Our Story - Now and Then
Fair Train was created in 2009 by a group of people from the Voluntary and Community Sector to address the lack of availability and uptake of apprenticeships in the sector. The members of the group passionately believed that apprenticeships were of critical important to the sector's workforce development. Their initiative to promote apprenticeships developed momentum and it was not long before Fair Train became the Group Training Association (GTA) for the Voluntary and Community Sector.
In August 2012, Fair Train was awarded funds by UKCES to develop a bid to the Growth and Innovation Fund which supported employer-led projects that would raise skills in the sector. The £1m bid was successful and went on to form the Employer Pathways project, with funding which ran until the end of February 2016. During that period, Fair Train was quickly recognised as the leading organisation dedicated to supporting work experience on a national level, through the Work Experience Quality Standard accreditation, which was developed as part of that Employer Pathways project.
With accredited organisations being regularly audited to maintain its reputation, this highly respected accreditation, now achieved by more than 450 organisations, was developed by Fair Train, in association with a large number of employers and learning providers and a range of leading, national organisations including:
Fair Train’s focus has always been to support the Voluntary and Community Sector but, as the popularity of the Work Experience Quality Standard grew, it became clear that all organisations of all sizes in all sectors would benefit from gaining accreditation.
By the scheduled end of the project in February 2016, the Employer Pathways project had resulted in:
3,292 employers investing in skills (470% of the overall target)
369 employers accredited with the Work Experience Quality Standard
(117 additional since August the previous year)
16,708 work placements achieved (a staggering 16-fold increase on the original project target)
249 graduate placements achieved (more than double that of the previous year)
15,231 apprenticeship starts achieved (over 20 times more than the original project target)
13,452 learners spend 188,774 days on work experience
In 2015, Fair Train became one of the exclusive members of GTA, and our impact has gone from strength to strength.
In just the one year ended July 2017, we saw:
10,213 organisations engaging (over three times the total project target)
2,421 learners undertake an Apprenticeship
203 learners undertake an Internship
109 learners to undertake a Traineenship