Do some qualifications harm young people's job prospects ?
- Posted by: Alun Baker
- Time:Feb 25th, 2011 at 11:48
The Guardian on Thursday highlighted the plight of Neets, (Not in Education Employment or Training) to be in a critical state. Unemployment figures published last week showed that 965,000 16- to 24-year-olds are unemployed, the highest since records began in 1992
Unfortunately there is no evidence this trend is likely to change in the near future. Without the recent concerns of the Middle East unrest, rising inflation and record energy and oil prices there have been continuing rumbles of double dip recession and constant concerns about many countries including the UK and US' ability to manage the crippling National debt.
The strategy of Public Sector cuts as a core tool to reduce debt is now moving from debate to action but is far from in full swing. It is little wonder therefore that the thinktank Demos has warned that the number of unemployed 16- to 24-year-olds is likely to grow to 1.2m over the next 5 years.The Guardian article says that in a soon to be published study Demos argues that some qualifications harm young people's chances of securing a job. For example, National Vocational Qualifications at levels 1 and 2, which are equivalent to GCSEs, do nothing to protect young people against unemployment, the thinktank has found.
The Government is vocal about the need to train young people and appears determined to support and invest in growing Apprentice schemes. The 75,000 increase being vaunted is a step in the right direction but clearly is not enough to reverse the current trends. One of the dangers of setting such arbitrary targets is that we risk the errors made by the previous government of driving massive numbers to University without understanding the supply and demand principals of the job market. The Higher Education Statistics Agency show 2.5m students were at universities in the UK in 2009-2010. This represents a 4.1% overall rise on 08-09 numbers driven by a 3% rise in UK students and a huge 11.7% increase from those coming from outside the EU. Clearly the intense targeting of this most lucrative of Student groups by UK Universities is working. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said "instead of erecting barriers to study, such as tripling the cost of tuition fees, the government should be following the example of other countries and be investing in education, not cutting the very services young people need".
was created as a social platform with the sole purpose of helping with these challenges. The risk is far to high to leave career choices and policy to broad brush guesswork. We want existing Professionals and Professional bodies, Institutions and Companies to help with a crowd sourced solution to give young people ideas, support, direction and statistics to make informed and commercially responsible decisions.
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