From education to employment

Education tops list of young voter concerns

Education will determine the vote for Britain’s young first timers, according to a new poll.

British 18-22 year olds believe education is the most important voting issue ahead of this year’s General Election, followed by employment, the economy and health and social care.

Research by practical and vocational learning foundation Edge shows 44 per cent of young people regard education as more important now than it was at the last election, reflecting widely-held concerns in the current recession.

Fresh out of school themselves, 38 per cent of 18-22 year olds claim the current education system is failing the country.

Edge also highlights wide-spread agreement amongst young voters, with 78 per cent calling for more vocational learning, 74 per cent for increased work-based options, and 71 per cent want to see Britain develop a broader curriculum.

“The time is right for the next Government to make sure the current system helps all young people realise their individual talents,” says Lord Baker, chairman of Edge.

“They must be able to recognise the many paths to success that come from a high quality education combining academic, practical and vocational learning.”

When Britain’s virgin voters were asked which political party had the best education policy, both Labour and the Conservatives were neck and neck, each scoring 16 per cent. However, 43 per cent of young people were not aware of any significant differences in these policies, suggesting politicians are failing to reach first-time voters.

Jason Rainbow

Read FE and Skills Minister columns for FE News:

Inspiring youth to ensure long-term skills, by Kevin Brennan MP

Sector update, by Shadow Minister for Skills David Evennett

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