People with further education qualifications generate an additional £75bn for the economy over their lifetimes, with Apprenticeships generating around £40 for each pound of Government investment, says a new research report by the BIS

The report, which examined the economic value generated by Government funded post-19 qualifications. This included Apprenticeships, National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) undertaken in college and workplace settings, and Basic Skills Qualifications.

The key findings from the report showed that further education students started qualifiying in 2008/09 would generate an additional £75bn for the economy over their working lives, over and above what they would have contributed if they had not achieved these qualifications.

The benefits include increased wages and improved employment prospects for individuals, as well as benefits to employers stemming from increased productivity.

An apprenticeship is found to add the most value on average, compared to other learning streams. The return on Government investment for apprenticeships works out at around £40 for each £1 of Government funding, when taken as an individual’s first qualification at that level.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“Further Education is a fundamental part of this Government’s growth strategy. We have committed to funding at least 250,000 more adult apprentices over the next 4 years than the previous Government planned for, because we recognise that they offer real opportunities to young people and equip businesses with the trained workforce they need.

“We have also freed the sector from a number of unnecessary bureaucratic burdens so it can better respond to the needs of learners and businesses.

“This research adds further weight to our conviction that further education has a vital role to play in ensuring we have the skills that will build a stronger and more balanced economy.”