A report examined the impact on students and higher education institutions of the European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (ERASMUS) exchange programme. It concluded that students who studied or trained abroad were more likely to improve their employment prospects, and were around half as likely to experience long-term unemployment as their graduate peers.
Source: Effects of Mobility on the Skills and Employability of Students and the Internationalisation of Higher Education Institutions, European Union
A report from the inspectorate for education and children's services examined the implementation of the 16 to 19 study programmes introduced in August 2013, and how new funding arrangements had been used. It raised a range of concerns, including: that the progress in implementing the scheme had been slow and weak; that there were weaknesses in maths and English teaching and outcomes; that too few learners progressed to apprenticeships, employment, or higher levels of learning; that too much careers guidance was poor at all levels; and that not all local authorities tracked the progression on individual learners beyond age 16 (such that it was not always clear what became of learners). The report made recommendations.
Source: Transforming 16 to 19 Education and Training: The early implementation of 16 to 19 study programmes, HMI 140129, Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills
A report said that on measures of skills levels, the United Kingdom was being outperformed by other developed countries (especially for younger people). It said that over one-quarter of firms in the United Kingdom faced additional costs, delayed business expansion, and lost business as a result of skills shortages. It said there were persistent pockets of skills deficiency, but also around 4.3 million workers who were employed in jobs below their skill levels. The report outlined policy implications, arguing that the United Kingdom needed to ensure the involvement of employers in the provision of skills and training so that the mismatch between skills supply and demand was limited.
Source: The Labour Market Story: The state of UK skills, UK Commission for Employment and Skills
A report provided an outline of findings from an online survey of school and college leavers and existing university students on the subject of post-Level 3 options (after completion of 'A' levels or equivalent) and the information and influences that affected them.
Source: Options 2014, The Student Room
A think-tank report examined how young people thought they could be better supported in developing healthy and positive relationships. A survey had found that eight out of ten young people said it was too easy for them accidentally to see pornography online, 70 per cent thought that pornography was damaging views of sex or relationships, almost half said that sharing photos or videos with sexual content was part of everyday life for teenagers, and over 70 per cent of young women felt that pornography had led to pressures on them to act or look a certain way. The survey had also found very high levels of support for school-based sex and relationship education and advice. The report recommended that: sex and relationship education should be taught in every school by specialists, and widened in scope; that there should be a single source of advice and support for parents, educators, and young people, through family information services; and that local authorities' responsibility for public sexual health for young people should be broadened.
Source: Imogen Parker, Young People, Sex and Relationships: The new norms, Institute for Public Policy Research
A report examined the cost of student accommodation in the United Kingdom. It said that, even for the cheapest university or private sector accommodation available, students needed to spend high proportions of their loan and grant on their accommodation. It called on governments and universities to work towards making accommodation more affordable (including making a proportion of new university accommodation affordable), to make the cost of accommodation more clear and give better information about London weightings, and to support students' financial management capability.
Source: Set Up to Fail? The reality of money management at university, The Money Charity
A new book examined citizenship and community learning in schools.
Source: Ian Davies, Vanita Sundaram, Gillian Hampden-Thompson, Maria Tsouroufli, George Bramley, Tony Breslin, and Tony Thorpe, Creating Citizenship Communities: Education, young people and the role of schools, Palgrave Macmillan
A report examined the labour market situation of young people in Europe, including their school-to-work transition, the more general transition to adulthood, and the lives of those who remained in employment during the economic crisis. It also examined the policy measures implemented by selected member states (including the United Kingdom) in support of school-to-work transitions.
Source: Massimiliano Mascherini, Anna Ludwinek, Carlos Vacas, Anja Meierkord, and Michael Gebel, Mapping Youth Transitions in Europe, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions
A report said that recent emphasis on the provision of apprenticeships had been aimed at regrading existing workers, rather than recruiting and upskilling young people. It said that many opportunities had been low-skilled and 'dead end', benefitting private training agencies rather than new young workers. The report considered the future of apprenticeships, contrasting the United Kingdom system with the German 'dual system' and arguing that, while traditional conceptions of vocational education needed to be rethought, robust alternative economic policies were also necessary.
Source: Martin Allen and Patrick Ainley, A Great Training Robbery or a Real Alternative for Young People? Apprenticeships at the start of the 21st century, Radicaled
A report examined the early findings from the evaluation of the Innovation Fund pilot initiative, aimed at supporting disadvantaged young people, through the use of Social Impact Bond (SIB) contracts. The work aimed to prevent young people from becoming NEET (not in education, employment, or training), or to support those already NEET to re-engage with education, training and employment. The SIB model was based on payment by results, dependent on the achievement of specified social outcomes including jobs, improved behaviour and attendance at school, and qualifications. The report said that most projects had bedded in after some early teething difficulties and were progressing well, and that the funding model had been a key driver of behaviours, focusing attention on generating 'starts' and tracking individual participants towards the achievement of outcomes. The report was the first part of a broader evaluation of the programme.
