College leavers suffering due to pandemic


New data from the Scottish Funding Council shows that fewer people leaving college in 2019-20 secured “positive destinations” such as work, training or further study, and an increase in the number of leavers reported to be unemployed.

The College Leaver survey, conducted in the second half of 2020 and published today, showed: 

  • 4% of Sector Leavers found positive destinations despite the pandemic, a decrease from last session’s 87.8%.
  • 5% of Sector Leavers who achieved SCQF 1-6 went on to positive destinations compared to 80.0% last session.
  • 3% of Sector Leavers who achieved SCQF 7+ went on to positive destinations compared to 92.6% last session.

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Willie Rennie commented:

“These figures show the real-life impact of the pandemic on many people. Employment opportunities were scuppered for many, but those who were just beginning their careers were among the most vulnerable.

“Everyone knows that 140,000 college places have been lost since the SNP came to power. Instead of squandering good opportunities, the Scottish Government should be making the most of what this sector can offer.

“There are sectors crying out for more people like education, the NHS and social care. Colleges should be empowered to drive recruitment to fill those gaps.”


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