Raising the participation age to 18


Raising the participation age to 18 does not mean you can’t leave school and go to work!

The Raising of the Participation Age (RPA) means that all young people will continue in education or training to 17 from 2013 and to 18 from 2015. This will be the first time in nearly forty years that the education leaving age has been raised.

But what does this mean for young people today?  A lot of parents and their teenagers are under the impression that raising the participation age means the youngsters have to stay on at school until they are 18.   Some schools are not particularly discouraging this viewpoint either and are not giving parents and their teenagers details of the full choices open to them.

Raising the participation age to 18 does not mean the age of compulsory education is raised to 18!  Nor does it mean all youngsters have to stay on at their secondary school until they are 18!

Raising the participation age means that all youngsters aged 18 and younger should be involved in some form of development, training and education.  This can be at school if they wish, it can be at college if they wish, and it also means they can be in a job with an employer as long as it has some training formally attached to it.  There are options out there!  It is the responsibility of everyone involved with the education and training of young people to make sure they are aware of all the options open to them so they can choose what it right for them!

Apprenticeships are a perfect vehicle for youngsters who do not want to stay in the mainstream education system and who, in fact, learn better by doing things.   Apprenticeships are the perfect choice for those who want to go to work!

Here at ITEC we have many success stories of bright, enthusiastic learners who develop and thrive by doing things rather than sitting in a classroom.  They want to be with an employer learning how to do things on the job.  This on-job learning can be supplemented once a week on day release where theory can be learned thus making an apprenticeship the best of both worlds.  You will also be earning in a real job while you are learning!

So if you are coming up to the end of your compulsory education at 16, remember you have choices!

Depending on your choice of career, you need to be aware of the options open to you.   If you are not sure and need some help, we are happy to give you impartial advice of the options open to you – although we specialise in apprenticeships, if this is not the right vehicle for you and your career choice, we will tell you and point you in the right direction to get the help and advice you need.    There is also a new on-line careers service available as well as, of course, the bible that is Google!!   After all what would be the point of selling you apples if you want pears?!!  Neither of us would be successful, would we?!

What do you think about the raising of the participation age??  Will it encourage you, and those that come after you, to make the most of the education and training options open to them?  Are there enough choices open to you?  What experiences have you had with getting the right advice about which options are open to you??

Share your experiences!

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