Young People: Gender

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of Paul Farrelly Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, with reference to the Youth Voice Census Report 2019, published in June 2018, what assessment she has made of the effect of gender on a young person's level of engagement with school and employment.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

No assessment has been made of gender on a young person’s level of engagement with school and employment.

However, the Government is committed to providing targeted support for all young people so that everyone, no matter what their start in life, is given the very best chance.

The Government has raised the participation age to ensure that all young people are supported to continue their education until at least age 18, and invested nearly £7 billion during academic year 2018/19, to ensure there is a place in education or training for every 16 to 19-year old.

Local Authorities (LAs) have a statutory duty to identify and track the participation of 16 and 17 year olds, supporting those who are not participating to do so and making sure that there is sufficient, suitable education and training provision to meet their needs. The September Guarantee places a further duty on LAs to ensure that all year 11 pupils (and year 12 pupils on one year courses) receive an offer of a place in education/training for the following September. It aims to ensure that all young people, regardless of what they achieved in school, understand that there are opportunities that will help them to progress, and to ensure that they get the advice and support they need to find a suitable place.

The latest data for the end of 2017 (provisional) shows that 86.8% of 16-18-year-old females are in Education and Training, compared to 85.1% of males. Source is the ‘Participation in education, training and employment: 2017’ published statistics.

In January to March 2019 the number of young people aged 16-24 who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in the UK was at a near record low (764,000) – down 364,000 since 2010. As part of this the number of women aged 16-24 who were NEET was at a near record low (383,000) – down 238,000 since 2010. The number of men aged 16-24 who were NEET was also near a record low – at 381,000 – down 126,000 since 2010.

The latest figures from the independent ONS, show that in February-April 2019 UK employment rate is at a joint record high of 76.1% - and as part of this the female employment rate is at a record high (72.0%). The male employment rate was 80.3% - up 5.3% points since 2010.

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