More than one in four (25.6%) of Somerset residents aged 16 or over have a Level 4 (degree or equivalent) qualification and well over 700 apprenticeships have been created for young people in Somerset since August 2012.
In excess of 22 independent training providers deliver funded, co funded and full cost learning and skills to young people, adults and businesses across Somerset to meet the business need. The provision ranges from pre-employment foundation level skills and training to vocational training including Apprenticeships at intermediate, advanced and higher levels. These providers deliver approximately two thirds of this type of provision delivered in the county.
All of the providers have head quarters or satellite centres in Somerset with facilities to support sector specific and general learning and skills, employing staff who are Somerset residents.
The skills training provision across Somerset is very strong on quality when the performance data available is compared across the UK. In Apprenticeships for example, Somerset apprenticeship training is regularly amongst the best if not the best in the country.
Examples of the training courses available in dedicated centres include The Energy Skills Centre, The Construction Skills and Innovation Centre, and the Agricultural Innovation Centre all at Bridgwater.
Bridgwater & Taunton College, Frome College, Strode College in Street, West Somerset College, Yeovil College and the Taunton-based College of Richard Huish means that there are good local centres across the entire County.