‘Neglected majority’ of young people are ‘badly let down’ by education system

A major funding boost is needed to get T levels off the ground, according to a report published today.

According to the Resolution Foundation’s report ‘Technical Fault’, the proportion of people earning a degree by their late 20s has almost trebled from 14% of those born in the late-60s to 38% of those born in the early 1990s.

But progress has slowed recently, with much smaller increases in the numbers going to university.

Since the mid-1990s, there has been little progress in reducing the proportion of young people only qualified to GCSE level.

The foundation has warned that this lack of progress reflects the fact that the majority of options for young people who do not go to university are “difficult to navigate and too often of poor quality.”

Consequently, men with level 3 technical qualifications earn a third less per hour than male graduates, the report states.

Although it welcomes plans to address this through the introduction of T levels from 2020, it warns that their successful introduction will mean overcoming “widespread indifference from business.”

Recent polling reveals that a whopping 73% of businesses had not heard or seen anything of T levels.

The foundation is particularly concerned by this lack of awareness given the “pivotal role” of businesses in the qualifications, which include 45 days’ worth of work placements.

Less than a fifth of firms said that their businesses are set up to provide work placements and a quarter said that their workplace was unsuitable for 16-18 year olds.

The Resolution Foundation is calling for a “hearts and minds” business engagement drive to raise awareness and drive culture change amongst businesses in order for T levels to be a success, as well as a major funding boost to ensure that high quality qualifications are taught in high quality colleges.

There is widespread support from businesses for technical education, including apprenticeships, with 38% of businesses saying that it should be the government’s main education priority.

The report also recommends that funding should be made available by cancelling half of the proposed cut in corporation tax due to come into effect in April 2020, which it said would raise over £2bn by 2020, of which £1bn could be used to provide technical providers with the resources that they need to deliver the education reforms that employers say are needed.

Kathleen Henehan, policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Policy makers spend far too much time discussing graduates at the expense of the neglected majority of young people who don’t go to university, and who are badly let down by our education system.”

She added: “Britain’s continued failure to value vocational education has left non-graduates facing huge pay and career penalties.

“Post-16 education is ripe for reform, and the government is on the right track with new ‘T levels’ planned for roll-out from 2020.”

Henehan warned that young people cannot afford another failed further education initiative, and said: “The government needs to back up its proposals with a major cash injection and a hearts and minds business engagement plan.”


Enjoying PSE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Council leaders to unite in bid for £1.3bn growth deal

18/05/2018Council leaders to unite in bid for £1.3bn growth deal

Leaders of all six councils in the North of Wales have come together to bid for a £1.3bn boost in funding for the region. Anglesey, Gw... more >
Leicester armours parking meters after spike in break-ins

17/05/2018Leicester armours parking meters after spike in break-ins

Leicester City Council has resorted to armour-plating its parking meters to combat thieves. According to the council, there have already been 84... more >
Grenfell: review into combustable cladding falls short, LGA warns

17/05/2018Grenfell: review into combustable cladding falls short, LGA warns

The independent review of building regulations, conducted following the Grenfell tragedy, has stopped short of proposing a ban on flammable claddin... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
View all News

the raven's daily blog

The complexities of Brexit and the hunt for exceptional data scientists

16/04/2018The complexities of Brexit and the hunt for exceptional data scientists

Christopher Gallagher, public sector – SAS, says it’s imperative that organisations have the most experienced data scientists at hand. The Civil Service is feeling immense Brexit stress. Making the right decisions, analysing the ‘best interests’ of the nation as a whole, as well as discrete segments of the populati... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >


The digital journey so far

08/05/2018The digital journey so far

Michael Sage, digital services group manager at Chelmsford City Council, outlines the authority’s journey towards becoming digitally indepe... more >
Equipping the cyber security gatekeepers

08/05/2018Equipping the cyber security gatekeepers

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) just around the corner, cyber security is on the lips of the whole public sector – but P... more >
The hydrogen revolution

08/05/2018The hydrogen revolution

PSE’s Josh Mines takes a look at an innovative scheme in Sheffield that will see some of the first hydrogen-fuelled vans begin work in the ... more >
Energy efficiency: not just a matter of more money

30/04/2018Energy efficiency: not just a matter of more money

David Reilly, head of cities & regions at the Carbon Trust, reports on the findings from this year’s Low Carbon Cities Conference. ... more >


GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

03/04/2018GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

SPONSORED INTERVIEW PSE’s Josh Mines chats to Martin de Martini, CIO of Y Soft, about what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)... more >
Data at the heart of digital transformation

03/04/2018Data at the heart of digital transformation

SPONSORED INTERVIEW Grant Caley, UK & Ireland chief technologist at NetApp, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the benefits of movin... more >
Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the role he plays in ensuring the... more >
BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >

public sector focus

View all News