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Why are school leavers so unprepared for the workplace?

Over one third of parents not aware of important change to their children’s education. With comment from Kathy Walton, Head of Vocational Training at Kaplan.

As children across the country return to school and college this September, over a third (34 percent) of English parents of 4-18 year olds surveyed by YouGov on behalf of Kaplan did not know that all young people in England must now continue in education or training until least their 18th birthday. As children across the country return to school and college, over a third (34 percent) of English parents of 4-18 year olds surveyed by YouGov on behalf of Kaplan did not know that all young people in England must now continue in education or training until least their 18th birthday. The lack of awareness could be harming young people’s chances of choosing the best education or training route for them, with 40 percent of parents of 17-year olds not aware that the new school participation age is 18.

Students have a choice to continue in full time study in a school, college or with a training provider; to work or volunteer full time combined with part time education; or to take up an Apprenticeship. The YouGov survey of more than 3,300 adults in England, conducted 19th21st August, also shows that 36 percent of parents of 4-18 year olds surveyed were unaware that Apprenticeships are fully funded by the Government for 16-18-year olds. Furthermore, parents are not clear about the full scope of Apprenticeships. Almost all parents of 4-18 year olds agreed (92 percent) that Apprenticeships can be a route to trade careers such as plumbing and mechanics, yet fewer than half (47 percent) agreed that Apprenticeships can also be used as a path to professional careers such as in law and accountancy.

In additional research * carried out by independent education charity Edge in February this year, it was revealed that nearly a quarter of young people had been told by their parents that they were “too clever for vocational education.” Kathy Walton, Head of Vocational Training at Kaplan, said: “School and college leavers naturally turn to their parents when making decisions about their next steps; this YouGov survey shows that parents need to be better informed about the new age of participation in education and also need to know more about the options available.

“More than 100,000** businesses in the UK now take on Apprentices and often give young people the opportunity to be trained up to the equivalent of degree level while they earn real life experience and the opportunity to gain employment after their qualification is completed.”
This comes after the Government has recently unveiled plans to boost Apprenticeships for thousands of school and college leavers with the introduction of 40 new employer-designed apprenticeships in a wide range of occupations from engineering and law to accountancy and journalism.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 3,385 adults who live in England of which 683 were parents of children aged 4-18. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th21st August 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Sources:

*http://www.edge.co.uk/news/2014/february/children-labelled-too-clever-for-vocational-education
** http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/employers/the-basics.aspx

www.kaplan.co.uk

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