Today our blog looks at the work we do to ensure that everyone has access to education and training, plus new cyber apprenticeships being offered in Manchester.
Today, Wednesday 24 April, the charity Impetus issued a press notice based on research, which they say shows that one in four young people who were eligible for free school meals were not in education, employment or training (NEET) after leaving school. This has been covered by the Guardian, the Independent, the Metro and the Mirror.
Since 2011, the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has narrowed by at least 9.5%. In addition to this, young people are participating in education and training at their highest rate since consistent records began, with 90.5% of 16-17 year olds being in education and work based learning at the end of 2017.
The Department for Education and Department for Work and Pensions work closely together to ensure that young people are supported during and after leaving school.
A Government spokesperson said:
Tackling disadvantage will always be a priority for this government and since 2010, the youth unemployment level has almost halved.
Young people are participating in education and training at their highest rate since consistent records began and the latest figures show that the overall proportion of 16-18 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEET) was at 6.3%, the lowest rate on record.
We are working closely with schools to assist 12 to 16 year olds who have been identified as most likely to be at risk of becoming NEET. Jobcentres also help school pupils with career planning and link them up with local businesses for work experience placements. We also provide support for young people after they leave school to equip them with the skills and experience they need to progress.
Today, the Sun published a brief article reporting that the defence and technology business Raytheon has pledged £2 million for cyber apprenticeships. The article states that the apprenticeships will include training in anti-hacking and cyber security.
Raytheon will offer apprenticeships from April, based at a cutting-edge cyber centre in Salford Quays, Manchester. The new scheme will initially provide opportunities for up to 70 apprentices every year in Manchester, with plans to expand to around 280 place over the next four years.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Anne Milton said:
Cyber security skills are in increasing demand from UK businesses, so it is brilliant that Raytheon is leading the way and offering this high-quality apprenticeship programme.
This is a fantastic opportunity for apprentices to gain the cutting-edge skills they need to kick-start a highly sought-after and rewarding career.