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New study reveals college’s economic impact

Sunderland College has a major impact on the North East economy and generates hundreds of millions of pounds for the region each year, a new report reveals.

The independent economic impact study, undertaken by Economic Modelling Specialists International (EMSI), states that the college has a ‘significant positive impact’ on taxpayers, society, the local business community and its students.

Sunderland College commissioned the study earlier in the year to measure the economic impact it has on the North East.

The key findings of the report are:

  • The economic contribution of the college to the North East business community is £444.5million each year.
  • Society will receive a present value of £951.3million over the course of college learners’ working lives. They will receive £5.10 in return for every £1 invested in Sunderland College – a 19.6% annual return on investment.
  • The accumulated contribution of former college learners, who are currently employed in the regional workforce, amounts to £401million in added income to the North East economy each year.
  • For every £1 that learners pay for their education at Sunderland College, they will receive £4.90 in higher future wages – a 16.9% annual return on investment.
  • The total added income created by Sunderland College and its learners was approximately equal to 0.8% of the total economic output of the North East in 2012-13, and represents 15,700 average wage jobs.
  • Taxpayers see an average annual return of 17.5% on their investment in Sunderland College.

The EMSI report states: ‘The college is committed to putting learners on the path to success and plays a key role in helping them increase their employability and achieve their individual potential. With a vast range of courses and apprenticeships, the college’s provision enables learners to acquire qualifications and develop the skills they need in order to have a fulfilling and prosperous career.’

Anne Isherwood, principal of Sunderland College, said: “The study demonstrates how vital the college is to the region, both economically and socially, and highlights the significant contribution our students make to encourage growth within the North East.

“Not only does the college provide a nurturing environment for our students to develop their knowledge and skills ready for the workplace, but we also place great emphasis on supporting businesses in the region through our training and apprenticeship programmes.

“In total, we create almost £445million of income for the region through the impact our students have on the economy as well as the college’s spending powers and the expenditure of its staff and students. This is a significant figure and reaffirms the integral role Sunderland College has in shaping the local economy.”

Sunderland College has over 18,000 students split across its four campuses and employs more than 560 full-time staff. It is one of the UK’s largest further and higher education colleges.​

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