The opportunities for pupils aged 16 and over has traditionally been either to leave school and start employment or to stay and continue with their education. Although many pupils do still choose one of these options, there is now more opportunities available as there has been an increased government focus on education for post 16 year old’s in particular a focus on reducing the number of young people not in education, employment or training.
The government is in the process of increasing the age to which all young people in England must continue in education or training. Since 2013 all young people have been required to continue in education or training untill they turn 17 years of age this will increase to 18 years of age by 2015.
The goverment are focusing on post 16 options because they want to increase the quality of education available and ensure that all young people have the tools and opportunities they need to fulfil their potential so they are prepared for further education and work regardles of their background or life circumstances. By giving young people the options to undertake academic and vocational education including appreniteships and traineeships they are providing the skills need for life and work helping to create a more responsible, engaged and cohesive society.
The post 16 options set out by the government are: ·College ·Sixth form ·Apprenticeships ·Employment with training One of the reasons for this change has been because of the governments concerns over the number of 16-24 year olds who have been classified as Neets. Neets are young people who are not in employment, education or training and are between the ages of 16-24. There is a number of factors that can contribute to young people becoming Neets they are:
·Young people who were eligible for free school meals are more likely to become neets than those not eligible. ·Young people who have been excluded or suspended from school are more likely to become neets than those not. ·Young people who have their own child are more likely to become neets than those who don’t. ·Young people who have a disability are more likely to become neets than those who are not. ·Young people who achieved five or more GCSEs A to C grade are less likely to become neets than those who have not.
The government hopes that by raising the participation age it will ensure that young people are equiped with the skills they need to be able to gain qualifications that will lead to sustainable jobs. Education and training is provided by a number of different ways for example: ·Colleges ·Universities ·Charities ·Armed forces ·Youth and community organisations ·Employment training ·Private training providers The learners can work towards a range both academic and vocational qualifications as well as take GCSEs and functional skills such as English and Maths. They can work towards getting A’levels, access courses, foundation degrees and post graduate qualifications.
In addition to the qualifications mentioned there are professional and specialist qualifications available to learners such as first aid, safeguarding training, manual handing ect. All the above together will help to ensure that: ·More young people go on to study and gain the skills and qualifications that lead to sustainable jobs. ·They will be fewer young people who are classified as neets (not in education, employment or training. ·More young people will be involved in social action and feel they can make postivite changes in society and their own lives.