Research and analysis

Estimating the labour market returns from qualifications gained in English further education using the Individualised Learner Record (ILR)

Further analysis of matched administrative data to estimate economic benefits from achieving further education qualifications.



This research builds on previous work using matched administrative data, Individualised Learner Record (ILR) and Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS), to estimate the benefit to employment prospects and earnings from achieving qualifications in further education. The method compares those who achieve a qualification with those who start but do not achieve.

The new research was commissioned to address some specific methodological issues identified in the earlier research, in particular to investigate whether lower returns in the first years after completion of Level 3 courses were due to learners progressing to higher education and also the effect of controlling for differing levels of educational attainment prior to learning, as well as to develop a more inclusive approach to the processing of the data.

For earlier research on this subject see:

Published 29 April 2013