There are many positive trends and opportunities for further education providers and professionals to look forward to over the coming year. The pandemic created many new jobs in the sector, such as cleaning staff, security guards, and Covid testers. And with colleges focused on helping students catch up with lost learning, there has been greater demand for learning support assistants (LSAs). LSAs working in colleges across the UK can expect to receive a salary between £18,500 and £22,000, or around £14-£15 standard hourly rate.
Another emerging trend is the increased demand for lecturers specialising in construction, engineering, technology, and plumbing. These fields have become more popular among young people, however, with increasing salaries in these industries, many lecturers have returned to work in these sectors, leaving a shortage of lecturers with industry experience. Due to this, many colleges have had to adapt their expectations when recruiting – and recent industry experience has become more of a priority than teaching experience and qualifications.
We have also seen colleges place greater importance on administrative activities such as attendance monitoring, assessment recording, reporting, financial management and staff allocations, largely due to the expansion of student criteria and a boost in funding.
Management information systems (MIS) specialists have become more popular over the past year and those with experience have become highly sought after. In all UK regions, an MIS officer can expect to receive an average salary of £35,000, an MIS manager is likely to get around £43,000 while a MIS director will receive between £55,000 and £70,000.
Salaries and benefits to attract professionals
The main challenge for the further education sector over the next year is recruiting new professionals and attracting those from industry into teaching.
There is a shortage of candidates at present, and while providers have been utilising temporary working solutions in the interim, jobseekers are now seeking permanent positions to achieve job security after what has been an uncertain year. For colleges and other training providers to secure the best teaching professionals, they need to evaluate their salary and benefit offerings.
Further education institutions often find themselves unable to increase salaries to attract staff due to established pay scales and budget constraints, but with the candidate shortage growing, they should consider adding value through their benefits to elevate themselves above their competition.
Some of the most effective benefits we have seen colleges introduce to attract the best professionals are free parking, discounted childcare, free qualifications, enhanced holiday entitlement, and flexible working. We have also seen some colleges offer relocation packages, bonuses, and performance-related pay to attract and retain industry specialists.
Further education institutions need to consider how they promote the benefits that teaching can provide to industry experts, such as no outdoors or shift work for labourers, school holidays, and the chance to inspire a new generation. By effectively promoting these, providers can access new talent who may not have teaching experience, offer them qualifications and training, and secure the talent they need to continue to succeed in the coming year.
For more information on salaries and benefits in the further education sector, download our free 2022 further education salary guide here.