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Basic Skills

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which 10 skills courses are the most (a) over- and (b) under-subscribed. (274060)

Information on whether individual courses are over-subscribed or under-subscribed is not collected centrally. FE colleges and providers are independent institutions and are responsible for determining their own curriculum offer in order to respond to the demand locally from learners and employers. The curriculum offered by colleges will therefore change to respond to this demand rather than being a set offer that learners and employers apply for. Funding for these courses will also reflect demand and reward those colleges and providers that are most effective at meeting local demand. This will include moving funding from under performing colleges and providers in order to support those over performing.

FE colleges and providers are given indicative budgets based on the expected delivery of an overall volume of learning. However, the actual numbers and types of courses delivered by a college or provider will depend on demand. The Statistical First Release (SFR) “Post-16 Education: Learner Participation, Outcomes and Level of Highest Qualification Held” (March 2009) provides information on the number of LSC-funded learners.

Tables 1 and 2 show the 10 most/least popular Sector Subject Areas for learning aims in 2007/08, the subject area in which the course is based. It also shows the total number of learning aims undertaken in further education colleges.

Table 1: Learning aims in 2007/08 by Sector Subject Area (SSA)—10 most popular SSAs for courses undertaken in further education colleges

Sector Subject Area (tier 2)

Number of learning aims

Foundations for Learning and Life

2,000,700

ICT for Users

338,400

Health and Social Care

335,900

Preparation for Life and Work

315,700

Science

180,700

Crafts, Creative Arts and Design

179,400

Sport, Leisure and Recreation

153,700

Business Management

131,700

Information and Communication Technology

128,700

Languages, Literature and Culture of the British Isles

126,400

Table 2: Learning aims in 2007/08 by Sector Subject Area (SSA)—10 least popular SSAs for courses undertaken in further education colleges

Sector Subject Area (tier 2)

Number of learning aims

Social Sciences

5,600

Warehousing and Distribution

3,200

Marketing and Sales

2,400

Publishing and Information Services

2,400

Architecture

1,800

Archaeology and Archaeological Sciences

1,500

Medicine and Dentistry

600

Urban, Rural and Regional Planning

300

Anthropology

100

Linguistics

Notes:

1. A learner may be enrolled on more than one learning aim.

2. Includes LSC-funded learners only.

3. “—” indicates less than 50 aims.

Source:

FE and UfI Individualised Learner Records