Clegg acts to ensure opportunities for all young people

Nick Clegg is spending today announcing new initiatives to help young people with their career choices by improving career advice in schools, allowing job centre plus to give advice to 16 and 17 year olds and to improve opportunities for work experience.  There will be a UCAS style “one-stop shop” to help those young people.

From today’s Independent:

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, will pledge to “end the snobbery surrounding vocational education” that limits the prospects of those who do not go to university, and promise them “an equal shot” by helping them to make the right choice after taking their GCSEs.

Sixteen-year-olds will be able to use a “one stop shop” website to help them plan their next move.

Run by local authorities, it will be modelled on the UCAS system for applying to university but will instead provide details of college courses, apprenticeships, traineeships, work experience and job opportunities.

Mr Clegg wants it to become a rite of passage for all teenagers. Although some councils already provide online advice, the Government will open talks with them to ensure a nationwide system is launched as soon as possible.

Other measures include ensuring that all young people have the chance to achieve their Level 2 Maths and English qualifications. My only observation about this is that if they haven’t achieved this at school, there is bound to be a reason whether it be disengagement, learning difficulties or not responding well to the way it was being taught. It stands to reason that any training package on offer should reflect their needs. A one-size-fits-all-take-it-or-lose-your-benefits style thing is unlikely to get the results we want.

Nick went on to BBC Breakfast to discuss this initiative this morning. He was challenged on the lack of jobs available for young people and he was able to say that youth unemployment, which had been on the rise even when the economy was in good shape before the crash, was now on the way down.

He was also asked about RBS and why it was being allowed to pay out half a billion in bonuses when it had lost £8 billion. Nick said that bonuses were going down and he had made it clear to RBS that they had to cut remuneration levels. He said that an organisation that is only in existence due to the generosity of  UK taxpayers should not remunerate as if it were healthy. Some will still think that, even with the cut, they are still much too high.

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4 Comments

  • I presume Clegg knows that the Tory Government required outsourcing of the Local Authority careers service in the ’90s. That service worked in liaison with schools to ensure that all kids received careers advice.
    I wonder how many people remember the creation of the YTS schemes by the Tories under Thatcher? I seem to remember it provided a cheap alternative to apprenticeships in many cases.

  • richardheathcote 28th Feb '14 - 9:46am

    I was on a Y.T.S scheme in 1987 for a major national tyre fitting company. I cant say it was a good thing over 50 hours a week 10+ hours a day 5 days a week working on a rota so Saturdays and Sundays where part of that pattern, without getting breaks or dinner with 2 other Y.T.S in the tyre bay whilst the proper staff worked in other areas. Awful working conditions all for £27.50 a week rising to a massive £35.00 in second year. The system was abused to provide cheap labour nothing else.

  • ” Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, will pledge to “end the snobbery surrounding vocational education” that limits the prospects of those who do not go to university, … ..
    …. but will instead provide details of college courses, apprenticeships, traineeships, work experience and job opportunities.
    Mr Clegg wants it to become a rite of passage for all teenagers. ”

    All teenagers? Those at Eton and Westminster schools as well? Will this mean apprenticeships or traineeships for the Clegg and Cameron children ?

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