Information about the sector
The FE & Skills sector is probably the widest educational field in the UK. If something somewhere is practised, then there is a high chance it is taught somewhere in FE. And the sector is importantly more than just the hundreds of FE colleges throughout our country: the latest estimate of the number of people undertaking education and training in the sector is over four million!
Work Based Learning [WBL]
Ensuring people are ready for work and have the latest skills is a permanent job. From apprenticeships to updating your IT skills, the scope is enormous. Many of those who work in the sector (over 20,000) undertake assessor and quality assurance roles to ensure the standards of the vocational qualifications being delivered. For more information about these roles see I want to be an assessor.
Adult and Community Learning [ACL]
The ACL sector is delivering a range of courses based in community and other venues up and down the country. From basic skills to community languages to computers for beginners to local history, it is very diverse in terms of both offer, venue and student group. Much of this work is delivered part time by more than 20,000 teachers.
Data suggests a high level of basic skills deficits amongst those in prison and hence there is a drive to remedy this amongst the prisoners. Additionally there are various vocational preparation courses of offer. Much of the work done in prisons is sub contracted to large FE colleges who then provide dedicated staff.
Often the most visible sign of the sector, the average college has thousands of students covering the spectrum of courses on offer. There are some 300+ colleges employing some 100,000 + teaching staff, many of whom work part time.