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Jobs in Further Education (FE) and the Benefits of Working in FE

14 July 2023 Candidate Blogs / Client Blogs

Each year, 1.7 million students go to college in England to develop their careers, progress to university, engage in further education and increase their employability skills.

In a post-COVID-19 pandemic world, there is wider economic importance of FE in raising skills levels and providing opportunities for young people, particularly through T-Levels and apprenticeships. As a result, there are a growing number of FE vacancies available in colleges across the UK.

With September two months away, colleges are getting ready for the next academic year. And having the right staff in place, from college lecturers to administrators, is key. Jobs in FE colleges are diverse and include a range of roles, from teachers and learning support staff to careers advisers and student services workers.

Further education is a rewarding sector to work in. Not only do you get to make a difference in the lives of young people, but you also get to be part of a dynamic and evolving sector.

The sector has struggled to attract staff. One reason for this is that many people think they need set qualifications, sector experience, or a trained teacher to work in FE. This is not the case. Read on to learn more about jobs in further education and discover the benefits of working in this growing sector.

About further education
According to data from the AoC, there are 277 colleges in the UK, including 232 colleges in England and 45 sixth-form colleges. FE courses include A-levels, BTECs (Business and Technology Education Council), and T-levels.

Some colleges also run undergraduate programmes. According to the AoC's College Key Facts 2021/22 report, colleges deliver:

  • 84% of Higher National Certificates (HNCs) (at Level 4 - equivalent to a Certificate of Higher Education),
  • 66% of Higher National Diplomas (HNDs)
  • 67% of foundation degrees (both at Level 5 - equivalent to two-thirds of a bachelor's degree).

These post-secondary school qualifications are delivered by FE, sixth form, and specialist colleges that aim to provide top-quality academic, technical, and professional education and training for both young people and adults. With apprenticeships increasing in popularity, colleges train around 1,100 apprentices

Public service teaching jobs
Teaching is considered one of the most respected careers in the UK. According to a Teach First poll, 42% of those surveyed voted this way, with around half (47%) agreeing that people underestimate how much impact a teacher can have on a young person.

There is a demand for teachers in the further education sector in the UK, with opportunities available for those interested in pursuing a career in this field. High numbers of teachers within FE are needed to deliver work-relevant skills training. One key area that continues to struggle to attract new candidates is vocational education, where both teachers and assessors remain scarce commodities.

There is a global teacher shortage, and talent is hard to find, particularly in specialist subjects. The UK government is recognising that further education teaching jobs need to be filled by seeking suppliers to bring 4,000 teachers into the FE sector by 2025, as part of an expansion to a major recruitment scheme. This is one reason for the increase in public service teaching jobs.

No experience in FE? Not always a problem!
College lecturer jobs do not always require teaching experience or certain academic qualifications. Some further education teaching jobs have on-the-job training, and some FE vacancies come with possible funding to achieve teaching qualifications.

Courses such as bricklaying, engineering, and plumbing need experienced, skilled workers to teach the next generation. More colleges now focus on how valuable years of hands-on experience are as opposed to holding set qualifications.

When it comes to recruiting FE lecturers for STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) and assessors for vocational subjects such as Plumbing, Electrical Installation, bricklaying, and Hairdressing, vacancies continue to rise. At Morgan Hunt Recruitment, we have seen an increase in jobs in these areas in recent years.

Nowadays, we talk about ‘portfolio careers’, and changing jobs is no longer a red flag; rather, it is an accepted norm in the wider employment market. So, if you have had enough of working in industry, now could be a great time to enter the college sector.

The UK government has launched a £5 million scheme called the Taking Teaching Further programme, which will pay for up to 150 professionals from sectors such as engineering and computing to retrain as further education teachers.

The joys of teaching in further education teaching
If you take a FE lecturer job, you will still get to practise the trade you trained in and are passionate about. With a FE career, you will be safe in the knowledge that you are influencing and shaping the next generation of industry experts.

