Essential Skills Statistical Bulletin published

Date published: 30 November 2017

The Department for the Economy has today published a statistical bulletin: Essential Skills enrolments and outcomes in Northern Ireland from 2002/03 up to 2016/17.

The statistical bulletin provides detail into the characteristics of those enrolling and qualifying, as well as performance statistics for the Essential Skills programme since the start of the strategy in 2002/03 up to 2016/17.

Key points include:

  • Since the commencement of the Strategy, there have been over half a million (501,853) Essential Skills enrolments.
  • Between 2002/03 and 2010/11, enrolments in Essential Skills increased year on year. However, since 2011/12, enrolments have started to decrease. Over the past academic year, enrolments have decreased by 0.7% from 36,045 in 2015/16 to 35,779 in 2016/17, but still remain higher than totals in 2008/09 and earlier academic years.
  • Over the course of the strategy, 39.8% of Essential Skills enrolments have been in Literacy, 39.4% in Numeracy and 20.8% in ICT
  • Between 2015/16 and 2016/17, the number of qualifications gained decreased by 27.2%, from 30,259 to 22,026 respectively, possibly related to a recent refresh of Essential Skills standards.
  • Almost two thirds (65.5%) of Essential Skills enrolments gain a qualification. For Numeracy enrolments, the equivalent success rate is 68.1%, while it is 67.3% for Literacy and 57.0% for ICT enrolments

This full statistical bulletin and other information is available to download on the DfE website.

Notes to editors: 

  1. For media enquiries, please contact the Department for the Economy Press Office on 028 9052 9604 or Outside office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623974383 and your call will be returned.
  2. Follow us on Twitter @Economy_NI

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