There are 266 FE colleges in England, which have a combined budget of £7.4 billion. Colleges can vary significantly in size, with budgets ranging from £10 million to £50 million and student numbers from 2,000 to more than 16,000. In addition, there are upwards of 1,000 vocational learning and employment providers. They are primarily independent, private, not-for-profit and voluntary sector training and employment services organisations.
The Further Education and Training Sector provides high-quality academic, technical and vocational education, including apprenticeship training, for more than 3 million young people and adults.
They work closely with employers to develop a workforce with the skills needed in their localities, which boosts employment and strengthens the economy.
The Further Education landscape is complex and diverse. It consists of education and training providers, including General FE colleges (GFEs); specialist colleges (for example land based or residential special educational needs); Independent Training Providers (ITPs), some in the charitable or third sector; Work Based Learning (WBL); and Adult and Community Learning (ACL).