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Young People: Disadvantaged

Department for Education written question – answered on 24th October 2017.

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Photo of Clive Lewis Clive Lewis Labour, Norwich South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason the Norwich Area Programme targets do not recognise vocational trade-related qualifications as a measure of progress for disadvantaged young people.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Minister of State (Education)

The priorities and targets for the Norwich Opportunity Area were developed and agreed by the Opportunity Area Partnership Board. The board is made up of key local stakeholders, including representatives from education and business. The Partnership Board conducted a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of local needs and set out its four key priorities and targets on the basis of the evidence and local consultation.

I strongly agree about the importance of encouraging more disadvantaged young people, and indeed more young people from all backgrounds, to take up high quality vocational qualifications. One of the priorities set out in the Norwich Opportunity Area plan is to ensure that young people have access to the information and support they need to move successfully between education and into work. Within this priority, the plan has set an ambitious target around increasing the number of young people going into either a higher apprenticeship or higher education. The plan also sets the target that by 2021, 50% of 19 year olds will be qualified to level 3, which includes vocational qualifications. We will keep these priorities under review as the Opportunity Area programme develops and would be happy to engage with the hon. Member on next steps.

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