NASUWT COMMENTS ON CBI REPORT
Commenting on the publication of the Tomorrow’s Growth report by the CBI, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The NASUWT welcomes the CBI’s contribution to this important debate.
“The NASUWT has argued consistently for a higher profile for vocational education.
“The CBI’s suggestion of a UCAS-style system could assist in raising the profile of apprenticeships and provide a clear pathway to vocational learning.
“This needs to be part of a plan to create a combined, overarching application system to access both academic and vocational courses that would give young people the opportunity to choose from the widest range of learning options.
“Fixing the problem of quality pathways for young people at 16 cannot be left to schools.
“Employers have a clear and important role to play. They must step up to the plate and invest in high quality post-16 opportunities for young people.
“The NASUWT, therefore, welcomes the fact that the CBI is taking this issue so seriously and that the Report highlights the importance of employers playing a full role in supporting and developing a highly skilled workforce.
“It is important to ensure that all employers are taking these issues seriously, including small businesses, which may need help and support in developing links with schools and colleges.
“To ensure that work-related learning is an entitlement for all young people, a number of actions are required including radically revamping the current arrangements for work placements and taking steps to ensure that all young people can afford to continue their learning beyond 16.
“The CBI’s Report exposes the fact that the weakest partner in this important venture is the Coalition Government which needs to take a more robust and concerted role in making this happen.
“Unfortunately, the Coalition’s major contribution to date has been to weaken the levers to deliver quality work related learning for all young people, as a result of the manner in which it has implemented the raising of the participation age.
“The adverse impact of the Coalition’s policies on the provision of impartial and high quality careers advice and guidance cannot be ignored.
“This is an essential component of a robust and effective programme. The Government has, however, reduced investment in careers information, advice and guidance in schools and it is increasingly evident that the National Careers Service it established is a poor substitute for the help and support that young people are entitled to when making critical decisions about their future educational and employment options.
“The Coalition’s abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance has also compounded the problems its policies have created.”