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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

More Ayrshire College Leavers Head to Positive Destinations

According to the latest figures published by the Scottish Funding Council, 95.9% of students graduating from Ayrshire College went on to a positive leaving destination in 2017/18, up from 94.7% in the previous year.

Of Ayrshire College leavers, 51.0% headed straight into work, higher than the national average of 49.3%. There was a 2.2% rise in college leavers entering employment in 2018 across Scotland.

Across Scotland, 95.4% of college graduates across Scotland now go on to a ‘positive destination’ such as further study at college or university, training or employment, up from 95% the previous year; and 39.8% of people leaving college progressed to university.

The findings also reveal people from the 10% most deprived areas were more likely to start work (around 48%) after leaving college, than those from the 10% least deprived areas (around 41%).

Further Education Minister Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“I welcome the fact that more of our college students are going into jobs, training or further study than ever before. I am particularly heartened at the high proportion of college leavers, especially those from the most deprived areas, going straight into employment.

“The results are clear evidence of the crucial contribution colleges make to inclusive economic growth by successfully equipping people with the skills and training they need for the workplace, no matter their background or circumstances.”

Kenneth Gibson MSP added:

“The SNP Government works to support and encourage young people to stay in education until they have the knowledge they require to start an apprenticeship or other forms or employment.

“This is why in Scotland our 16 to 19-year olds still have Education Maintenance Allowance in Scotland, whereas the Tories and Lib Dems scrapped it in England in 2011.

“This also demonstrates how important Kilwinning Campus is in helping young people across North Ayrshire realise their potential.

The college has been burdened since 1999/2000, when the Labour-Liberal Democrat Administration at Holyrood saddled then James Watt College with a £50 million PFI burden for a £7 million contract at Kilwinning Campus. Following the merger, the 25-year PFI contract transferred to Ayrshire College in August 2013 and Ayrshire College has had to pay £2.18 million per year to service this debt.

“Following a meeting I brokered between the College and Education Secretary John Swinney MSP, the SNP Government allocated £1.2 million of proceeds from the college disposing of its former Kilmarnock Campus, to be used towards PFI costs. I was also pleased to be able to successfully argue for an additional £700,000 from the Scottish Funding Council for the financial years 2019/20 and 2020/21.

“Ayrshire College and Kilwinning Campus in particular are of vital importance to young people across North Ayrshire and I am pleased to see these excellent results.”

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