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House of Lords select committee: Improving the transition from school to work

Many young people are overlooked by the education system during their transition to work, reports House of Lords select committee on Social mobility.
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I’m Baroness Jean Corsten. I’m here at Lambeth College today in preparation to launch our report from the Social Mobility Select Committee of the House of Lords, which I have the privilege to chair.
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In doing this report and finding out the bewildering choices available to young people today, I’m shocked at how complex it is to navigate. It’s important to remember that the majority of young people don’t go on to university. There is very little preparation for work. People often don’t have work experience or they aren’t trained in the skills they need for work. The consequence of this is that far too many of these young people are then trapped in low skilled, low paid work because there’s a kind of a hollowing out of the labour market in the middle.
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One of the things that struck us most is the need for life skills for young people who are leaving school and going to work, things like being on time, being presentable, being able to cooperate with other people. There aren’t many opportunities in school now to learn those skills and employers tell us they’re vital. I didn’t have any careers advice at all, I just was looking for a place that did level one. I think the skills employers look at the most is commitment and experience. Experience is the most important one. I think employers look for the positive skills like leadership skills, teamwork skills and just showing initiative in those kind of skills.
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I think the best way of getting those skills is training and just learning from people around you and all those kinds of things really.
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What we need is for national and local government, education, employers, the third sector, all to work together to help them transition into work. And in some places, it is happening. But in most, it isn’t. What most people don’t realise is there’s a huge difference in the funding per head for those young people going to university and those who take other routes through further education, for example, and this isn’t right and it must be addressed because all these young people deserve an equal place in the sun. We’ve been very lucky in the evidence that we’ve had from this committee, from all kinds of people, in particular, from young people themselves.
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But what I most wish is that the Government takes this very seriously and implements some of the recommendations we make so that we can all be very proud of the young people of the next generation.
We’ve been very lucky in the evidence we’ve had for this committee from all kinds of people, particularly from young people themselves, but what I most wish is that the Government takes this very seriously and implements some of the recommendations we make, so that we can all be proud of the young people of the next generation.
Baroness Jean Corston, Committee Chair
The Government’s response
Following the publication of the committee’s report in April 2016, the Government published their response in July of the same year, formally addressing each of the report’s recommendations.
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