The number of adult learners achieving a government-funded further education qualification has dropped by 6.8 per cent in a single year – from 1,694,500 in 2015-16 to 1,578,900 in 2016-17, new figures from the Department for Education reveal.
The number of adults on government-funded FE courses has also dropped – for the fifth year in a row.
According to the data, some 2,236,800 adult learners studied on an FE course that was funded by the government last year – a decrease of 3.8 per cent compared with 2015-16, when 2,324,700 learners took a government-funded FE course.
Fewer apprenticeship starts
The number of adult learners on full level 2 courses also fell. Comparing 2015-16 and 2016-17, 35.3 per cent fewer adult learners participated in a full level 2 course, and the number has been falling since 2012.
Meanwhile, the number of people embarking on apprenticeship programmes has also fallen. There were 494,900 apprenticeship starts in 2016-17 – some 2.8 per cent fewer than in 2015-16, when 509,400 students embarked on an apprenticeship.
However, more people took part in government-funded apprenticeship programmes this year – 908,700, compared with 899,400 in 2015-16.