Sep 02 2013

Raising the participation age in Harrow

harrow_council_logo2Young people who finished Year 11 this year must continue in education or training, as new Government changes come into effect. The changes mean that 16-year-olds must either:

  • Continue in full-time education, such as school, college or home education
  • Enrol in an apprenticeship scheme
  • Participate in part time education or training if they are employed, self employed or volunteering full time (defined as 20 hours per week).

Young people who finished Year 11 (the last year of secondary school) in July will be required to take up one of these options until the end of the academic year that they turn 17. From 2015 the participation age will be raised to 18 for those starting Year 11 this September.

The duty to take up one of these options is on the young person, although plenty of advice is available. Young people should talk first to their careers advisers in schools and colleges to receive advice on what options are available to them after the age of 16.

Harrow Council has a duty to work with partners to ensure that there are sufficient suitable education and training provision for all 16-19-year-olds, and to ensure that school leavers have a suitable offer of a place at a course, college, apprenticeship scheme or job with training that leads to a recognised qualification.

The Council is responsible for tracking young people’s participation and identifying young people who are no longer in education, apprenticeship or training and providing them with appropriate advice on participation.

Businesses will only be affected if they employ a 16 or 17-year-old for 20 hours or more a week, and for eight or more weeks in a row. They must then either provide training towards an accredited qualification or check that the young person is enrolled in some part-time learning and agree working hours that will allow the young person to attend their course or training.

There is evidence that young people who stay in education, employment or training between 16 and 18 have better chances of future employment, better health and a higher income.

Harrow Council Portfolio Holder for Children, Schools and Families Cllr Zarina Khalid said: “This is not about staying on at school but about choosing a way of participating in education or in training, such as an apprenticeship or on a course. Harrow has a very low rate of young people not in education, employment or training and the Council is committed to supporting young people to get the very best start in life. It is vital that young people and employers are aware of these changes. The Council is doing all it can to make people aware as well as support young people to find a way of participating that suits them.”

For more information on raising the participation age visit: www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/youngpeople/participation/rpa

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