There has been a good deal of talk about the mismatch between the numbers doing the LPC and the numbers going into training contracts. I have already blogged on the potential for the market to correct itself. Today, I have seen evidence that there is a significant correction underway. Figures for LPC enrolments (other than part time and exempting degree students) have dropped by 20% from 7,631 to 6,067. This suggests to me that the numbers graduating the LPC first-time this year drop towards the number of training contracts registered last year at the height of the recession (a 75% pass rate would lead to just over 4,500 LPC students graduating first time, and I understand about 4,500 training contracts were registered last year). Key unknowns are, of course, how much further the number of training contracts will drop and whether this year’s decline in LPC places is replicated next year.
There is some further interesting detail in the figures. A large number of providers are operating their LPCs on being less than half full. This cannot be sustainable. Quite a few of these institutions will, I predict, close their doors to LPC students. It may also explain why the dominant providers (the College and BPP) are increasingly interested in the undergraduate market: the LPC market is not going anywhere good any time soon. Providers who survive this shakeout may pick up some students from rival institutions but even then filling their validated places will be difficult. The likelihood is further concentration of supply.