Commenting on the report released today by the TUC into youth unemployment, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:
The TUC is entirely right to highlight the looming crisis that we are facing as a result of the Coalition Government’s failure to invest in our young people.
“Youth unemployment is at an all time high, the number of young people staying in education post 16 is falling and we have seen a drop in the number of young people applying to university.
“All of this was predicted as each of the flawed economic and education policies of the Coalition Government was announced.
"Vocational education, at which many young people can excel, has been downgraded and rendered second class as increasingly elitist education policies are pursued.
“Essential financial support has been stripped away from our most disadvantaged young people denying them access further education.
"The massive hike in university tuition fees and the certainty of the mountain of student debt are ensuring that higher education once again becomes the preserve of the already advantaged.
“Sustained, long-term investment in academic and vocational education and a statutory requirement for employers to provide quality apprenticeships and training places should be a priority for this Coalition Government but, instead of supporting young people, it panders to the unreasonable whims and wishes of business.
“The Government must act now to reverse its policy of cuts and destructive reforms to the education system which are crippling young people’s life chances.
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