The Government has today published plans to increase the participation of 16-24 year olds in education, training and work.
‘Building Engagement, Building Futures' sets out the Government's strategy to improve the opportunities for young people, so they can succeed in education and training and gain the skills they need to secure an apprenticeship or employment. It includes radical reforms to schools, vocational education, skills and welfare provision.
The majority of young people stay in education and make a positive transition to adult life and the world of work. But recent figures show that 1.16 million young people are not in education, employment or training (NEET). In the current economic climate the Government wants to do all it can to help young people, particularly the most vulnerable, develop their skills, gain the right experience and succeed in adult life.
Getting more young people active and engaged in their own learning and development, and subsequently into work, will make a lasting difference to their future prospects, help to raise levels of social mobility, and is central to the Government's plans to stimulate economic growth.
‘Building Engagement, Building Futures' includes five priorities for action:
* Raising attainment in school and beyond to ensure that young people have the skills they need to compete in a global economy;
* Helping local partners to provide effective and coordinated services that support all young people, including the most vulnerable, putting us on track to achieve full participation for 16-17 year olds by 2015;
* Encouraging and incentivising employers to inspire and recruit young people by offering more high quality apprenticeships and work experience places;
* Ensuring that work pays and giving young people the personalised support they need to find it, through Universal Credit, the Work Programme and our Get Britain Working measures; and
* Putting in place a new Youth Contract worth almost £1 billion over the next three years to help get young people learning or earning before long term damage is done.
The Government committed to publishing a participation strategy in ‘Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers' – the Government's Social Mobility strategy – published in April by the Deputy Prime Minister.
In the Plan for Growth, the Chancellor set out how the Government will create the conditions for economic growth and recovery. ‘Building Engagement, Building Futures' sets out the Government's offer for young people to help make sure they can access the education and skills they require to make the most of employment opportunities as the economy picks up.
As part of the priorities for action, the Government is:
* Providing £4.5 million over the next two years to give more 16-19 year olds access to work experience. The Department for Education is today announcing that 25 colleges in areas with the highest proportion of young people not in education, employment or training will benefit from this funding to test new approaches to work experience. The Department is also working with employers to cut red tape around work experience and has published a new myth-busting guide for schools, colleges and employers.
* Providing an extra 250,000 work experience places over the next three years for young unemployed people across the UK as part of the Youth Contract. This will come with an offer of a work experience place for every 18-24 year-old who wants one, before they enter the Work Programme.
* Funding charities and businesses to help the most disengaged 16-17 year olds get skills and jobs. As part of the Youth Contract, £150 million will be available over the next three years to get th