Investment in Learning Out-Performs ISAs

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Gaining higher level qualifications can boost earnings by around £4,000-a-year or a return on investment of 12-15% according to government research.

The study commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) found that almost half of adults aren’t aware of the direct financial return on investment which learning offers.

The study found that ISAs, pensions and high interest savings accounts are the top three most popular financial investments for adults in England as they believe they offer the best gains. The research said that in reality these products offer an annual return of around just 6%. Just half the ROI it calculates that investing in an academic level 2 (equivalent to 5 or more GCSEs) or level 3 (equivalent to 2 or more A Levels) qualification can provide, of up to 12%-15%.

The figures are based on an unskilled worker earning an average of £15,661.36 pa, a worker with below level 2 getting 18,239.52, compared to £19624.80 with level 2 skills and £21702.72 with level 3 qualifiations.

Other findings from the research showed that nearly half of employees (47%) would like to progress at work, while (43%) would like to get a promotion, and two-thirds (65%) think training is a worthwhile investment. But on the flip side, of those employees who stated they were ‘fairly happy or not happy’ in their job, 28% are ‘too busy’ to do anything about it, 26% are simply ‘working hard’ while less than one quarter (22%) are currently taking proactive steps via a training or development course to change things.

Bill Rammell, Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education said: “This research makes a very powerful case. It should help convince all those who may feel lifelong learning is not for them that investing in training will provide an excellent return even in comparison to popular financial products. Investing in skills really does deliver significant returns, year after year.”

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