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North East

  • There are over 2,100 employers in the lifelong learning sector in the North East. Key employers include:

- 22 further education colleges, including general further education colleges, specialist colleges and 6th form colleges.

- 5 higher education institutions, plus the Open University.

- over 1,900 community learning and development providers including community learning, community development, community education, development education, family learning, working with parents and youth work

- approximately 30 libraries and archives services

- approximately 140 Learning and Skills Council funded work-based learning providers, plus privately funded and voluntary organisations

  • 73% of lifelong learning employers in the region employ less than 10 staff, compared with 82% for the lifelong learning sector across England.
  • The lifelong learning sector in the North East accounts for a total output (at basic prices) of approximately £500 million.

Workforce statistics:

  • Over 47,000 people work in the lifelong learning sector in the North East, which is around 6% of the lifelong learning workforce in England.
  • 54% of the workforce is aged between 45-64 years. This is most evident within the libraries workforce where 50% of staff are aged 45 years and over.
  • 64% of the workforce is female.
  • 63% of the workforce is employed full-time.
  • 42% of the workforce is employed in professional occupations, such as teachers, lecturers, librarians and youth workers. 13% are in associate professional occupations, such as youth support workers, learning support staff, technical specialists and library assistants.

Qualification profile of workforce:

  • 62% of the workforce is qualified to the equivalent of NVQ level 4 or above, compared with 33% across all sectors in England.
  • In further education, 63% of teaching staff in colleges in the North East are qualified to first degree level equivalent or above.
  • In higher education, 86% of academic staff in higher education in the North East are qualified to first degree level equivalent or above.
  • In the archives workforce, the most common qualification held by archivists and records managers in the North East is a higher degree or equivalent.

Employment trends and future projections

  • Despite forecasts of falling workforce numbers in some occupational groups, overall demand in the lifelong learning sector in the North East is expected to increase by approximately 1%.
  • It is estimated that approximately 60,000 people will need to be recruited into the lifelong learning sector in the North East over the next ten years to fill vacancies largely created by existing staff going into retirement.

Source: The lifelong learning workforce in the North East Factsheet 2009