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West Yorkshire Colleges Contribute £1.8bn To The Local Economy

Published 26 September 2013

Further Education Colleges in West Yorkshire, part of Leeds City Region Skills Network, have commissioned research to measure their economic impact. The study undertaken by economic research specialists, EMSI calculated that together the Colleges contribute £1.8 billion to the local economy.

This is the country’s first ever group study which utilised data from all further education colleges in West Yorkshire. The results powerfully demonstrate the impact the FE sector has on a region.

Whilst Colleges have often been recognised for the positive outcomes they achieve for individual students, and for work in specific communities, this research proves that they also make a significant contribution to the local economy.

Further Education Colleges in West Yorkshire Make a Massive Impact on the Local Economy

The research shows students from West Yorkshire Colleges can expect higher earnings and reduced chances of unemployment after they complete a course. For every £1 that it costs to be educated at a West Yorkshire College, students receive a £2.80 return in increased earnings, which translates into a 10.3% annual return on their investment.

This is combined with the fact that most FE students stay in their local area to work, which supports the growth of local businesses, leading to a higher regional income and a contribution by West Yorkshire students of £1.6 billion each year.

Chris Jones, Chair of LCR Skills Network & West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges and Principal of Calderdale College commented:
“We are pleased to have been able to quantify the impact FE Colleges have had on the local economy. The West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges is focused on working with partners in the Leeds City Region to grow the contribution Colleges make by continuing to address the skills needs of employers.”

Anthony Horne, Business Development Manager for Northern Region from EMSI added: “WYCC are the first group of colleges in the UK to have a collaborative regional economic impact study. The staggering results demonstrate their contribution to the economy and are testament to the strong partnership between the consortium of colleges.”

For more information and to access the research reports, click here

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