For many years colleges in Scotland have been providing vocationally specific training which has provided the skills needed by industry and commerce as well as providing for individuals, a pathway into sustainable rewarding employment.
However, little research has been done to quantify the monetary value of the impacts on these groups, and what colleges contribute to the national economy.
For this reason, North East Scotland College commissioned a report to assess the economic impact of NESC on its key stakeholder groups: learners, taxpayers, and the local community.
The assessment was carried out by Economic Modelling Specialists International (EMSI) who has also produced more than 1,300 comprehensive impact analyses for colleges and universities in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia.
The findings, which were published last week, show that North East Scotland College (NESC) has a significant positive impact on its main stakeholder groups.
The study found that the economic impact of £406.4 million per annum the college delivers from the £33.1million per annum invested by the Government – a direct return on investment to the Government of 17.9% - is far greater than the national average of 12%.
Ken Milroy, Chair of North East Scotland College Board of Management said, “While the vital roles played by schools and universities are well recognised, the role of colleges can often be underestimated or overlooked entirely.
“The results of this study clearly demonstrate that NESC creates value from multiple perspectives.
“NESC promotes regional economic growth through its own operations spending, through the spending of its non-local learners, and through the increase in productivity as former NESC learners remain active in the regional workforce.
“Second, the impact of added skills in the regional workforce is by far the largest and most important impact of NESC, stemming from higher incomes of learners and their employers.
“And third, regional income in the North East Region would be substantially lower without the educational activities of NESC.”