The latest figures out today show that there has been a slight fall in the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET).  However, now is not the time to be complacent, the figures are still very high.  Today we launch a small scale piece of research which examines what would improve the employment rate for young people.  We would love to hear from others about your experiences of what steps need to be taken to help, particularly the most vunerable young people into secure sustained employment.

Download the full report here

The report was undertaken pro bono for PEF and examines what would improve the employment rate of young people, and particularly within small and medium enterprises. It recognises the practical issues faced by education providers and employers alike in the context of economic stringency, and offers pragmatic recommendations to improve the supply of suitably qualified young people to the workplace.

It considers that both education providers and businesses alike fail to fully understand on a regular basis ‘what is really needed’ in order for young people to successfully gain employment. Despite sincere motives, some employers are poorly informed about what schools actually achieve; some schools are poorly informed about what prospective employers are looking for.

The report recommends that the drive for achieving effective progression to work is the primary responsibility of schools and colleges and that:

  • Government should be clearer to schools that they have the option to retain work experience for 14-16 year olds
  • OfSTED should include a specific focus the effectiveness of the preparation made by schools for its students to succeed in the workplace, and on the scope and impact of their liaison with their local business community.
  • The PEF ThinkForward model of a ‘consistent professional ‘should be applied to support those vulnerable young people who are looking for employment
  • Local authorities should be reminded of their opportunities to create employment for young people through their procurement practices

Alan Lazell is a freelance education professional. He has extensive senior management experience at divisional director level in a local authority, with a particular emphasis upon 14-19 issues.

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