Essential Skills Activity 2002 - 2013/14

The data shows the number of enrolments within each Essential Skills subject, and also provides further detail into the characteristics of those enrolling and performance statistics for the Essential Skills programme, since the start of the strategy in 2002.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

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Creation Date October 5, 2015, 14:41 (UTC)
Topic Category Economy

This data provides detail into the characteristics of those enrolling and performance statistics for the Essential Skills programme. It is derived from a series of statistical returns (listed below) provided by FE Colleges.

• Essential Skills Enrolment Return (ESER) for the years 2002/03 – 2012/13 • Consolidated Data return (CDR) for the year 2013/14 • Essential Skills enrolment extract from the Client Management System (CMS) for the years 2002/03 – 2013/14 • Essential Skills Qualifications Return for the years 2002/03 – 2013/14

Enrolments within Further Education colleges, in regard to academic years 2002/03 to 2012/13, have been derived from the ESER. The CDR only came into operation for the 2013/14 academic year and is used for enrolments from FE colleges related to this year. The qualification statistics have all been derived from the Essential Skills Qualifications Return collected from Awarding Organisations. All Essential Skills enrolments are regarded as ‘regulated’ provision and offered on a part time basis. As such, there is no mode of attendance analysis presented in this publication.

Essential Skills enrolments that are part of an individual’s programme of study through one of the department’s training or employment programmes, such as Training for Success or Steps to Work, are recorded on the Department’s Client Management System (CMS), which is installed in JobCentres/Jobs & Benefits offices throughout Northern Ireland. This is an IT system which is used to facilitate the interface with the Department’s customers. The relevant data is extracted from CMS at a scheduled date during the year. This data extract contains all Essential Skills enrolments funded through any of DEL’s training or employment programmes, since the strategy to the point it is extracted.

There are significant benefits to be realised in collating all the data requirements of the Department into one single return. Streamlining the production process of data increases the efficiency of the process in generating the data. With extra information now available for each enrolment record, it also increases the potential in terms of analytical ability, whilst increasing the consistency of analysis across all FE college data by reducing the potential of using several datasets. Data quality is also enhanced with data being generated at the same point in time and a significant number of validations employed on the data through the CDR process.

Data for the previous academic years can be found at:

Data Quality All Essential Skills data has been validated and quality assured by FE colleges prior to release. FE colleges are given a set period of time to submit the information to Statistics & Research Branch. Following submission, SRB perform a series of validation checks to ensure that information is consistent both within and across returns. Trend analyses are used to monitor annual variations and emerging trends. Queries arising from validation checks are presented to FE colleges for clarification and if required, returns may be amended and/or re-submitted. Finally, prior to the publication of this information the data is presented to FE colleges for final sign–off.

Frequency of Update Annually
Contact Name Allan Nesbitt
Contact Email
Additional Information

Further data is available within the statistical publication at:

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