Commenting on the recent Skills for Jobs white paper from the Department of Education, CEO of the Sutton Trust James Turner said:

“The publication of the government’s FE and Skills White Paper is welcome. It is particularly good to see the introduction of measures to support flexible lifelong learning. Ensuring that people are able to reskill flexibly is more important than ever against a backdrop of economic uncertainty.

“Recent Sutton Trust research has highlighted the serious impacts of the pandemic on the sector, so we welcome the government’s focus on supporting more people to start apprenticeships. We know that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are often crowded out of apprenticeships at degree level and it is vital that these valuable opportunities for social mobility are accessible to all.

“It is also encouraging to see that employers will play a more central role in the design of technical education. Listening to employers’ feedback on how to adapt and improve apprenticeships will be key to ensuring the programme is properly funded and supported.

“We know that careers advice can be fragmented and complex for young people to navigate, particularly around apprenticeships and further education. It is good to see that careers guidance will now be delivered from year 7. We particularly welcome the three-point-plan being introduced to enforce the Baker Clause to ensure that all students will have the opportunity to meet apprenticeship providers and learn about technical education options. This will help them to make an informed decision about their next steps.”

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