Commenting on national statistics on the participation in education, training and employment by 16-18 year olds, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“An increase in 16-18 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEET) is a sad indictment of Coalition Government policy. Reducing benefits such as the Educational Maintenance Allowance was a totally wrong decision. This money made a real difference to young people and their families. Without this many pupils have no option but to opt out of further education or training.
“The sharp rise in higher education fees will also deter many. Alternatives such as apprenticeships do not provide a realistic option for all. Demand for apprenticeships outstrips supply and in times of economic hardship fewer, rather than more employers, are likely to be willing to engage in meaningful apprenticeship schemes which can lead to sustainable employment.
“Young people are paying a high price for education policies that ensure less rather than more participation and engagement in schools and further education. The Government cannot be complacent about such figures. Cutting education budgets is never a good idea. It leads to the potential waste of a generation that will cost society far more in the long term.”
For further details contact Caroline Cowie on 0207 380 4706/ 07879480061