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Tackling youth unemployment: University Technical Colleges and apprenticeships

by on October 17, 2013

The latest unemployment figures released this week from the ONS show UK youth unemployment still close to 1 million.

I’ve noticed two newspaper features that tackle this issue. The Independent ran this article by Lord Baker on University Technical Colleges for 14 to 18 year-olds. These follow a standard working day with time split between design and making things, working on projects and problem-solving, and the rest studying for GCSEs in English, maths and science. Universities come in to teach and mentor, and local employers provide challenging projects for the students, that help with the learning. The aim is that none of the students are NEETs when they finish.

The second is the Evening Standard’s Ladder for London campaign to help unemployed young adults into work through paid apprenticeships. This requires persuading organizations (any size) to take on an apprentice. Looking at the terms and conditions, I notice that the national apprentice wage is a shockingly low £2.65 an hour, though in fairness the campaign says it encourages payment of the London living wage of £8.55 or the national minimum wage of £6.19.

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