Young People: Employment

Department for Education written question – answered on 15 September 2023.

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Photo of Sarah Olney Sarah Olney Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will take steps to respond to the report of the APPG on Youth Affairs entitled Empowering Youth for the Future of Work, published July 2023.

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

The department is aware of the APPG on Youth Affairs Report, Empowering Youth for the Future of Work. Much of the report covers important matters that match our aims and policies, such as ensuring education and training meet future skills needs, giving young people the opportunities to thrive, the value of work experience and careers advice, and the importance of apprenticeships.

The government is committed to creating a world-leading skills system that is employer-focused, high-quality and fit for the future. Departmental reforms are strengthening higher and further education to help more people get good jobs and upskill and retrain throughout their lives, and to improve national productivity and economic growth. The reforms are backed with an additional investment of £3.8 billion over the course of this Parliament to strengthen higher and further education.

The department has invested over £7 billion during the 2022/23 academic year, to ensure there was a place in education or training for every 16- to 18-year-old who wanted one.

The 2021 Spending Review made available an extra £1.6 billion in 2024/25 for 16-19 education compared with the 2021/22 financial year, which is the biggest increase in a decade.

In January 2023 the department announced a further £125 million funding available in 2023/24. In July further announcements were made of investments of £185 million in 2023/24 and £285 million in 2024/25 to help 16-19 providers address key priorities.

The department is investing over £90 million in the financial year 2023/24 to help young people and adults to get high-quality careers provision. The department is supporting schools and colleges, through the Careers & Enterprise Company, to make sustained progress in developing their careers programmes, in line with the Gatsby Benchmarks, which set out what good careers advice looks like. The department has strengthened legislation to ensure all secondary pupils have access to independent careers guidance and at least six encounters with providers of technical education or apprenticeships. Currently about two thirds (65%) of year 13 students have experiences of the workplace.

The department wants to support more young people to start and achieve apprenticeships that offer good earnings potential and career progression and funding for apprenticeships will be £2.7 billion by 2024/25. The department is also paying employers and providers £1,000 when they take on apprentices aged 16 to 18 and covering 100 per cent of the training cost for smaller employers when they take on these younger apprentices.

T Levels will also equip more young people with the skills, knowledge and experience to access skilled employment or further study. They represent a real shift in the quality of technical education and the department has invested significantly to support providers in their implementation. From September 2023 18 T Levels will be available, being delivered through nearly 300 providers across all regions of the country.

In 2021/2022 the department engaged closely with the Education Select Committee on Youth Unemployment which covered similar matters to the APPG report, providing evidence and a government response, which can be found at

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