Employers have given an overwhelming vote of confidence to colleges in their response to a survey of their opinions of skills training.
The research, commissioned by the Learning and Skills Council, showed that 95 per cent of businesses are satisfied with the quality of training in further education colleges.
It also showed 14 per cent of employers, including more than half of larger firms, had used FE colleges to train its people in the past year, while 34 per cent have a specific training budget.
Two fifths of employers who undertook training via an FE college did so as a result of tailored advice from the college.
Of those companies which looked for training away from the workplace, most chose FE colleges in preference to private training organisations.
John Brennan, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said: "This survey shows conclusively that colleges really do mean business. These results put paid the myth that colleges are not responsive to employers'