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College worth £400million to north-east economy

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North East Scotland College (NesCol) contributes over £400million a year to the region’s economy, a new report has shown.

The report, conducted by Economic Modelling Specialists International (EMSI), show that the further and higher education institution has an overall economic impact of £406.4million per year.

Government backing of the college of £33.1million provides a return on investment of 17.9% – far greater than the national average of 12%, the report stated.

NesCol, which was formed last year from the merger of Aberdeen and Banff & Buchan Colleges, found that for every £1 that learners pay in tuition means they earn and extra£5.80 in higher future wages.

The college, as well as its oil and gas training division ASET, also added that for every £1 of taxpayer support it gets it returns £3.90 in benefits.

Ken Milroy, Chair of NesCol’s 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 NesCol creates value from multiple perspectives. NESCol 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 NesCol 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 NesCol, stemming from higher incomes of learners and their employers.

“And third, regional income in the north east would be substantially lower without the educational activities of NesCol.”

The results were welcomed by the public and private partnership Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (ACSEF).

Colin Crosby, ACSEF Chairman said: “There is no doubt that NesCol plays a key role in ensuring that the skills requirements of employers in the north-east are being met.

“One of ACSEF’s key priorities is to promote a greater understanding of future skills demands in the region and to work with partners, including NesCol, to tackle these issues. A Regional Skills Strategy is currently being created to address these concerns and ensure the region continues to remain globally competitive.”

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