The results of Blue Eskimo’s latest work and salary survey are out – and suggest that the learning sector is poised for a resurgence.

Blue Eskimo has just published its annual work and salary survey. The survey has been undertaken each year since 2008 and is widely regarded as the key benchmark study in the learning sector.

The survey asks around twenty-five questions about pay, benefits, work/life balance and more – providing a detailed picture of the sector’s ‘employment health’.

Nick Bate, director at Blue Eskimo, says that the survey shows several indicators that the industry is set for a strong upturn.

“While the sector has more than held its own compared to many others,” says Bate, “our previous surveys have shown that things have been tight. This year, we’ve see things easing off in several areas.”

The survey shows that rates for many contractors have improved, for the first time in several years. An annual decline in benefits saw an about-turn in many areas. The number of unpaid hours worked by many was reduced. Although there’s been a trend for almost a quarter of people to take a drop in salary to secure a new job, this year shows that the amount of the drop was less for many.

“These things,” says Bate, “when taken together, indicate that the sector is stronger and more confident than in recent years.”

Bate is quick to caution that not everything is rosy. “Salaries have been kept tight for several years and that’s an issue,” says Bate. “Each year, for several years, around half of those surveyed say that they haven’t received a pay increase. That’s understandable for companies battening down the hatches, but it’s a pent-up problem.”

“We see things at the sharp end,” concludes Bate. “Skills are not only increasingly more in demand, it’s a more competitive recruitment market where job offers need to be made quickly to secure the best talent. The last thing learning companies want, as the market turns in their favour, is not to be able to harness the talent needed to exploit that upturn.”

The full results of the survey can be downloaded free, from Blue Eskimo’s website.

The research was undertaken and compiled independently, by Labrow Marketing, for Blue Eskimo. 694 people responded, with 92% coming from across the UK – around three quarters from the private sector.