The government risks exasperating the UK’s burgeoning NEET problem with plans to phase out its Entry to Employment (e2e) programme, warns the Association of Learning Providers (ALP).
The e2e programme has helped to engage disaffected and disengaged 16-17 year olds in recent years by offering them a work-based learning route to employment.
It will now be subsumed into Foundation Learning (FL), a framework of funded qualifications that ALP fears provides very little in the way of incentives to return to work.
Although the Government has ensured every 16-17 NEET will be offered an e2e place, many providers are being told to scale back their delivery profiles in 2010/11 to a balance of ten per cent e2e and 90 per cent FL.
In a paper sent to Whitehall today, Paul Warner, ALP’s director of employment and skills, accused the government of “effectively promoting participation on a programme it feels ought to be phased out in the immediate future, to be replaced with one that does not set out to achieve the same ends”.
ALP is concerned that many young people can become discouraged from forms of learning that look formalised when they have only just left a turbulent period of schooling.
The paper adds: “e2e had the advantage of being able to be marketed as a wide-ranging and holistic programme to address a variety of barriers to the labour market and to social re-engagement in general underpinned by a desire to return to work and learning, and this is simply not possible under FL which almost by definition does not concentrate on employment.”
(Pictured: Paul Warner, ALP’s director of employment and skills)