New research from the Department for Education suggests that learners that achieve level 4 or 5 qualifications by the age of 23 had higher median wages by the time they were 26 and were more likely to be in sustained employment than students who achieved just a level 3 qualification or equivalent.
There is also a growing demand from employers for qualifications at level 4 and 5 in key sectors like ICT, engineering, management, education, business and more. An increased number of people getting these qualifications could play an important role in the UK economy, helping to plug the skills gap and boost productivity.
Learners at level 4 and 5 often study part-time and come from diverse backgrounds – highlighting how studying at this level could boost learning and job opportunities for hundreds of thousands more people across the country.
However, only about 7% of people in England aged between 18 and 65 are undertaking training at this level. This represents a huge opportunity for learners from all over the UK to gain qualifications in high demand areas, improving their employability, gaining important skills for the workplace and helping them stand out from the competition.
Putting employees on a course of learning at level 4 and 5 is also a great way for employers to upskill their workforce and add attractive benefits to both the company and the staff. Companies that train their staff at these levels tend to have improved productivity, better adherence to quality standards, a workforce that can do a greater variety of work and an ability to respond effectively to change.
The benefits to learners are also not just professional. According to a study conducted by the Department for Education, “learners report a range of benefits from taking [these] qualifications, including increased self-confidence, improved knowledge and a positive impact on work practice.”
At the moment, most people taking these qualifications are under 25. However, in the coming years, that may be set to change as employers become more familiar with the benefits and flexibility of level 4 and 5 qualifications, including how they provide individuals with skills at a lower cost than university education.
In today’s economy, it is vital that workers be flexible and able to retrain as easily as possible. Having a diverse set of skills will allow you to retrain to meet your company’s challenges as they continue to adapt to a changing global economy