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Mr Johnson to annpunce the latest plans for raising the age of compulsory education

Today is the day of the long anticipated Green Paper Raising Expectations: staying in education and training post-16.

Well what will the latest Green Paper reveal? It is widely thought that the Green Paper will recommend forcing young people to remain in training until they are 18, instead of the current 16 years of age. Education Secretary Alan Johnson may have given us an insight into the Green Paper with his comments on post 16 education: “We should find it repellent that a youngster of 16 is not getting any training.”

The CBI and industry seem to welcome the changes. CBI Director-General, Richard Lambert:”The CBI supports moves to raise the age at which young people can leave education or training to address the lack of basic and employability skills amongst many young people entering the labour market. Raising the leaving age must therefore be part of a wider package which also includes government funding for reformed, fit-for-purpose qualifications and high quality careers advice.

“We welcome the new proposals aimed at encouraging 16 to 18 year olds into training who are currently outside the education system.”

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.”

What do you think should be in the Green Paper, email your comments to: [email protected]

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