To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Resolution Foundation Class of 2020: Education leavers in the current crisis, published in May, in particular its (1) finding that youth unemployment in Britain could reach one million over the coming year, and (2) recommendation that policies should be pursued to assist young people to continue to study, including the provision of maintenance support.
We welcome the focus that the Resolution Foundation report draws to the challenge of supporting young people to progress into work and training.
The Government is actively considering ways to help young people continue to develop the skills they will need for the future. We want to give young people the best chance to succeed, despite these challenging and unsettling times.
As part of raising the participation age legislation Local Authorities have duties to track all academic age 16 and 17 year olds, identify those not in education, employment or training (NEET) or at risk of becoming so and supporting them to re-engage in education or training. This includes a September guarantee where Local Authorities need to ensure that all year 11 students and year 12 students on a one year course have a suitable offer of education or training for the following September.
The department provides a range of financial support for students aged 16 to19, to enable them to participate and stay in further education, including free meals, bursaries to help with the cost of travel, books, equipment, IT and connectivity, plus support for childcare and residential costs. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/16-to-19-education-financial-support-for-students
For those learners aged 19 and over, the DfE supports a broad spectrum of learning provision from non-formal, unaccredited learning which helps to engage disadvantaged learners through to Apprenticeships and Traineeships where learners can gain the skills and qualifications needed to get into work.
Learners aged 19 or over who are studying on a further education course and facing financial hardship may be eligible for Learner Support to pay for things like: accommodation and travel, course materials and equipment and childcare. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/learner-support
On apprenticeships, we are continuing to support employers and training providers in dealing with, and responding to, the impacts of COVID-19. While we do not yet know the full impact of COVID-19, our priority is ensuring that apprentices and employers can continue to access high quality training, both now and in the future. We continue to support traineeships and have introduced flexibilities to enable providers to continue to deliver them where possible, given that traineeships will play an important part in supporting young people back into learning and work.
In early June this year, we launched a £7 million Alternative Provision Transition Fund to enable Alternative Provision schools to support all their Year 11 pupils to transition successfully into post-16 settings this summer, and avoid becoming NEET.