An educational charity have outlined that the high cost of further education has prevented almost half of UK adults gaining advance qualifications. This comes as figures show that the average graduate debt is now £53,000 after tuition fees rose in September 2012.

The NCFE (Northern Council for Further Education) surveyed 2,000 adults across the UK and found that being too old (36%) and family commitments (24%) were also factor when deciding to undertake a further education course.

Despite there being a demand for degrees over the past 20 years, with a 140% increase in the number of people studying medicine, and 162% increase in degrees in mass communications and media studies between 2000 and 2012, there is currently a lack of graduates in technical disciplines which has led to a significant skills gap.

With an average of 250 people applying for each corporate job, and with 20% of graduates unemployed in their first 6 months after completing their University course, there is an increasing demand for vocational courses.

In the past couple of years, the Government has put more money into apprenticeships than ever before, and with the demand for vocational courses predicted to peak in 2050, there is an ever increasing demand for more practical and vocationally led courses.

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