School leavers left behind in dead-end jobs

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A new report by the House of Lords committee on Social Mobility has condemned the current system for school leavers looking to find their first jobs, saying it was ‘complex and incoherent’, the Independent has reported.

The report blames a lack of good careers advice and support when children leave school, despite more than half of young people not following the traditional academic route of going from school to university before starting work.

This majority of young people are significantly overlooked in their transition from school to work and the government’s focus on apprenticeships is not suitable for everyone, concluded the report.

The Committee said the current 'complex and incoherent' system for school leavers looking to find their first jobs was confusing for both young people and employers, so they are simply not adequately prepared for the world of work.

This significantly disadvantages a huge number of young people and limits their opportunity for social mobility.

Baroness Corston, chair of the Committee, said: "Recent governments have focused on higher education and apprenticeships as the way to help young people to be successful in later life. Both routes can work well – but it is absolutely not the case that they are suitable for everyone. To focus on university or apprenticeships, to the exclusion of other routes, is to the detriment of many talented and able young people.

"We have found that without being taught life skills, given the right support, access to work experience and robust, independent careers advice, we are in danger of trapping these young people in low-skilled, low-paid work, with little chance of a rewarding career.

"A young person considering their options for further education or employment is presented with gobbledygook. It is totally unclear to them how they can get the skills needed for a successful career. It is also unclear to the people in their lives giving them advice and support in making these crucial decisions."

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