March 25 2010 - Almost five million people participated in a Learning and Skills Council
funded Further Education course in 2008/09 according to figures released by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
(BIS). They also show that over 3.3 million people achieved a Further Education qualification in 2008/09.
Other key points:
- A record 239,900 Apprenticeship starts, and 143,400 Apprenticeship achievements in 2008/09
- More than a million people achieved a qualification through Train to Gain with 1.6 million
qualifications since the scheme was launched in April 2006
Kevin Brennan, Minister for Further Education, Skills and Apprenticeships Minister said:
"I am immensely proud of all the people who have taken part and achieved a qualification in the last
year. It is important their achievements and contribution to the businesses they work for and the economy as a whole
"These figures are evidence that we are backing young Britain during the recession and the recovery,
and that training is more diverse now than ever. But we will not be complacent. We will continue to ensure that plenty
of opportunities are available to help people carve out a career and deliver the jobs of the future."
Today's figures also include provisional and incomplete statistics covering the first six months of the 2009/10 academic year.
Therefore a comparison with last year cannot be drawn as yet. However, they do
show 146,100 Apprenticeship starts and 63,900 Apprenticeship achievements in 2009/10.
There have been 2.25 million Apprenticeship starts since 1996/7.
Provisional data also indicates 250,600 Train to Gain starts, and 218,000 Train to Gain achievements
in the first six months of the 2009/10 academic year.
From April 1 2010 the responsibilities of the Learning and Skills Council will pass to the Skills
Funding Agency, a change justified by the government in order to 'ensure skills funding can respond flexibly to the
changing needs and demands of employers and students.'
According to Geoff Russell, LSC Chief Executive:
"These figures show how the further education sector continues to make a huge difference to the
lives of millions of young people and adults as well as contributing to the success of many thousands of businesses.
"With the Skills Funding Agency coming into existence on 1st April, we will continue to work with
colleges and training organisations to build on what has already been achieved. The sector is now well placed to help
build a stronger economy and a more confident and equitable society."