Fears for teens as age limit is raised

RAISING the age at which teenagers can leave education might mislead some into believing they have to stay at school, it is claimed.

Steve Yardley, of training specialist Remit, fears youngsters might not know they can follow other pathways.

New laws mean that from next year young people must stay in education or training until they are 17, with the age rising to 18 from 2015.

But this does not mean they have to stay at school full time – they simply have to be in some form of education or training.

This can mean leaving school and heading to college, starting an apprenticeship or even volunteering for more than 20 hours a week.

But Mr Yardley said he feared there would be a lack of advice for youngsters.

“With Government cuts seeing the demise of the Connexions service in many areas, there is the potential for impartial careers advice in schools to be extremely limited,” he said.

“We have concerns that young people will be steered away from the range of options that will still be available to them.

“The purpose of this new law is to make sure young people are still encouraged to learn and train for their future career as they enter adulthood.”

The Post is trying to help young people find employment with its Get Notts Working campaign.

In the first phase we set out to create 100 apprenticeships in 100 days, a target we have already surpassed with less than half the days gone. The target has now been raised to 200. Remit is backing the campaign and has already pledged to take on 20 apprentices.

Mr Yardley said: “I began my career as an apprentice mechanic at 16, and know I would have been incredibly disappointed had I believed staying on at school was my only option.”

Remit says it has seen year-on-year increases in the demand from employers for apprentices – rising by 30 per cent in the past year.

Mr Yardley added: “Young people need to know that, despite the change to the compulsory learning age, they can still pursue the same opportunities they always wanted to.”

The campaign aims to support local people in their efforts to find a job. It is a partnership between the Post, Notts and Derbyshire Chamber of Commerce, the National Apprenticeship Service, Nottinghamshire City and County Employment and Skills Board, councils as well as major local companies like, Laing O’Rourke.

Later this year, we will promote work experience, asking firms to take on unemployed people for a short period.

Paul Champion
Strategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920

Leave a Reply