Calls for Government to develop a post-16 education, training and jobs plan as North East campaigners warn of a ‘very different September’

The Government must develop a post-16 education, training and jobs plan by June to roll out in September, according to a new report.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 7:08 pm
Updated Monday, 27th April 2020, 1:18 pm
A previous A-level results day

The new paper, commissioned jointly by Newcastle-based education and skills charity NCFE and the Campaign for Learning (CfL), warns of a ‘very different September’ to the one the Department for Education and the Department for Work and Pensions planned for back in January.

The paper warns that by the start of the next academic year, the economy could be 15% smaller and unemployment 1.5 million higher, reaching 2.75 million.

Despite the welcome and generous wage subsidy programmes introduced by the Government, it is expected that there will be fewer businesses as some go bust, including levy and non-levy payers funding apprenticeships.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It also notes that, as seen in previous downturns, young people will be most significantly impacted, with an extra 54,000 16 and 17-year-olds from September who will need to meet the duty to participate in education and training.

Nearly 450,000 18 to 24-year-olds will also be leaving full-time further and higher education, flooding the labour market in search of jobs.

The paper highlights the fact that adults aged 25 and over will suffer too, noting that there will be more who are unemployed and looking for work to support them and their families.

‘There is no time to lose,’ according to Dr Susan Pember OBE, director of policy for HOLEX and one of the paper’s authors.

Mark Corney, a policy consultant who co-authored the paper, added that the Government must put ‘a plan in place by June, ready for September’, arguing that waiting for the Spending Review planned for the Autumn would be ‘too late’.

According to the paper, this plan should – among other measures – maximise participation in full-time further education, expand traineeships and introduce programme-led training to offset the loss of jobs for 16 to 17-year-olds; enable as many as possible 18 to 25-year-olds to enter full-time higher education and resist any national cap on student numbers; and extend the entitlement to free adult education for first full Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications to adults of any age.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you.