Amanda Spielman warned that youngsters are signing up to fun-sounding courses at further education institutions in the belief this will lead to a glittering career. In reality top jobs are ‘unlikely to be available to the vast majority’. The Daily Mail reports.
She added: ‘Arts and media does stand out as the area where there is greatest mismatch between the numbers of students taking the courses and their future employment in the industry.
‘There is a point up to which courses that engage learners have value but ultimately there have to be viable prospects at the end. Yet even with the poor prospects, course adverts often listed potential jobs in the arts which are, in reality, unlikely to be available to the vast majority of learners but underplay the value of other skills these courses develop.”
‘These colleges risk giving false hope to students. It raises the question: are they putting the financial imperative of headcount in the classroom ahead of the best interests of the young people taking up their courses? If so, this isn’t acceptable.’
Further education colleges offer ‘level 2’ qualifications often to teenagers unsuited to A-levels. Many are in vocational subjects where there are plenty of jobs, such as hairdressing or plumbing.
However increasing numbers of students are taking up media, performing arts, music and design courses.
This coincided with a report from Ofsted that outlined concerns about the number of courses on offer that do not lead to good local jobs. The watchdog found that many colleges collected little data about the destinations of their students. Where data was available it was found that arts and media courses scored low in terms of employment prospects.
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