Supporting Young People
Chapter 4 Section 2

4.3 Acquiring the learning habit early will help individuals to sustain it later in life. Our proposals for foundation learning have been set out in detail in the White Paper Excellence in Schools. We want more young people to stay on in full-time education and training and achieve a qualification. No-one should be written off as a failure at the age of 16. This will take time, entail significant changes in attitudes and expectations, and require a major collective effort.

4.4 Our Investing in Young People (IiYP) strategy is a comprehensive approach aimed at young people who have not achieved while at school. It is designed to encourage all young people to continue studying so that they achieve, or are on the road to, a level 2 qualification (or higher if they are able). Schools will set targets for attainment of qualifications at the age of 16, with a wider range of vocational options and more work relevance in the curriculum. Through our introduction of a single school leaving date, all young people will have the chance to sit their GCSEs or other external examinations before they are able to leave school. IiYP will be supported by our New Start programme to re-motivate young people from the age of 14 who are disenchanted with learning.

4.5 For young people in work, we are legislating to give all 16 and 17 year olds a statutory right to undertake education and training, with the support of their employer, to get to NVQ level 2. We are also introducing National Traineeships as a high quality work-based route to NVQ level 2, including key skills. We want all young people to plan their own learning, supported by a new National Record of Achievement and a Learning Card telling them about their entitlement to continue in learning post-16.

4.6 The Careers Service will help support young people in making informed choices and so help reduce the cost of bad decisions and subsequent drop-out from learning. From September 1998, we propose to require schools to run careers education programmes in Years 9 to 11. The earlier this work starts the better, and we will therefore encourage schools to widen awareness and raise aspirations from Year 7. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority will produce guidance for schools on developing careers education programmes.

4.7 We propose to concentrate individual careers guidance on those who are most at risk of losing their way. From this summer the priority for the Careers Service will be to follow-up, and keep in touch with, all 16 year olds who are not in education and training. This will include finding new ways of involving parents and families in young people's career thinking and planning, and providing more help for those who are hardest to help.

4.8 To support this work, we are investing an additional 6 million in the Careers Service in 1998-99, as well as making extra funds available through the Careers Service to schools and further education colleges for staff development.

4.9 The Youth Service will also be involved in supporting our strategy for young people. Some parts of the Youth Service are already attracting and helping many young people who have failed in, or have been failed by, more formal education. We want to see this built upon in partnership with the voluntary sector and others as a priority for the Service. We are undertaking a national audit of provision in every local authority in England. Drawing on this, we will look to put the Youth Service on a stronger statutory footing and ensure that voluntary youth networks and local authorities come together to provide for young people in an imaginative way.

4.10 This is a challenging programme. It forms part of the Government's wider strategy to restore hope, motivation and the opportunity for sustained employment to a generation of young people who have lost them. It links directly with our wider welfare to work programme, and with the reform of the youth justice system which aims to nip in the bud the drift into crime following failure at school. An important contribution to this is to help young offenders, as with other young people, gain literacy, numeracy and other key skills.

On-line Consultation
Q. How should the Careers service best develop providing advice and guidance to young people. In particular, what should the balance be between universal provision, targeted help for some young people, and work with adults?

Q. In what ways can the Youth Service best support the Government's strategy for young people?

Q. How could the University for Industry support the Investing in Young People strategy?

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