From education to employment

Research indicates employers happy with skills of students leaving colleges

82% of employers in a national survey of Scotland’s FE trends declared that college graduates had the core skills making them “prepared for work”.

Furthermore, nearly four-fifths of employers taking part in the survey stated that these students were also “well prepared in terms of technical skills”.

The statistics are included in a 233-page document published by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), entitled “Student and Staff Performance Indicators for Further Education Colleges in Scotland 2004-05”.

Some key findings of FE provision included the fact that 23% of employers who had given off-the-job training had sourced this from an FE college; of this, an overwhelming 82% were either “fairly satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the training provided. In contrast, nearly half of all employers surveyed sourced out training to private providers (49%).

Scotland’s colleges also performed vital societal functions, as nearly one-third of all students came from the most deprived postcodes, accounting for 30% of all activity. Incidentally, these postcodes are where one quarter of the population live.

Addressing the lifelong learning sector, 35% of all activity was delivered to students aged 25 and over, helped by part-time and distance learning.

Roger McClure, Chief Executive of the SFC said: “These key staff and student performance indicators (PI) show how the sector is doing as well as identifying opportunities for improvement”.

The Scottish Funding Council is responsible for distributing £1.5 billion, investing in teaching, learning and research for Scotland’s many colleges and universities. Formed in late 2005, it is a single body that also advises ministers on education needs, works cooperatively with different sectors and also develops policy.

Mr McClure continued: “I am delighted that this latest set of PI’s shows that Scotlands colleges are continuing to deliver their mission and to provide such value for money so well, in social inclusion, in lifelong learning, and making such a difference to so many peoples lives”.

Vijay Pattni.

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