Well its official, school leaving age will be 18. Lets se what the industry thinks about the Green Paper.

An ALP spokesman said: "As with nearly all areas of post-16 education and skills, we are very happy with the thrust of government policy contained in this document, especially when considered in the light of the Chancellor's confirmation yesterday that the Government will fund 500,000 Apprenticeship places.

"However, we shouldn"t underestimate the challenges in making this work. The number of young people in work based learning has actually gone down in the last two years and there are major issues to address in respect of guidance, financial support, specialist diplomas and foundation learning before we are completely confident that a bright new dawn is on the horizon. In particular, we look forward next month to seeing the new standards for information, advice and guidance because they must ensure that young people get unbiased advice when choosing their options."

Commenting on government proposals to raise the age for young people to stay in education and training, CBI Director-General, Richard Lambert said: "This is a necessary step. With nearly half of all businesses dissatisfied with school-leavers" literacy, numeracy and employability skills, raising the education and training leaving age should ensure more young people succeed in the workplace. Unemployment must not be an option for a teenager in the modern world.

"The success of this initiative will rely on getting the details right. Many firms already offer good on-the-job training and we need to ensure the qualifications systems captures this. Equally, 16 and 17-year-olds disaffected with the formal education system might be put off taking a job if the training reminds them too much of school.

"It is vital employers are able to offer training towards qualifications that meet the needs of both business and young people. High quality careers advice is also essential so that teenagers are fully aware of the options open to them, what is expected of them and the value of training."

Lawrence Miles from the IVA is a little more cynical about the idea of compulsory education to 18 years old. Lawrence gives his opinion and explains the reason for his concern: "Education up to 18? This is a Government that is running out of ideas for ways of stopping young people from entering the world of work. HE for all is the kiss of death for academic excellence. We will end up like some of our Mediterranean partners who send high numbers of nice but dim kids to University and have to keep them there for six years to enable them to struggle through the equivalent of a traditional three-year degree course and then when they emerge into the daylight in their mid twenties they expect to enter the world of work as middle managers. The world of work is starved of what it would value greatly "“ bright 16-year olds."

So what do you think of compulsory education until 18 years old. Send your article to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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