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West Midlands

  • There are over 4,200 employers in the lifelong learning sector in the West Midlands, including:

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

- 12 higher education institutions, plus the Open University

- over 3,900 community learning and development providers, including adult and community learning, community development, community education, development education, family learning, working with parents and youth work

- approximately 50 libraries and archives services

- approximately 180 Learning and Skills Council funded work-based learning providers, plus other privately funded and voluntary organisations

  • 54% of lifelong learning employers in the region employ less than 10 staff, compared with 82% for the lifelong learning sector across England. Only 12% of employers across the sector in England have 10 to 49 employees.
  • The lifelong learning sector in the West Midlands accounts for a total output (at basic prices) of over £950 million.

Workforce statistics:

  • Over 84,000 people work in the lifelong learning sector in the West Midlands, which is around 10% of the lifelong learning workforce in England.
  • 51% of the workforce is aged between 45-64 years. This is most evident within the libraries workforce, where 67% of staff are aged 45 years and over.
  • 57% of the workforce is female.
  • 65% of the workforce is employed full-time.
  • 48% of the workforce is employed in professional roles such as teachers, lecturers, librarians and youth workers. 16% are in associate professional roles such as youth support workers, learning support staff, technical specialists and library assistants.

Qualification profile of workforce:

  • 67% of the workforce is qualified to the equivalent of NVQ level 4 or above, compared with 33% across all sectors.
  • In further education, 58% of teaching staff in colleges in the West Midlands are qualified to first degree level equivalent or above.
  • In higher education, 88% of academic staff in higher education in the West Midlands 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 West Midlands is a higher degree or equivalent.

Employment trends and future projections

  • Despite forecasts of falling workforce numbers for some occupational groups, overall demand in the lifelong learning sector in the West Midlands and expected to increase by approximately 4%.
  • It is estimated that approximately 64,000 people will need to be recruited into the lifelong learning sector in the West Midlands over the next ten years, to fill vacancies largely created by existing staff going into retirement.

Source: The lifelong learning workforce in the West Midlands Factsheet 2009