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Home > News > June 2006 > 12-Jun-2006

Record numbers of 16-18 year olds in training, says DfES

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has highlighted figures from the Department for Education and Skills that show an increase in the numbers of 16-18 year olds participating in education and training.

The number of young people remaining in learning after leaving school has risen by a further 34,500 (a 1 per cent increase) to reach over 1.5 million at the end of 2005.

According to the figures released last week, post-compulsory participation rates for 16 year olds have seen an even more pronounced rise of 2.7 per cent.

The LSC says this is due in part to the introduction of the Education Maintenance Allowance in 2004 and the effective local engagement strategies between local LSCs, schools, colleges, training providers and other partners.

The figures also show that participation rates in education and training for 17 year olds stood at 76 per cent at the end of 2005, an increase of two percentage points over the year.

Melanie Hunt, national director of learning at the LSC said: "To see record numbers of young people in education and training is immensely rewarding to all those involved in post-compulsory education.

"I'm delighted to see the positive impact the Education Maintenance Allowance has had, providing more young people with the chance to participate in further education and training."

Despite across the board increases in participation, the overall proportion of 16-18 year olds not in education, employment or training increased by one percent to 11 per cent by the end of 2005.

Melanie Hunt continued: "While today's figures are encouraging we need to continue to work hard to deliver acceleration in participation at 16 and above in every area of the country to achieve our aspiration of 90 per cent of 17 year olds in education or training by 2015.

"Close support between local LSCs and the Connexions service, together with programmes such as the Education Maintenance

Allowance will help us to ensure that learning opportunities are available to each and every young person and that the right systems of financial support are in place to help those who might otherwise find it difficult to remain in learning."

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Learning and Skills Council

Department for Education and Skills

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

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