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Home > News > July 2004 > 01-Jul-2004

Increase in numbers gaining qualifications

Success rates have risen for LSC-funded learners of all types, according to figures released today by National Statistics.

Combined with the rise in total numbers of learners, the sector has seen an increase of more than three-quarters of a million successfully completed courses in further education. The data covers the period 2000-2003 and shows an overall rise in success rates of 2.8 percentage points in further education, including:

  • a 3 percentage point rise among general FE colleges and external institutions
  • a 2 percentage point rise among sixth form colleges
  • a rise of 4 percentage points in success rates for adults studying for NVQ level 2 qualifications, and a 3 percentage point rise for adults studying NVQ level 3: both of these areas are identified as major priorities in the Government’s Skills Strategy.
  • a 5 per cent rise in successes in work-based learning, including:
  • within advanced apprenticeships, a 6 percentage point rise in full completion of the programme and an 8 percentage point rise in those either completing the framework or the NVQ required by the framework
  • an 11 percentage point rise in NVQ level 2 success rates for adult learners

In real terms, this translates to 7,500 more learners succeeding in work based learning.

There are also significant improvements in success rates for ethnic minorities studying in further education. Black African learners have seen a rise from 50% to 61% in success rates and amongst Bangladeshi learners, the rise is from 52% to 65%

Disabled learners in further education have also seen rises; the overall success rate has gone from 60% to 67%.

Mark Haysom, Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Council, said, "This is an excellent result, and I congratulate all concerned. We have set ambitious targets, both for ourselves and for the sector as a whole. We are working with partners to build a new and different future, with a more robust and agile sector which thrives on relationships based on trust.

"In pursuit of this, the recent changes at the LSC have created a leaner, fitter organisation capable of responding quickly and using its expertise where it will do the most good; while the work we’re doing at a national level to drive down bureaucracy is freeing up resources in the local communities we serve. All the pieces are falling into place to really make a difference. Now we have to retain, and increase, this momentum."

Alan Johnson, Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, said, "This is good news and shows movement in the right direction. We welcome the continuing increases in Further Education learner success and completion of apprenticeships and NVQs in work based learning. The increases in success rates for all ethnic minority groups are particularly pleasing. Improving outcomes for learners and qualifications in the workforce will continue to be a top priority for us and we look to providers to develop a strong culture of continuous improvement to make this a reality."

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