The rewards of teaching in FE are plenty, and there is an opportunity for creativity and innovation. FE learners may have struggled within a school learning environment and will respond to a more innovative and personalised approach. The FE environment demands that FE lecturers approach teaching with enthusiasm and a positive attitude and assist students to apply their skills to real-life scenarios.

Flexible working
One of the most attractive prospects about working as a FE teacher is the opportunity for flexible working, which isn’t available in most other career paths. Many workers are disillusioned with the 9-to-5, limited holiday time, and weekend work required by those working in hairdressing or mechanics. Although FE workloads are demanding, teachers and assessors can often choose between working full-time, part-time, in the evenings, or even on a casual, hourly basis. This leaves significant scope for flexibility in working hours.


What are the benefits of working within FE?

Job security and stability
One of the significant advantages of pursuing public service teaching jobs in FE is the stability and security that aren’t seen in other industries. A teaching career offers job security and is one of the most recession-proof jobs, according to CNBC News.

FE provides a stable career in a post-pandemic world. Once you've landed a job in FE, you can feel confident that you'll have a stable career. With an emphasis on continuous learning and professional development, FE colleges provide plenty of opportunities.

Jobs in the public sector, including public service teaching jobs, are known for their job security. This means that while other jobs are being replaced by technology or robotics, there will always be a need for teachers.

Salaries, benefits, and annual leave
Salaries for all roles within the FE sector are competitive. Public service education jobs often offer attractive benefits such as:

  • Good pension schemes
  • Generous leave entitlements
  • A healthy work-life balance

Those working outside of the education sector are not aware of the generous annual leave entitlement that comes with FE. Although this is dependent on the type of role, most are entitled to around 38 days of holiday per year, plus bank holidays. This is higher than the basic 20 to 25-day standard allowance.

Making a Meaningful Impact
Working in FE means playing a vital role in the education of young people seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge. Whether you're a lecturer, tutor, support staff, or administrator, you have the opportunity to inspire, motivate, and transform lives. Everyone working within the further education sector has a role to play in empowering learners to achieve their aspirations and make an impact on society.

Diversity and inclusion
FE colleges are hubs of diversity, bringing together people from different backgrounds, ages, and cultures. For those teaching in the sector, you will be working with a diverse range of students, each with their unique needs and aspirations. This dynamic and inclusive learning atmosphere enables you to enhance your teaching skills and broaden your perspectives.

FE careers offer flexibility in working hours and locations. With part-time, full-time, and flexible contract options, you can find a role that suits your circumstances while still making an impact in the field of education.

Professional Development and Career Progression
FE colleges are dedicated to continuous professional development for their staff. FE institutions encourage and provide resources for training, development and learning, helping you stay up-to-date with the latest teaching and industry trends. Whether you aspire to head of a department, progress to leadership roles, or specialise in an area, FE colleges have clear pathways for career advancement, ensuring you grow and develop your skills.

Variety of FE Vacancies 
Public sector education jobs offer a plethora of opportunities. FE colleges have different departments and subjects, catering to diverse vocational and academic disciplines. Whether you're passionate about engineering, healthcare, the creative arts, business, or any other field, you are likely to find a niche within a FE college that aligns with your knowledge, skills, and experience.


There are great reasons to work in further education. With an increasing demand for skilled professionals in public sector education, pursuing a role at a FE college is fulfilling. Jobs in FE colleges are a fantastic career choice for anyone interested in making a difference.

If you are passionate about education, committed to lifelong learning, and eager to contribute to the personal growth of others, exploring further education and public sector education jobs could be your pathway to a new career.

With plenty of jobs in further education, jobs in FE colleges, and FE vacancies available, now is a great time to consider a career in education. As a leading agency in public service teaching jobs, the Morgan Hunt education team can help you find the right public service teaching job. If you're looking for jobs in further education, search for our FE vacancies here. With many FE vacancies starting in September, now is the time to apply!


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