Press release: Courses for jobseekers are not leading them into employment
12 Jul 2012
Today Ofsted published its Skills for employment report, launched at its first annual Learning and Skills lecture held at City and Islington College, London. As well as the report, some of the issues being discussed today include the trials facing young people wanting to go into further education and the inherent challenges in further education in promoting social mobility and securing economic growth.
The Skills for employment report found that when matching unemployed adults to specific courses, progression to employment was not a high enough priority. Too many programmes focused on achievement of qualifications and courses did not extend to training that lead to job specific skills. When looking at the overall proportion of a total of 10,270 jobseekers spanning 31 different further education providers Ofsted found only 19 per cent were successful in getting a job. Many providers were not offering jobseekers challenging enough courses that were likely to increase their chances of sustained employment.
Matthew Coffey, the National Director of Learning and Skills said:
'Currently over 8 per cent of the population are unemployed and latest figures show over 1.41 million of those have been unemployed for more than six months. Ofsted’s Skills for employment report aims to assess the efficiency of the further education and skills sector in matching unemployed adults to courses to develop their skills and enable them to find suitable employment. We found too many courses simply lead on to more courses and do not address the urgency of getting unemployed adults into work.
'These issues along with others are being discussed at the first annual Learning and Skills Lecture. Further Education is becoming more and more important in promoting economic prosperity and enabling social mobility by supporting young people and unemployed adults to make the transition into work, improving literacy and numeracy and by providing top quality Apprenticeships.'
In August 2011, the government launched a set of new initiatives inviting further education providers to prioritise labour market focused training. The initiatives aimed to support more unemployed people to develop the skills they needed to progress into employment. The report found that some providers were initially slow to respond to the government’s initiatives and were unsure about how they would be held to account over the ways they used their allocated funding. The report also found that although labour market focused training increased employability in the long term, it did not address the urgency for jobseekers to move off benefits into work.
Positively, the most successful providers visited by Ofsted had good links with Jobcentre Plus (JCP) and local employers to increase referrals when matching unemployed adults to specific courses. Successful providers also had expert staff trained in working with unemployed people. These staff demonstrated good skills in referring people to specific courses and made excellent initial assessments and development plans geared towards the barriers unemployed people had preventing them from finding employment.
Notes to editors
- You can find a link to the full report on Ofsted’s website www.ofsted.gov.uk.
- The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children's social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council children’s services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.
- Media can contact the Ofsted Press Office through 020 7421 5911 or via Ofsted's enquiry line 0300 1231231 between 8.30am - 6.00pm Monday - Friday. Out of these hours, during evenings and weekends, the duty press officer can be reached on 07919 057359.