Detailed destinations of 16 to 18 year olds in Further Education



This ad-hoc release provides qualification level statistics on the destinations of 16-18 year olds in Further Education settings, who achieved a qualification at the end of study in 2018/19.   

Data on each qualification is also available through a dashboard which shows:

  • The number of learners completing 16-18 study and whose full education history is available
  • The proportion of learners progressing into positive outcomes in employment or further learning 
  • Detailed destination information by industry sector of employment and sector subject area of further learning
  • Comparative data by qualification type and sector subject area

The data and dashboard have been produced to support the aims of the Unit for Future Skills

The feedback we receive on the data will help inform conversations about the detail and format for data to be released in the future.

Data quality and coverage

The destination measures provided in this publication use the same base data and methodology as those published in the Further education outcome-based success measures: 2018 to 2019. The statistics are produced using the following datasets:

 Individualised Learner Record (ILR) 

This is the data source used identify the qualifications in scope and is based on learning aims reported by further education colleges and training providers in the 2018/19 academic year.

Further details on ILR collection, quality and coverage can be found in the methodology section of  Further education outcome-based success measures: 2018 to 2019.

Longitudinal Education Outcomes study (LEO) 

This is used to calculate the outcomes or destinations for individual learners. The LEO dataset links information about individuals, including:

  • personal characteristics including gender and ethnic group
  • education, including schools, colleges and higher education institution attended, courses taken, and qualifications achieved
  • employment and earned income
  • any benefits claimed.

Further details on LEO are included in the methodology section of  Further education outcome-based success measures: 2018 to 2019.

Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA) data 

This is used to produce the subject area of learning for those in a sustained learning destination. HESA data is collated from returns by higher education institutions. Data for the full academic year are available approximately six months after the end of the academic year.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tax records

Employment data (P45 and P14 records) from HMRC tax records is used to produce employment destination information and is included as part of LEO. 

Self-assessment records 2019/20:

The self-assessment data feed for 2019/20 is missing approximately 23% of records for that year. This means that the sustained employment rate and sustained self-employment rate for 2018/19 achievers reported here are likely to be slightly lower than they should be. For specific qualifications where self-employment is more common the impact may be larger, for example in construction.

Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR)

This is used to identify the industry sector for those in a sustained employment destination by matching data to HMRC records. The IDBR is an Office for National Statistics (ONS) dataset containing details of UK businesses for the use of government for statistical purposes. 

The IDBR covers over 2.6 million businesses in all sectors of the UK economy; however it does not include very small businesses. To be on the IDBR businesses must be registered either for VAT or PAYE. The Business Population Estimates publication provides figures for the number of UK businesses, 5.9 million, including the small businesses excluded from the IDBR. The IDBR covers approximately 44% of the total UK business population.

The main sources of data within the IDBR are business surveys conducted by the ONS, Value Added Tax (VAT) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) from HMRC, and Companies House data.

Calculation of measures

Learners included in the calculation

The destination measures in this publication cover learners who:

  • Were in a Further Education (FE) college or training provider. 
  • Achieved an FE learning aim funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)  and reported in the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) in 2018/19.
  • Completed their 16 to 18 study by the end of the 2018/19 academic year. The methodology used to identify those at the end of 16 to 18 study is described in detail in the methodology for the 16-18 destinations statistics.

A summary of destination measures calculation is provided below. For more detailed information on these, see the outcome-based success measures methodology page

Sustained Positive destination 

The ‘sustained positive destination’ measure aims to count the proportion of learners with a sustained positive outcome, either into learning or employment (or both). For 2018/19 completers to be counted as having a sustained positive destination, a learner must either

  • Have a sustained positive employment outcome, or
  • Have a sustained positive learning outcome (including sustained apprenticeship), or
  • Be engaged in either learning (further education or higher education) or paid employment in each of the six months between October 2019 and March 2020.

Under the final scenario, learners may only ‘switch’ between learning and employment once. For example, if they are in learning for 2 months, then employment for 4 months they are counted as having a sustained positive destination. However if they are in learning for 2 months, then employment for 2 months, then learning 2 months, they are not counted as having a sustained positive destination.

Sustained employment only

The sustained employment only measure reports on learners in ‘sustained employment’ excluding those that are also in ‘sustained learning’.

Sustained further/higher education learning

The ‘sustained further education learning’, and ‘sustained higher education learning’ measures aim to count the proportion of learners in sustained FE or HE learning, regardless of economic activity, following the achievement of their course. The definition of sustained learning for both measures is consistent with the definition used for 16-19 accountability. This looks at learning activity in the six-month October to March period following the end of the academic year in which the learning aim took place. For 2018/19 achievers to be counted as in sustained learning:

  • A learner must be in further education training (sustained further education) in each of the six months between October 2019 and March 2020.
  • A learner must be in higher education training (sustained higher education) in each of the six months between October 2019 and March 2020.
  • A learner needs to be in learning for at least one day in a month for that month to be counted.
Sustained learning

The ‘sustained learning’ measure takes into account the ‘sustained further education’, ‘sustained higher education’, and ‘sustained apprenticeship’ measures. If a learner has met the criteria for one or more of these measures they will be included in the ‘sustained learning’ measure.

Sustained learning only

The sustained learning only measure reports on learners in ‘sustained learning’ excluding those that are also in sustained employment.

Sustained employment and learning

The sustained employment and learning measure reports on learners that were counted as being in both ‘sustained employment’, and ‘sustained learning’.

Industry sector of employment

This shows the sector of employment for those who are in sustained employment and is calculated by combining data on tax records with sector information in the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR).  However this does not show the specific occupation that people are involved in and this represents a limitation with the analysis.

Subject area of learning

This is the subject sector area SSA (Tier 1) of learning for those in a sustained learning destination. It is calculated by linking the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) from the academic year of end-of-study to the ILR of the following year and also the Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA) data. 

The ILR provides data on qualification undertaken and achievement status. It also provides SSA of sustained learning for those in further education (FE). The HESA data provides information on the SSA of sustained learning for those in higher education (HE). HESA has a different subject classification code to the SSA codes used in the ILR and work has been done to ‘map’ these different codes so we can consistently classify subject areas across FE and HE.

Data confidentiality

Disclosure control for confidentiality reasons

The Code of Practice for Statistics requires us to take reasonable steps to ensure that our published or disseminated statistics protect confidentiality. Where appropriate we apply disclosure control to protect confidentiality. 

The following symbols have been used in this publication: 

( low ) small numbers that might otherwise appear as zero in a rounded table

( c ) small number suppressed to preserve confidentiality or for accountability reasons.

Small cohorts 

Only qualifications with cohort of 30 or more are included in the further breakdown by industry sector of employment destination; and the subject area of learning destinations.

Destinations outcomes are suppressed where the number of learners in a cohort is less than 5 learners. Percentages calculated with a numerator less than 3 or a denominator less than 6 are also be suppressed.