From education to employment

More young people achieving Level 2 qualifications

40,000 more 19 year-olds have achieved attainment at Level 2 than in 2004 following statistics released by the Learning and Skills Council.

There has been a large increase in the number and proportion of young people achieving five GCSEs grades A* to C, or the vocational equivalent.

In 2004, 66.3% of 19 year olds had reached level 2, but official statistics now show that 71.4% achieved this level last year ““ surpassing the target of 69.3%. The new data also reveals that the number of 19 year-olds achieving Level 3 qualifications ““ such as A-Levels or their vocational equivalents ““ has risen by 4.7% since 2004 to 46.8% in 2006, also in line with government targets.

Congratulating young people, teachers and lecturers on their success, Minister for 14-19 Learning, Jim Knight said: “This is fantastic news for the thousands of young people who have knuckled down and committed to hard work to gain these qualifications. It not only means that they can look forward to a brighter future, but that employers will benefit through a more highly skilled workforce ““ making the UK more competitive and productive”.

“These results are crucial both helping young people prepare for life and meeting the country’s raised aspirations for skills outlined in the Leitch report”.

He pointed to the forthcoming Diplomas: “We are building on these improvements in developing a new system of 14-19 education. The new Diplomas, along with provision of the right guidance and support, sufficient, appropriate provision offered to all young people, and a better taught, more engaging curriculum will ensure young people will have the skills and qualifications they need to succeed at work and in their future learning.”

The LSC claim that by achieving the key level 2 qualifications, young people can look forward to a higher starting salary, an 88% higher chance of skilled employment [and] a far higher likelihood to be working for an employer who will invest time and money in their development”.

Melanie Hunt, National Director of Learning at the Learning and Skills Council, said: “Meeting this target is a real achievement for young people and everyone involved in the learning sector. It should be welcomed by all those who care about young people’s futures”.

Tiffany Dickinson.

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