Education and Skills

Dorset is above the national educational standard and trend which makes Dorset an attractive place to invest. In addition, the areas surrounding Dorset are also above the national average, leading to the investors being able to gain educated labour force from around the fringes of Dorset.


High Standards

In Dorset, the educational standards are above the Great Britain average for national vocational qualifications (NVQ’s) at all levels, as you can see from the table below.


There are several excellent education institutions in Dorset and the surrounding area, as can be seen from the map below.

Education Sites




Further Education

Dorset is home to five Further Education Colleges in Bournemouth and Poole College, Brockenhurst College, Kingston Maurward College, Weymouth College and Yeovil College. Altogether, they have a combined turnover of £71m, in addition to the colleges currently employ approximately 1,800 people.  Collectively the colleges have over 29,000 students.

These institutions offer education and training for the land-based industries, as well as a wide range of further education courses, ranging from apprenticeships to vocational courses. There were 210,700 apprenticeships beginning between 2010 and 2014. High skills, great opportunities and a solid foundation of knowledge make Dorset a recipe for successful investment. 

Higher Education

There are two Higher Education Institutions based in Dorset: Bournemouth University and the Arts University College Bournemouth. Collectively, they employ 1,500 people, most of which live in the county.

Both Universities have over 20,000 undergraduates and postgraduates registered. Collectively they have a turnover of £150m in the region and have an estimated income of £4m from research and direct business services.

These Higher Education institutions offer specific, and in many case world-leading expertise in areas such as design, software, tourism, environmental management, engineering, visual effects, computer animation, fashion, architecture, and graphics.

Bournemouth University and the Arts University College Bournemouth both have long-standing relationships with leading businesses in their areas of expertise, including BBC, Framestore, Microsoft, IBM, Sony Games, AirBus, LionHead, The Big Issue Foundation, and EA Games.

Bournemouth University is home to The National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) and the International VFX Hub. It also has UK’s leading animation school, which has conducted internationally significant research and pioneered both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in computer visualisation, animation and digital effects.

Many graduates from Bournemouth University's National Centre for Computer Animation have carried on to work on films that either won or were nominated for an Oscar for their visual effects, including Ex Machina, Hugo, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Interstellar and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Former students have also contributed to other successful films such as Kung Fu Panda 2, Rango and Avatar, with 55 Bournemouth University graduates working on the latter film alone.

 Independent Training Provision in Dorset

Over 20 independent training providers deliver learning and skills to young people, adults and businesses across Dorset. The provision ranges from pre- employment foundation level skills and training, to vocational training including Apprenticeships at intermediate, advanced and higher levels.

Bournemouth and Poole College have just opened their new Peter Jones Enterprise Academy and Marine Technology Centre. The Academy offers the UK’s first BTEC Level 2 and 3 qualifications in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship and through workshops, master classes, networking opportunities and business surgeries it aims to unleash entrepreneurial talent in young people, helping to prepare them for a successful future.  The Marine Technology Centre offers upwards of 70 places for Sunseeker apprentices and capacity for over 250 at the new dedicated marine training facility, which will cover all aspects of the industry at both a craft and higher technical level.

For more information on local education institutions and providers, click here





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