Colleges working harder than ever to help unemployed, say AoC

Colleges provide training for more than 1000 unemployed people each year, according to a report by the Association of Colleges (AoC).

The research, conducted by the AoC in November 2011, found that 95 per cent of colleges offer provision for unemployed people.

A further 64 per cent responded saying they had improved their provision to help meet the needs of job seekers.

Martin Doel, chief executive of the AoC, said: “Colleges are integral to the local communities they serve and are well-placed to provide responsive programmes to help people into employment.

“Our members are showing real flexibility and initiative in this area and their links with employers and JCP mean that those candidates they put forward for jobs are ready for work.

“Not only are they providing people with the skills they need, but they are helping increase their confidence with personal advice and tailored support.”

Twelve per cent of survey respondents said they were helping more than 2,000 unemployed people each year, adding to a total of 220,000 gaining work-related education and skills at colleges across England.

The research, published today in ‘Back to Work: Colleges Supporting Sustainable Jobs’, follows record figures of youth unemployment published last week.

“With 2.6 million people out of work, including over a million young people, colleges are working harder than ever to give people the skills they need to find a job,” Mr Doel added.

More than half of FE colleges said poor job prospects were the biggest challenge when working with young people.

The AoC added that nearly half of all FE colleges thought the funding rules imposed by government were hindering the offer they could make to unemployed people.