Further education shown 'to increase job prospects'

A report has shown that a third of men and nearly a third of women who participate in further education (FE) get a better job as a result.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock announced the findings, which are included in The Impact of FE Learning report from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The report demonstrated many personal, financial and social benefits of FE learning. It also found that the primary motivation behind this higher level of learning is to improve job prospects or to get a new job.

The report suggested that 18% of men and 12% of women received a promotion after undertaking FE learning.

Figures regarding people's earnings showed a 2.75% increase following completion, which equates to a 426 increase in annual salary for someone earning just over 15,000.

Overall, 58% of respondents who had completed their FE course or training indicated that they were getting more satisfaction from their current employment, while another 58% also said that completing their course helped them to support their children with their school work.

Over half of those surveyed felt they would be interested in a low-cost income contingent loan from their college to help access learning benefits.

Mr Hancock said: "This report is strong evidence that at all ages learning is important for both personal and professional development, and isn't just a nice-to-have.

"Employers can also benefit from more highly-skilled staff, giving them the skills for their company to prosper and compete. I encourage employers and employees alike to note the findings, and make the most of the many development opportunities available."

The head of learning for work at NIACE, Fiona Aldridge, added: "This powerful evidence shows the benefits that FE learning has, related to learners' career and their wider life.

"Time and time again we hear about the transformational effect that learning can have from our Adult Learners' Week Awards nominees."

Copyright Press Association 2013