Education course cuts hit teensBy Hugh Fort
January 31, 2012
Government cuts to post-education courses have been cited as a reason for more than 50 young people in Bracknell not being in work or further education.
Councillors debated the loss of opportunities, such as apprenticeships, for the 56 people aged between 17 and 18 in Bracknell classed as ‘not in education, employment or training’ (NEET).
Bracknell Forest Council’s young people and learning overview scrutiny committee heard from Martin Surrell, the council’s senior advisor for children, young people and learning, about the what is being done to reduce the numbers.
He told the committee on January 18, funding for certain types of apprenticeship and practical diploma had been withdrawn by the Government.
He told the committee the council had been looking at what could be done to provide more vocational qualifications and were working alongside Bracknell & Wokingham College.
He admitted the plans were still ongoing and that the number of NEETs suggested they “hadn’t quite got it right yet”.
Steve Lambert, the council’s learning development manager for post-14 education, added the council had introduced such schemes as allowing people to change courses in the middle of term. He also said more was being done with children aged 14 and 15 to ascertain what they may want to do when they get older so they don’t leave the education or training system.
After the meeting, Bob Welch, chief adviser for learning and achievement, said: “The panel asked for further information about the opportunities available to young people in Bracknell Forest, in particular the number of 17 and 18-year-olds discontinuing their studies. Some students are on one-year courses and gain employment whilst others become classified as being NEET.
“We have introduced a number of measures to reduce the number of young people who are NEET and we are aware that one group in need of further work is those young people who start but do not complete post-16 studies. Currently there are 56 NEETs in Bracknell Forest of which 21 are 17-year-olds and 35 are 18-year-olds.”