Unskilled adults from disadvantaged areas are less likely to undertake training compared to those with already high skilled or high paid jobs, according to a report conducted by the Government’s Social Mobility Commission. 

According to the report the poorest adults with the lowest qualifications are the least likely to access adult training – despite being the group who would potentially benefit the greatest.

Darren Hankey, Principal of Hartlepool College of Further Education, who have a number of courses aimed at adults who need basic English and maths, said:

“The Matthew Effect is linked to the idea that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  

“The recent Social Mobility Report into the UK’s Adult Skills Gap clearly underlines this phenomenon as it highlighted those with less qualifications are much less likely to receive training and development in the workplace compared to those with higher levels skills and qualifications.

“The implications of the report’s findings are quite stark - the gap between those with low levels skills and qualifications and those more better off is likely to widen.  

“As someone who was raised on an inner-city council estate and in receipt of free school meals all the way through compulsory education; this is something which annoys me and fires me up to try to address the imbalance.”

Buoyed by the #OneTownCan campaign initiated by the Hartlepool Fabians; Hartlepool College of Further Education is aiming to reach out to those adults who live in the town who might not have inadequate English and maths qualifications.  

Darren continued: “The College, in partnership with many of the town’s schools, aims to highlight to parents the importance of good English and maths qualifications and then provide free education opportunities for those who need to raise their knowledge, skills in these the most important areas.

“Furthermore, Hartlepool College of FE offers an array of adult education courses for those who wish to re-skill, up-skill or gain new qualifications. 

“Many of these are free or have are no upfront costs - and the College has a long and well-established track record of transforming adult learners’ lives.”

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, Tees Valley Combined Authority Member for Education, Employment and Skills and Hartlepool Borough Council Leader said:

 “From this year, the Combined Authority will be responsible for post-19 education across the Tees Valley through a £29.5million devolved annual fund, as confirmed last week.

“We are aware of the issues in our region, but also the fantastic opportunities on offer. That’s why we need to take decisions locally on where best to spend our money to change the fortunes of our residents.

“By working with businesses and partners, we can help target the skills and training programmes that will help local people fill the jobs we are creating and give employers the experienced workers they need. 

“We have also set aside £55million in our Tees Valley Investment Plan for a number of projects to support our wider education, employment and skills strategy. 

“This includes providing a flexible, joined-up package of support for those faced with economic or social barriers to help them access training or jobs. 

“Initiatives to target young people in education will also help tackle these issues from an early age.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Newsroom Activity

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page