The report says that too many young people are not being adequately prepared for the world of work, which limits their opportunity for social mobility. It acknowledges that while recent governments have focused on higher education and apprenticeships as the way to help young people to be successful in later life, they are not suitable for everyone. It added that non-traditional qualifications are also poorly understood by employers, who cannot be expected to understand the bewildering array on offer, much less have confidence in their quality, which is a major barrier to young people in finding a job.
The Committee made several recommendations to the Government, which support the development of a more coherent and straightforward system to help young people aged 14 and over through the transition from education to work. These include:
· The national curriculum stopping at the age of 14, rather than 16 and the ages of 14-19 being recognised as a single key transition stage;
· A new gold standard in independent careers advice and guidance, which moves responsibility away from schools and colleges;
· For the Government to act as a facilitator, brokering collaboration between existing local bodies such as colleges, schools, local authorities local enterprise partnerships and employers in order to meet the needs of local labour markets; and
· That a Cabinet-level Minister take responsibility for the transition from school to work for young people (as responsibility currently falls between a number of departments and ministers).