Today (23 May 2018), the Office for National Statistics released its latest Statistical Bulletin on the number of young people not in education, employment or training.
Chief Executive of the Edge Foundation, Alice Barnard, commented:
‘On the surface this seems like a small rise in the number of 16-24 year olds not in work, education or training, but the reality is that another 8,000 young people are being denied the opportunity to use their talents and find a fulfilling career path. While the government persists in its flawed belief that success can only be measured by GCSE grades, young people are leaving school without the workplace skills which will equip them for apprenticeships, jobs or further education and training.
‘Employers are crying out for young people with resilience, team-working skills, creativity and initiative, none of which can be learned following an exam focused curriculum designed a century ago. It is a nonsense that we need 203,000 people with engineering skills to meet demand, while 322,000 young people are struggling to find a job. Until we give our children an education fit for the 21st century, we will continue to see young people’s talents wasted while the UK economy suffers from an ever-widening skills gap.’