The Department for the Economy has today published the following research report: Survey of Further Education College Leavers: Academic Year 2018/19.
This report presents findings from the sixth annual Northern Ireland Survey of Further Education (FE) College Leavers. Undertaken approximately six months after course completion, it provides a snapshot of the immediate added value to leavers of completing and achieving a regulated qualification at Level 3 or below in the FE sector during the academic year 2018/19.
- Over half (50.2%) of FE College leavers who qualified at Level 3 or below were in employment six months after achieving their 2018/19 qualification, up from 47.4% before their course began; the proportion in learning also rose from 37.0% to 39.1%.
- When asked to give the most important reason for doing their course, FE College leavers were most likely to say: ‘I thought it would improve my career prospects’ (23.2%); ‘I wanted to learn something new / gain new skills’ (15.8%); or ‘I was interested in the subject’ (15.2%).
- Two-thirds (65.4%) of leavers agreed that, were they to do their course again, they would be unlikely to study at a different FE College. Over half (51.3%) said they would be unlikely to study a different subject, while 55.0% would be unlikely to do a different kind of qualification.
- Employment rates for FE College leavers varied depending on subject area studied. The subject areas with the highest proportions of FE College leavers in full-time employment were Construction, Planning and the Built Environment (73.6%), Business, Administration and Law (62.8%) and Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (54.7%).
- The subject areas with the lowest proportions of FE College leavers in employment were History, Philosophy and Theology (9.7%), Social Sciences (13.6%) and Arts, Media and Publishing (16.3%); however, these subjects had some of the highest proportions of leavers in further full-time study.
- Typically, unemployment rates were lower for those qualifying at higher levels. One-eighth of those who had studied at Entry Level or Level 1 were unemployed (12.5%), in contrast to 3.9% of those who had studied at Level 2 and 2.9% of those at Level 3.
Notes to editors:
- The destinations of those qualifying at Level 4 or above are researched separately, through their participation in HESA’s Graduate Outcomes survey some 15 months after achieving their qualifications.
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