From education to employment


EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01 Monday 10 November 2008 8 MILLION WILL IMPROVE JOB PROSPECTS THROUGH TRAINING THIS YEAR  Millions of adults want to learn new skills or brush up on existing ones, many  with the aim of improving their job prospects in the current economic climate, new research commissioned as part of the first ever Colleges Week revealed today.  More than 8 million adults in England are preparing to ‘skill up’ over the next year. One in five adults (21 per cent) have pledged to gain further qualifications over the next 12 months with a third of these (31 per cent) wishing to upgrade their skills during the economic downturn.   The new research commissioned by the Association of Colleges has found that 8.4 million people switched career in the last three years with 3.2 million planning to do so over the next year.  Colleges Week will highlight the key role colleges can play to help these people access the education and training they need to get through tougher economic times. With Government investment in adult skills and training set to rise to £5.3 billion by 2010/11 to support them.   David Collins, President of the Association of Colleges, said: “Understandably the current economic situation will trigger people to reassess their situation and to come to bold decisions about their future. Quite rightly people will be looking at the qualifications they have got and those they need to get to fulfil their future aspirations. As we celebrate Colleges Week, we would encourage anyone interested in updating their skills to contact their local college to find out how they can unlock their talent and transform their life.”  Skills Secretary John Denham said:  “Research like this shows that many people are looking at ways to change their lives.  In these challenging times, we have made radical changes to and unprecedented investment in the training and skills system to allow more people than ever before to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations.  “Colleges play a vital role in this. They not only train people so they can get a job or get on at work, they give people the opportunity to enjoy a much loved pastime and improve people’s basic skills, such as literacy, so they can lead a fuller life.  “Colleges week is a great way for institutions up and down the country to showcase this work and celebrate their success.”  The research also shows that money also comes into the equation as 38 per cent intent on returning to learning want to increase their earning power. But it is not just about the money – one in 10 of those planning further qualifications (13 per cent) said they felt like they were on the wrong life path and wished they had made different decisions about their education and career. Not staying in education for longer is a common regret. A quarter of the people making education, skills or career changes are doing so to gain skills they did not learn when they were younger with a 18 per cent admitting they wish they had continued their education.  Partners are the driving force behind many of the changes with 21 per cent saying they were inspired to take action by their other half.  Colleges Week, led by the Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills (DIUS) and the Association of Colleges (AoC), is a national celebration of the role colleges play in unlocking talent in communities and transforming lives of learners.  Throughout the week colleges across the country will be running skills challenges from building an electric car to renovating a homeless hostel to an auction of promises to showcase the result of the learning experience. Over 300 colleges across England are involved in helping people gain qualifications while they are at work through the Government’s Train to Gain service. Today a high-profile Government advertising campaign kicks off to promote the benefits of training to small businesses to help them survive the credit crunch – by giving every employee the skills to succeed.   For more information please visit www.collegesweek.orgEnds To arrange briefings, interviews, case studies, online videos, background information or for more detail on plans for Colleges Week, please contact:Sarah Davidson (020 7419 7346) or Zoe Penn (020 7419 6960) or [email protected].  Notes to editorsThe research was carried out online by YouGov between 29th and 31 October 2008 and is based on a sample of 2,086 GB 18+ adults including a subset of 1764 adults in England. Results have been weighted and are representative of the GB adult population.  * There are 40,097,200 adults in England (ONS) Ø       Of who 21 per cent changed career in the last 3 years. Therefore 40,097,200 divide 100 times 21 = 8,420,412. Ø       Of who 21 per cent are planning to ‘skill up’ over the next year. Therefore 40,097,200 divide 100 times 21 = 8,420,412. Ø       Of who 8 per cent are planning to change career in the next year. Therefore 40,097,200 divide 100 times 8 = 3,207,776.  About Colleges Week 

  • Colleges Week is a celebration of the role colleges play across the country in unlocking talent in communities and transforming the lives of learners. The first ever Colleges Week will run from 10-16 November and focus on five themes demonstrating the impact colleges have on developing skills, delivering excellence, building strong communities, helping businesses to succeed and transforming lives.

  About Association of Colleges 

  • The Association of Colleges was created in 1996 as the single voice to promote the interests of further education colleges in England and Wales. The Association provides a broad range of services to its subscribers. It represents their interests locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The management, split into various directorates, provides a pool of expertise on which the sector draws. AoC exists as the essential, influencing voice of colleges in order to:

          Develop and promote an environment in which colleges can flourish          Ensure that colleges are recognised as major contributors to the economic and social prosperity of the nation          Champion and promote colleges as key to the development of people, skills and knowledge for the nation. Building Colleges for the Future: The £2.3 billion investment was announced at the end of 2007 in the grant letter to the LSC from DIUS and DCSF. The money will be spent via the LSC as follows: ·         2008-09, £694 million·         2009-10, £820 million·         2010 -11, £850 million

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