Source: Andrew Thomas and Rita Griffiths, Innovation Fund Pilots Qualitative Evaluation: Early implementation findings, Research Report 880, Department for Work and Pensions
Three reports evaluated and analyzed the effectiveness of the youth contract for 16- to 17-year-olds not in education, employment, or training. The contracts had been intended to support young people to participate in education, training, and work, to include a programme of intensive support that targeted disengaged young people in order that they participated in education, an apprenticeship, or a job with training. The policy was delivered through two models: a national model, commissioned through a prime provider-subcontractor approach with payment-by-results and a focus on sustained outcomes; and a devolved funding model in three core city areas where six local authorities determined the shape and nature of delivery, some using payment-by-results.
Source: Becci Newton, Stefan Speckesser, Vahe Nafilyan, Sue Maguire, David Devins, and Tim Bickerstaffe, The Youth Contract for 16-17 Year Olds Not in Education, Employment or Training Evaluation, Research Report 318A, Department for Education
Source: Vahe Nafilyan, and Stefan Speckesser, The Youth Contract Provision for 16- and 17-Year-Olds Not in Education, Employment or Training Evaluation: Econometric estimates of programme impacts and net social benefits, Research Report 318B, Department for Education
Source: Rosa Marvell and Becci Newton, Youth Contract for 16-17 Year Olds: An evaluation – Technical report: Tables from the surveys of local authorities, Research Report 318C, Department for Education
The Scottish Government published the final report from the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce. The report focused on the enhancement of the status of vocational education, and on the engagement of business and industry with schools and colleges. It made a wide range of recommendations for schools, colleges, and employers, including for encouraging and supporting employers to recruit more young people, and for addressing equalities issues across gender, Black and minority-ethnic groups, disabilities, and for care leavers.
Source: Education Working For All! Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce Final Report, Scottish Government
A new book examined the thoughts and feelings of young people in eight European countries (including the United Kingdom) about education. The book was based on questionnaires and interviews with different actors involved in young people's education, as well as essays written by students in their final year of compulsory school about their journeys through school education, the opportunities that had opened or closed for them, their feelings about the relevance of education for their lives, and their hopes and concerns for the future. The project also produced an accompanying video.
Source: Mirjana Ule, Alenka Svab, Andreas Walther, and John Litau, Far From Frozen: Creative strategies of young people in disadvantaged circumstances, European Union
An article examined an alternative education initiative that sought to re-engage young offenders with learning by equipping them with basic skills in order to progress into mainstream education, training, or employment. The article considered the policy implications.
Source: Victoria Knight, 'Framing education and learning in youth justice in England and Wales: some outcomes for young offender intervention', British Journal of Community Justice, Volume 12 Issue 1
A report examined nine school-based programmes to support students aged 14-16 who were at risk of temporary disconnection from learning. It examined how the schemes were run, and the types of students involved with the schemes, in order to create a baseline of evidence to inform a longitudinal study about the impact of such programmes.
Source: Kelly Kettlewell, Eleanor Stevens, Clare O'Beirne, and Helen Everett, School Approaches to Supporting Students to Remain Engaged at Key Stage 4: Baseline case study report, National Foundation for Educational Research
A report examined young people's experiences of the Youth Contract, based on data from a survey. The Youth Contract was introduced in April 2012 to provide additional support for unemployed young people between the ages of 18 and 24, additional funding for work experience and sector-based work academies placements, and a wage incentive for some employers.
Source: Nick Coleman, Stephen McGinigal, and Sarah Hingley, Customers' Experiences of the Youth Contract, Research Report 865, Department for Work and Pensions
The inspectorate for education and children's services examined the work by London colleges to re-engage young people in education and training. The research focused on identifying successful curriculum delivery models and aimed to identify factors that enabled or hindered effective practice. The report said that the welfare of individual students was paramount to success, with colleges describing a process of creating a 'team around the student' of support services targeted at the individual student's needs and aspirations. Barriers identified by the research included a lack of effective information sharing between agencies, and the benefits system.
Source: Supporting Young People to Participate in Education and Training: An AoC/Ofsted project reviewing factors that help or hinder young people aged 16 to 18 living in London to participate in education, employment or training, HMI 140039, Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills
A paper examined the working conditions of young people in Europe, and outlined the responses of the European institutions, national governments and social partners. It said that young people were subject to poorer working conditions, and were more likely to have non-standard forms of employment, than older workers. The report noted the variations between conditions across a range of variables, such as differences between the various member states, and differences by gender, age, and level of qualifications. It said that policy responses tended to focus on job creation, rather than being concerned with working conditions. The report made policy recommendations.
Source: Working Conditions of Young Entrants to the Labour Market, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound)