By Francesca James
The Government today published figures showing that the highest ever proportion of 16-18 year olds were participating in education or training at the end of 2010.
The provisional annual data on young people’s participation in education, employment and training showed:
- The proportion of 16-18 year olds in education and training was 84.4 per cent at the end of 2010 — an increase of 2.0 percentage points from 82.5 per cent at the end of 2009. The total number of 16-18 year olds in education and training increased by 1,600 to 1.64 million at the end of 2010.
- The proportion of 16-18 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEET) decreased from 9.4 per cent at the end of 2009 to 7.3 per cent at the end of 2010.
The data also show a record proportion of 16-17 year olds participating in education or work-based learning — the age group that will be the focus of the Department's policy to raise the participation age.
Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said:
Studying at college, sixth form or in work-based training helps young people to gain the skills and knowledge they need to access higher education or secure good jobs. So it is good news that the highest ever proportion of young people were in education or training at the end of last year.
Despite today’s figures, much still needs to be done to ensure that we continue to reduce the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training — and to ensure the courses they take are of a high quality. We recently accepted all of the recommendations made in Professor Wolf’s review to transform vocational education for young people and will publish a cross-government strategy later in the year to set out how we will improve post-16 participation further.
We have also made clear our commitment to raising the participation age, so that all young people are in education or training by 2015.