Charities targeted in £2.4m leadership skills drive

The Learning and Skills Council is to encourage charities to use its Train to Gain service.

About 570,000 people have used Train to Gain since it was established in 2006 to help organisations develop their staff. But so far the service has been aimed mainly at businesses.

Last month, the LSC, a non-departmental public body, launched a £2.4m campaign explaining it had made it easier for small businesses to apply to the £350m scheme.

Chris Banks, chair of the LSC, told delegates at chief executives body Acevo's annual conference on Friday that the "additional flexibilities" aimed at small businesses were likely to be extended to the voluntary sector.

"Ministers fully recognise the strong case for including third sector organisations and their employees, and we expect them to make an announcement about this in the near future," said Banks.

The LSC has awarded £100,000 to Acevo to conduct research on third sector leadership skills gaps and the uptake of Train to Gain among charities. It is believed that many charities are unaware of it.

Acevo has established a task force consisting of the LSC, government and voluntary sector representatives to oversee the research. It is led by Mary Chapman, former chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, and will report in the spring.

The task force will examine the current skills sets and gaps of third sector chief executives and trustees. It will also publish recommendations on how Train to Gain can fill these gaps.

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