07 SES 13 A, Early School-Leaving in the European Union: Comparative perspectives (Part 1)
Symposium to be continued in 07 SES 14 A
In the UK, there has been growing concern about the number of young people NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and those ‘churning’ (Furlong 2006) between low paid, insecure apprenticeships and jobs, unpaid voluntary work, periods of unemployment, and never-ending training courses without clear employment opportunities in sight (MacDonald 2011). According to statistics, low qualifications are among the most important risk factors for unsuccessful labour market integration and becoming NEET (Mirza-Davies & Brown 2016). Therefore, a key aspect of the government strategy for reducing youth unemployment and NEET numbers has been the promotion of apprenticeships in order to equip young people with in-demand skills (Brockmann & Laurie 2016; Hogarth, Gambin & Hasluck 2012). Indeed, statistics show that apprenticeships have a high probability to lead to employment (Ryan & Lőrinc 2015). According to the 2011 Census results, 89.4% of 24-35 year olds who completed apprenticeships were employed - the second highest employment rate only after those qualified to degree level and above (90.5%). In order to increase uptake, the British Government has announced a target of 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020, with apprenticeships to be given the same legal treatment as degrees. Through the apprenticeship levy, the Government plans to raise over £3 billion a year by 2019-20, of which £2.5 billion will be spent on apprenticeships in England alone. This is the highest investment in real terms ever made for apprenticeships (Mirza-Davies 2016). However, there are still many questions to be answered regarding this learning pathway Brockmann, Clarke & Winch 2010; Green 2015). In this paper, we draw on in-depth longitudinal qualitative research with young apprentices, tutors, employers and policy makers to explore several apprenticeship schemes across London. We consider the reasons why these young people choose to do apprenticeships despite the widespread concerns that still surround this type of training in the UK. We also examine some of the limitations and challenges of these programmes, based on the apprentices’ experiences and the accounts of their tutors and policy makers. These challenges include lack of information available to school leavers about apprenticeships, the low esteem of this learning pathway, financial limitations due to low pay for apprentices, low quality or uneven training in some programmes, and a vocational education system that many find difficult to navigate.
Brockmann, Michaela, Linda Clarke & Christopher Winch (2010). The Apprenticeship Framework in England: a new beginning or a continuing sham? Journal of Education and Work, 23(2), 111-127. Brockmann, Michaela & Ian Laurie (2016). Apprenticeship in England – the continued role of the academic–vocational divide in shaping learner identities. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 68(2), 229-244. Furlong, Andy (2006). «Not a very NEET solution»: Representing problematic labour market transitions among early school-leavers. Work Employment Society, 20(3), 553-569. Green, C. (2015). UK apprenticeships: opportunity or exploitation?. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality and Diversity, 1(1). Hogarth, Terence, Lynn Gambin & Chris Hasluck (2012). Apprenticeships in England: what next? Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 64(1), 41-55. MacDonald, Robert (2011). Youth transitions, unemployment and underemployment: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose? Journal of Sociology, 47(4), 427-444. Mirza-Davies, James (2016). Apprenticeship Policy in England. Briefing Paper. Number 03052. House of Commons Library. Mirza-Davies, James & Jennifer Brown (2016). NEET: Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training. Briefing Paper. Number SN 06705. House of Commons Library. Ryan, Louise & Magdolna Lőrinc (2015). Interrogating Early School Leaving, Youth Unemployment and NEETs: Understanding local contexts in two English regions. Educação, Sociedade & Culturas, 45.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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