The number of young people in education, employment and training is rising

aat comment

Yesterday we celebrated the best and brightest examples of vocational education in the annual VQ Day awards.

The awards, set up to give young people who study vocational qualifications the chance to celebrate and have their hard work recognised, illustrate perfectly the different types of vocational success.

Finding the right path to get on in life can be difficult, particularly for a young person who is not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Today, AAT along with 16 other Further Education organisations, is calling on the Government to boost technical and vocational education and set their sights on a bold new target – No NEETs. Doing this will not only boost the UK economy but bring us another step closer to fulfilling the Government’s aspiration for Britain to achieve full employment.

Recently the Government announced that youth unemployment had fallen again – a welcome continuation of the decline for the past two years following its rise during the recession. However, even now, one in six 19-24 year olds is classed as a NEET. At the same time, employers are crying out for highly-skilled recruits for roles as varied as engineering to childcare.

These are roles that can be filled easily by young people who have undertaken the sort of vocational qualifications that VQ Day aims to celebrate. Bridging the gap means investing in high-quality technical and vocational education, starting in school and continuing through further education, apprenticeships, higher education and lifelong learning.

The winner of the VQ Learner of the Year 2015 England award, Josh Ellis, was recognised for his his ability to successfully juggle the high demand for his work with his further studies at college. He previously won the gold medal for plumbing at the World Skills UK Final in 2014, with his work deemed ‘near perfect’ by the judges.

Giving people opportunities to learn about work, through work and in work is vital to providing excellent long-term career prospects for everyone.

Setting the new target of No NEETs would provide an effective solution for employers, young people and Britain as a whole – paving the way for a stronger and bigger skills base that can serve the increasing demands of the UK economy.

AAT Comment offers news and opinion on the world of business and finance from the Association of Accounting Technicians.

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