Press release

It’s official: Learning improves career prospects

New report finds that a third of men and nearly a third of women who participated in further education got a better job as a result.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Woman studying in a library

A third of men and nearly a third of women who participated in further education (FE) got a better job as a result, Skills Minister Matthew Hancock announced today.

This is the key finding from The Impact of FE Learning, a new report from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The research found that the primary motive for FE learning was to improve job prospects, or get a new job.

The report also demonstrated many other financial, personal and social benefits:

  • Eighteen per cent of men and 12 per cent of women got promoted
  • Earnings showed a 2.75 per cent increase following completion. This equates to an increase of £426 in annual salary for someone earning £15,485
  • Fifty-eight per cent of respondents who completed their course or training indicated that they were getting more satisfaction from their job
  • Eighty per cent indicated that they had gained self-confidence or self-esteem
  • Fifty-eight per cent of women and 47 per cent of men said completing their course helped them support their children with school work.

To help access these benefits, over half of those asked felt they would have an interest in a low-cost income contingent loan from their college.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said:

This report is strong evidence that at all ages learning isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s important for both personal and professional development.

Employers also benefit from more highly-skilled staff. Further education and training is essential for equipping people of all ages with the skills employers need to prosper and compete. I encourage employers and employees alike to note the findings, and make the most of the many development opportunities available.

Fiona Aldridge, Head of Learning for Work at NIACE, said:

We welcome this powerful evidence that FE learning has benefits related to learners’ work 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. This is why it is so important that we ensure that all adults have the opportunity to learn, especially those who have benefited least from their initial education.

Notes to editors:

  1. Case studies of people who have improved their career prospects as a result of further education are available on request
  2. To see the full report ‘The impact of further education learning’ please visit: ‘The impact of further education learning’
  3. The survey was conducted via phone interview. In total, 4,000 learners were interviewed who had completed a course in 2010/11.
  4. The Growth and Infrastructure Bill sets out a comprehensive series of reforms aimed at supporting businesses, developers, and first time buyers by slashing red tape that delays or discourages business investment, development or job creation.
  5. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:
    • To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
    • To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
    • To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
    • To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.
  6. Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.
Published 28 January 2013