By Daniel Hunter

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 (Monday).

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.

“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," Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said.

“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.”

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