On 13 August 2014, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) published ‘Remember the Young Ones: Improving career opportunities for Britain’s young people’. This report looks at five critical elements of the school-to-work transition for young people – the role of employers, vocational education, apprenticeships, careers guidance, and the benefits system – and at lessons the UK can learn from European economies with better youth employment records. Points made in the report include:

  • Employer dissatisfaction with school-leavers is largely a result of employers not being prepared to be sufficiently involved in young people’s training.
  • Vocational education in England needs to be reformed so that it is held in higher esteem by employers and young people alike.
  • Policy on apprenticeships in recent years has been dominated by a preoccupation with quantity, putting quality at risk.
  • No one aged 23 or over should be allowed to start an apprenticeship (except in exceptional circumstances), and few apprentices should be aged 25 or over.
  • All apprenticeships should be at level 3 and above and should last for a minimum of one year.
  • Traineeships should be developed into pre-apprenticeships.
  • Apprentices should spend at least 30 per cent of their time doing off-the-job training. Spot checks should be carried out, and employers found not to be adhering to this rule should have to pay back any government funding they have received for the individuals affected.
  • After two years, the government should review its plan to fund apprenticeships through employers to ensure it has not led to a reduction in the number of firms offering them. If it has then the government should revert, at least partially, to a system of central or preferably local funding.

Further information and the full report can be found here: Remember the Young Ones

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