In an effort to encourage young people to become better qualified the government has introduced new legislation. This is officially called ‘Raising the Participation Age’ and it means that young people will be required by law to remain in learning for longer:
- until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17 from summer 2013
- until their 18th birthday from summer 2015
It is important to note that this isn’t about remaining in education; it is about remaining in learning. Young people will be able to learn in the following ways:
- Full-time education, such as school or college;
- Work-based learning, such as an apprenticeship; or
- Part-time accredited education or training if employed, self-employed or volunteering for more than 20 hours a week.
If young people choose to learn whilst they earn it is important that they have, and are able to demonstrate that they have, the employability skills that employers need and want young employees to have. Young people may also hope to move into employment once they finish learning at 18 and it is just as important that they are as prepared as possible in order to compete in the job market.