Headlines: August 19th, 2009

Further education courses play a significant role in helping people find a job. They also bring a range of benefits including an increase in knowledge, skills and confidence.

A report from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills giving findings of a survey of people who were not in work when they started their courses, found that more than 60 per cent believed that the course helped them get a job. In the two years after the courses were completed, over 40 per cent had secured a job. This figure is up from 34 per cent in the previous year.

Among those seeking employment, 64 per cent believed their college course improved their chances of finding work. College courses were also seen by many to boost promotion prospects and job security.

In addition, the report showed a substantial decrease in people claiming Job Seekers Allowance from 28 per cent at the beginning of their course, to just 8 per cent a year after completion.

A wide range of lasting benefits were felt by 93 per cent of college learners as a result of their course. Under 25s were most likely to report an increase in knowledge and skills, learners with a long-term disability were more likely to report increased confidence, and a significant proportion of older learners said that they had improved their IT skills.

Going to college has also influenced many learners’ decision to continue education, with 73 per cent likely to undertake further learning or training within the next two years. 26 per cent have already gained a further qualification since they completed their course in 2005/6. One learner said: “The main benefit was the GCSEs I gained – without them I wouldn’t have got on to my university course, so it’s had a huge impact; a lasting impact.”