FORMER Keighley College students were amongst those who took part in a national survey examining to what extent further education boosts your career prospects.

The research, commissioned by Luminate Education Group, involved 1,000 alumni across the UK.

Seventy per cent of respondents told Perspectus Global, which carried out the survey, that college had helped them get the career they wanted.

And many reported going on to earn good wages in their post-study jobs. Just over half are now on annual salaries of between £25,000 and £45,000, and 14 per cent are earning more than £50,000. Forty-seven per cent hold managerial, supervisory or directorial positions.

Half of those questioned cited "to learn a skill to set them up for their career" as the main reason they chose to go to college, and 37 per cent said it was down to "a love of learning".

Forty-eight per cent said learning new skills and gaining real-life work experience was the best thing about their college experience.

Ninety-three per cent of alumni said they would recommend college to others.

Luminate Education Group’s members include Keighley College, one of the largest apprenticeship providers in the region and home to the Industrial Centre of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering.

Principal Kevin O’Hare says: "These findings show how college education is helping so many people learn new skills to open up fresh opportunities and land exciting jobs in the areas that inspire them.

"We have so many talented people, of all ages, whose skills and ambitions are equally well served through pursuing technical and vocationally-focused courses – such as T-levels, higher technical qualifications and apprenticeships – rather than taking the university or more traditional academic route.

"Colleges like ours in Keighley and others across the country are working closely with employers to ensure we can offer such students fantastic opportunities to earn real-world experience of their chosen industries, including manufacturing and engineering, while they’re studying.

"As the research clearly demonstrates, this approach is really reaping rewards in terms of getting people into the jobs they want across so many sectors – and in many cases leading to well-paid, senior roles.

"The survey reveals that college opens up career opportunities across a wide variety of fields, ranging from manufacturing and engineering, healthcare and IT to hospitality, science, education and law."

The results of the survey were published to coincide with Colleges Week, organised by the Association of Colleges.