No more NEETS!
Authors: Rhian Johns
Rhian Johns, Director of Policy & Campaigns Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation
10 September 2013
It’s that time of year again, the start of the party conference season. For the second year running, Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation (Impetus – PEF) will be partnering with The Work Foundation and hosting fringe events at the three conferences. With the title: ‘Lost in transition’, we will discuss how to ensure every young person leaves education with the qualifications, skills and experiences they need to transition successfully into the labour market.
Rather than waiting until young people become NEET (Not in Education, Employment, Training) let’s change the narrative; let’s stop talking about a ‘lost generation’ and lazy out of work youth and instead focus on ensuring every young person makes a successful transition from education into employment. Successful school to work transitions mean no more NEETS!
Young people’s time in education must reflect the changing needs of the labour market if they are to make a successful transition from school to work, with focus placed on both achieving better qualifications and having the skills and work experience today’s employers require. At our fringe event, I’ll discuss five policy changes we believe are required to bridge the gap between school and work:
1. Sustained support through education and the transition into employment – We need to do more in order to adequately support young people every step of the way: from making the right GCSE decisions and into their first job or further learning.
2. All young people must have experiences of the world of work – Quality of provision must be ensured and, while at school, every young person should be given multiple opportunities to meet and hear from employers, experience different work environments, and have high-quality work experience.
3. Experiences offered by traineeships and apprenticeships are valued – Both traineeships and apprenticeships are expanding, although more needs to be done to ensure young people benefit from these increases. Employers, schools, parents and young people need to be better informed about these vocational routes into work as valuable alternatives to academic pathways.
4. Better integration between schools and their local labour market – Local issues must be at the heart of careers information, advice and guidance. We recommend every school should have a “local business governor” responsible for building links between local businesses and the school and for providing up-to-date information about job opportunities and skills, qualifications and experiences required to succeed in the labour market.
5. Funding to flow to interventions proven to be most effective – Social investment and payment by results are ways to ensure taxpayers are only paying for successful outcomes.
Our hope is that like us, our politicians will be focused on fixing youth unemployment. With one million young people currently unemployed in the UK it is critical that this issue is at the top of the political agenda. However, politicians cannot fix this alone. We believe it’s time for government, employers, Social sector organisations, schools, parents and young people to collaborate – we all have a role to play.
If you are unable to join us in person, join in the discussion on twitter #school2work
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