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Providing evidence to shape and inform debates on apprenticeships and VET - the evidence

Underpinning research

A large number of studies have been undertaken that effectively monitor and assess VET system changes. These include the following:

The Net Costs and Benefits of Training to Employers series of studies

Since 1996, a series of studies have been undertaken that have estimated the net costs of training to the employer of investing in Apprenticeships and other forms of workplace based training. The fifth study in the series was conducted in 2011. There are a number of spin-off studies that look at the net costs to employers in areas such as health, accountancy, and transport. Click here for further details.

Empirical studies evaluating particular aspects of the VET system

Studies been conducted that have looked at particular aspects of the VET system. These include studies that look at employer rationales for investing in VET and the role of public funding and the how completion rates can be improved:

  1. Gambin, L. and Hogarth, T. (2015) ‘Factors Affecting Apprenticeship Completion Rates in England,’ Journal of Education and Work, DOI:
    10.1080/13639080.2014.997679.
  2. Hogarth T. and Gambin L. (2014) 'Employer investment in Apprenticeships in England: an exploration of the sensitivity of employers in the construction sector to the net costs of training,' Construction Management And Economics, 32(9): 845-856.
  3. Hogarth T, Adams L, Gambin L, Garnett E, Winterbotham M (2014) 'Employer Routed Funding: Employer Responses to Funding Reform', BIS Research Paper number 161, i - 73, London: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
  4. McCaig C, Hogarth T, Gambin L, Clague L (2014) 'Research into the need for and capacity to deliver STEM related Apprenticeship Provision in England', BIS Research Paper number 171. London: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
  5. Winterbotham, M., Vivian, D., Huckle, C., James, A.S., Hogarth, T., Gambin, L., Hasluck, C. (2012) 'Evaluation of Apprenticeships: Employers', BIS Research Paper Number 77. London: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
  6. Vivian, D., Winterbotham, M., Godwin, L., Morris, S., Hogarth, T. and Gambin, L. (2012) 'Evaluation of Apprenticeships: Learners ', BIS Research Paper Number 76. London: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Methodological studies

A series of studies have been undertaken that address the measurement of investments in VET by employers and learners and rates of return are analysed. Studies include:

  1. Gambin, L., R. Beaven, T. Hogarth, M. May-Gillings and K. Long (2014). ‘Methodological issues in estimating the economic value added by Higher Education, Further Education and Skills’, BIS Research Paper number 166, London: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
  2. Beaven, R., May- Gillings, M., Long, K., Hogarth, T. and L. Gambin (2013). 'Measuring Additionality in Apprenticeships', 1 - 89, BIS Research Paper Number 138. London: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
  3. Gambin, L., C. Hasluck, and T. Hogarth (2010) ‘Recouping the costs of apprenticeship training: employer case study evidence from England’, Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training , 2(2): 127-146.
  4. Gambin L., Hasluck C., Hogarth T., Ryan P. and Elias P (2011) 'Options for the Long-term evaluation of Apprenticeships,' BIS Research Paper Number 56, London: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

International comparative studies

International comparative studies have also been undertaken to assess different approaches to investing in skills and, increasingly, comparative European studies that have addressed the measurement of VET and the provision of EU-wide labour market information. Studies include:

  1. Developing the new European Skills Panorama (Cedefop, 2014 – 2018)
  2. Statistics and Indicators to Monitor VET and Lifelong Learning in European Countries (with SEOR, Erasmus University) (Cedefop, Nov 2011- 2015)
  3. Gelderblom, A., Hogarth, T., Collewet, M. and Gambin, L. (2013) 'On the way to 2020: data for vocational education and training policies - Country statistical overviews', Cedefop Research Paper 31. Luxembourg: Commission of the European Communities Publication Office
  4. Gelderblom, A., Hogarth, T., Collewet, M. and Gambin, L.;(2013) 'On the way to 2020: data for vocational education and training policies - Indicator overviews' ,Cedefop Research Paper 33. Luxembourg: Commission of the European Communities Publication Office
  5. Bosworth, D., L. Gambin, H. Giernalczyk, T. Hogarth and K. Vogler Ludwig (2011) ‘Wider Benefits of VET at the Sectoral Level: Sectoral Perspectives’ Luxembourg: Commission of the European Communities Publication Office

References to research

The research is widely cited by academics (as evidenced through ResearchGate, for instance) but perhaps more importantly the research of Dr Lynn Gambin and Terence Hogarth is frequently cited in Government publications in the UK relating to the relative effectiveness of the VET system.

Details of impact

The research:

  • Has provided the framework for evaluating the impact of apprenticeships and initial vocational and training more widely;
  • Was used in the National Audit Office’s review of apprenticeship training;
  • Has provided an assessment of the returns to employers from investing in apprenticeships, influencing debate about the funding of VET;
  • Has developed a means of identifying the costs and benefits of training, used to persuade employers to participate in apprenticeships.

In addition, Dr Lynn Gambin was appointed as Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Education Committee on their inquiry into Apprenticeships and traineeships for 16 to 19-year-olds.