From education to employment

LSC figures show increase in 19 yr olds achieving Level 2 and Level 3

Rob Wye is chief executive of the Learning and Skills Improvement Service

More young Britons are sticking at their courses in a bid to improve their future employment prospects, according to the latest government figures.

Compared to that of last year, 31,000 more 19 year-olds have achieved a Level 2 qualification (5 GCSEs grade A*-C or equivalent) and 18,000 more have achieved a Level 3 (2 A levels or equivalent) this year.

The LSC claims that its goal is to improve the skills of England’s young people and adults to world class standards and it has been evidently reflected in this year’s Level 2 and 3 attainment figures- an increasing proportion of those who missed Level 2 at 16 have gone on to reach it by 19 ““ 44.5% in 2007 compared to 40.2% in 2006. Also, the proportion of 16 to 19 year-olds achieving Level 2 via vocational routes has risen from 8.2% in 2004 to 13.8% in 2007 and the proportion achieving Level 3 via vocational routes has risen from 3.5% to 10.1% over the same period. Moreover, the proportion of 16 to 19 year-olds achieving Level 2 in FE institutions, work-based learning institutions and sixth form colleges has risen between 2004 and 2007 from 12.1% to 16.5%.

Rob Wye, National Director of Young People’s Learning and Skills at the Learning and Skills Council said:

“Not only are young people choosing to stay in learning, more and more of them are achieving and progressing on to Level 3. We see the Further Education system is really delivering in the right way to increase the numbers of young people, particularly those who are more disadvantaged, achieving a Level 2 and Level 3, giving 1.5million young people the right head start in life.

“This is testament to the quality of teaching being offered by Further Education as well as the work being done to secure a place for every young person in learning, and reduce the numbers not in education employment or training (NEET), so that employers feel confident that young people have the right skills needed to get on at work.”

The LSC works closely with schools, colleges and work-based learning providers to identify the right quality training and skills development programmes, as well as commissioning provision in order to bridge gaps in training programmes more effectively.

Its target for 2008 is now to ensure that 73.4% of those aged 19 in 2008 have achieved a Level 2 qualification. For those aged 19 in 2007, 73.9% have achieved a Level 2 and for those who will be 19 in 2008, 73.2% have already achieved it.

In addition, its new target for 2011 is for 82% of 19 year-olds to achieve a Level 2 and 54% of 16 year-olds to achieve a Level 3 (an increase of 8.1 and 6 percentage points respectively over 3 years until 2011).

Rinku Chatterjee

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