The Tories are letting down our young people in Hyndburn and Haslingden.
The latest figures for young people, 16-18 year old cohort not in Education, Employment or Training - or listed as unknown - is shocking.
Whats worse is that 17 years olds must be in Education, Employment or Training by law and that is extended to 18 year olds this September.
In 2008 the last the last Labour Government made it mandatory that every young adult have some learning element within their chosen path, education or training from 2015 (2013 for 17 year olds). No dead end jobs without an element learning.
These figures are terrible. What is most alarming is the government arrogance. Whilst claiming (1) the number of NEETs is going down but (2) ignoring the numbers of unknowns which is rising and (3) failing to monitor those who have started a learning pathway but discontinued it.
The Government is failing in it's duty to educate the most vulnerable young adults storing up problems for those young people, their families and the economy in the future.
Raising the Participation was supposed to be about 'improving the quality of education will help to make study more attractive to young people'. The government has failed to meet it's promises to:
- raise the participation age in 2013 and 2015, requiring young people to remain in some form of education or training until their 18th birthday
- make sure that young people have the information they need to make good choices by extending the duty on schools and colleges to secure independent, impartial careers guidance
- provide targeted financial support to young people who need it through the £180 million 16 to 19 bursary fund
- support 16- to 17-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) and have few qualifications to move into education or training through the Youth Contract
The changes to further education funding have only added to the problems
It's not just funding a crises in funding of further education, a crises in that young adults are being thrown on the scrap heap aged 16, a crises in careers advice, it's a government that isn't interested in looking at the facts in the first place.
The government simply aren't taking this issue seriously and with so many Hyndburn youngsters left behind, it is simply a government that doesn't seem to care.
People involved in providing training say the numbers of unrecorded drop outs could be as high as 20% or higher in some cases. Young adults who are recorded as having started but aren't recorded when their attendance falls away.
It may be the case that many unknowns are in some form of education of training or that the numbers of drop outs is much lower but without a commitment from the government to helping young people starting with collecting the right information we won't know.
Even those trying to make a difference are being undermined. Training providers and colleges are being denied the names and addresses of those not officially in education or training and as such they are unable to engage directly with those young people and offer them an opportunity.
Don't let ever be said the Tories care about young people. Based on the evidence they don't.
Below is the details on (just the) NEETs in Hyndburn