Improving young people’s prospects is vital for economic growth

27 February 2014

Responding to today’s figures which show that the proportion of young people aged 16-24, who are not in education, employment and training, has fallen to its lowest level since 2008, Dr Fiona Aldridge, Head of Learning for Work at NIACE, said:

“These are encouraging figures and a step in the right direction. However, far too many young people are still not getting the right start to their post-school life. They need better support in achieving that vital first step into the workplace, as well as having access to the right education and training opportunities to secure fulfilling and lasting careers.

“It is crucial that all young people have a range of opportunities to access learning and work including Traineeships and Apprenticeships. Our research on Traineeships, published today, highlights that while STEM employers in the South West are impressed by the potential of Traineeships to provide a pathway to STEM job roles for young people, many of them know little about the programme and are therefore not in a position to participate. Given the fundamental role of employers in offering work placements, it is vital to the success of the policy that efforts are made to raise the profile of these programmes.

“Improving the prospects of young people is a crucial component in achieving sustained economic growth, providing a well-trained and motivated workforce. However, this should not be at the expense of investing in the skills of the whole adult workforce.”