - testing market failure
Cost/benefit analysis
Added value of the Bla Programme - conclusions

Chapter SevenConclusion

List of Tables
Table 2.1: Age of respondents
Table 2.2: Gender of respondents
Table 2.3: Staff grade of respondents
Table 2.4: Number of courses per respondent
Table 2.5: Hours of learning

Table 3.1: Origin of BLA referrals in SE area (%)
Table 3.2: How did companies first learn of BLA Pilots?
Table 3.3: Reasons for participating in BLAs
Table 3.4: Perceived strengths and weaknesses of different types of local delivery agents
Table 3.5: Completion of a TNA
Table 3.6: Company perceptions of the TNA process
Table 3.7: Completion of a business health check
Table 3.8: Perceptions of the BHC process
Table 3.9: Company perceptions of their BLA training plan
Table 3.10: Involvement in developing the training plan
Table 3.11: Selection of courses and providers
Table 3.12: Company perceptions on sourcing appropriate training
Table 3.13: Overall satisfaction with BLA process

Table 4.1: Number of TNAs and BLA accounts per pilot
Table 4.2: Opening a BLA Account
Table 4.3: Reasons for not opening an account
Table 4.4: Completion of the training plan
Table 4.5: Companies according to sector in geographic SE pilot
Table 4.6: Companies according to sector in geographic HIE pilot
Table 4.7: Companies by size in manufacturing pilot
Table 4.8: Companies by size in tourism pilot
Table 4.9: Companies by size in geographic SE pilot
Table 4.10: Companies by size in geographic HIE pilot
Table 4.11: Company awareness of support mechanisms pre- BLA
Table 4.12: Contact with support mechanisms pre- BLA Table 4.13: Types of advice/support received from LEC and Business Gateway
Table 4.14: Companies' approach to training pre- BLAs
Table 4.15: Staff training over the 12 months prior to BLAs
Table 4.16: Types of training undertaken pre- BLA
Table 4.17: Company training budget pre- BLAs
Table 4.18: Company review of staff training needs
Table 4.19: Participation in training prior to BLA
Table 4.20: Learner perceptions of employer attitudes towards training
Table 4.21: Structures in place for training %
Table 4.22: Content of training plans - categories of training activities
Table 4.23: Staff grades included in the training plan
Table 4.24: Circumstances in which training took place %
Table 4.25: Level of the course
Table 4.26: Learning opportunities considered for the BLA training plan

Table 5.1: Future training aspirations
Table 5.2: Main benefit of the BLA process
Table 5.3: Main business need identified in training plan
Table 5.4: Business changes arising/expected from BLA training
Table 6.1: What would have happened in the absence of BLA Pilots
Table 6.2: What would have happened in the absence of BLA Pilots
Table 6.3: Full additionality and deadweight by initiative
Table 6.4: Companies' approach to training in future
Table 6.5: Nature of training post- BLAs
Table 6.6: Those involved in sourcing the training provision
Table 6.7: Value of BLA accounts
Table 6.8: Value of local delivery agent contracts
Table 6.9: Delivery cost per company (cost of delivery agent contracts)
Table 6.10: Total cost per company (cost of delivery agent contracts and BLA accounts)
Table 6.11: Average cost of BLA training / BLA contributions per company per pilot
Table 6.12: Average BLA contribution per pilot per company compared to average company turnover per pilot
Table 6.13: Average cost of BLA contribution per learner

List of Figures
Figure 1.1: BLA Process
Figure 3.1: BLA Process
Figure 4.1: Assessment of the training activity
Figure 5.1: What benefits did you gain from the programme

The views expressed in this report are those of the researcher and
do not necessarily represent those of the Department or Scottish Ministers.

This report is available on the Scottish Executive Social Research website only